Chart Beat Wednesday: Carrie Underwood, Kings Of Leon, Miley Cyrus

Getty Images
Singer Carrie Underwood performs during the 44th annual Academy of Country Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena April 5, 2009 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

CARRIE ON: Carrie Underwood collects the highest debut by a female artist this year on Country Songs, as "Cowboy Casanova" ropes a No. 26 start. Among all acts, Underwood's new hit ties Brad Paisley's "Then" for the year's second-best bow on Country Songs. Kenny Chesney's "Out Last Night" began at No. 25 on the April 11, chart.

Dating to the conversion of Country Songs to Nielsen BDS-monitored data on the chart dated Jan. 20, 1990, "Cowboy Casanova" logs the fifth-best entrance for a song by a female artist. And look who has the highest:

No. 20, "So Small," Carrie Underwood (2007)
No. 21, "All Jacked Up," Gretchen Wilson (2005)
No. 24, "I'm Gonna Getcha Good!," Shania Twain (2002)
No. 25, "Love Story," Taylor Swift (2008)
No. 26, "Cowboy Casanova," Carrie Underwood (2009)

Just two other songs by women have arrived in the top 30 during the Nielsen BDS era. Notably, the top six have done so this decade. Faith Hill's "Mississippi Girl" launched at No. 27 in 2005. The only top 30 debut of the '90s by a female artist? Twain's "Love Gets Me Every Time," which opened at No. 29 in 1997.

Just as "So Small" resoundingly heralded the release of Underwood's sophomore album, "Carnival Ride," two years ago, "Cowboy Casanova" introduces "Play On," due Nov. 3.

Billboard.com reported on the new song's online leak last week. Click here to read more and to hear the track.


CHART KINGS: Kings of Leon continue to don more chart crowns. This week, the Followill family quartet rises to the top of Alternative Songs and Adult Top 40 with "Notion" and "Use Somebody," respectively.

On Alternative Songs, "Notion" (3-1) becomes the band's third No. 1, all from its fourth album, "Only By the Night." "Sex On Fire" reigned for eight weeks, and "Use Somebody" ruled for three weeks. The act is the first to earn three leaders from an album since Foo Fighters, whose "Echoes, Silence, Patience and Grace" yielded "The Pretender," "Long Road to Ruin" and "Let It Die" in 2007-08.

On Adult Top 40, viewable at billboard.biz, "Use Somebody" rises 2-1. The group's crossover to adult radio is fortified by the track's debut at No. 27 on Adult Contemporary.


'PARTY' GIRL: Miley Cyrus bounds into the top 10 on Pop Songs/Mainstream Top 40, as "Party in the U.S.A." pounces 14-10. The song wins the chart's Greatest Gainer award for a second straight week.

The track is Cyrus's third top 10 in four tries on Pop Songs. "See You Again" reached No. 4 in April 2008. Three months later, "7 Things" rose to No. 19. This June, "The Climb" climbed to No. 5.

At just five chart weeks, "Party in the U.S.A." easily marks Cyrus' swiftest ascent to the top 10. "See You Again" took 13 weeks to reach the top tier, and "The Climb" required 14 frames.


COMPLETE BEAT: After a No. 3 start on the Billboard 200 last week following just three days at retail, Cyrus' "Time of Our Lives (EP)" grows after a full week of availability. Blocking her path to the summit, however, is the artist who led the Billboard Hot 100 five days after Cyrus was born almost 17 years ago. Check back tomorrow when we run down feats from among all our charts, including the Billboard 200, where Whitney Houston celebrates her first No. 1 since "The Bodyguard" led for 20 weeks in 1992-93. "I Look to You" becomes Houston's fourth Billboard 200 topper. Prior to "The Bodyguard," she led with "Whitney Houston" in 1985 and "Whitney" in 1987.