HIGH COUNTRY WORK WHERE?: Sugarland and Gloriana not only make splashy chart entrances with their new albums, the acts combine to achieve feats never before accomplished in the 18-year Nielsen SoundScan era on the Billboard 200 and Country Albums.
On the Billboard 200, Sugarland, the duo of Jennifer Nettles and Kristian Bush, scores its second leader, as "LIVE on the Inside" begins at the summit. The live Wal-Mart exclusive, which includes covers of Edie Brickell & New Bohemians' "Circle," Pearl Jam's "Better Man," Beyonce's "Irreplaceable" and R.E.M.'s "Nightswimming" and "The One I Love," follows the pair's most recent studio set, "Love on the Inside," which led the list a year and one week ago.
Rookie quartet Gloriana, which includes former solo pop vocalist Cheyenne Kimball, blasts onto the Billboard 200 at No. 3 with its self-titled debut album.
On Country Albums, the sets start at Nos. 1 and 2, respectively.
Since the Billboard 200 converted to Nielsen SoundScan point-of-sale data (from ranked sales reports) in the May 25, 1991, issue of Billboard, no prior country duos or groups had bowed simultaneously in the top three. On Country Albums, Sugarland and Gloriana net the first concurrent top two starts among duos or groups in that span.
The previous closest call occurred on Sept. 14, 2002, when Dixie Chicks' "Home" and Montgomery Gentry's "My Town" launched on Country Albums at Nos. 1 and 3. On the Billboard 200 that week, Dixie Chicks also checked in at No. 1. Montgomery Gentry's set opened at No. 26.
SUMMER OF 69, AND 19: The stage is set for an historic week on next week's Billboard Hot 100.
Logging a 69th frame this week, Jason Mraz's "I'm Yours" ties the record for longest run in the chart's 51-year history, matching that of LeAnn Rimes' "How Do I Live" in 1997-98. "I'm Yours" even bullets this week, charging 35-23 thanks to a spike in digital sales. That's the title's highest ranking since it also placed at No. 23 on May 9. The song peaked at No. 6 in December.
At No. 1, the Black Eyed Peas close in on a record-breaking week themselves. The act spends a seventh week atop the Hot 100 with "I Gotta Feeling," the follow-up to the group's 12-week No. 1 "Boom Boom Pow." The Peas thus equal Usher's record for most consecutive weeks tallied atop the chart. Usher also started his streak with a 12-week reign, for "Yeah!," and followed with "Burn," which spent seven straight weeks at the summit (before dipping and returning for an eighth and final frame at No. 1). Another week in the lead next week will lift the Peas into an unprecedented 20-week streak in charge of the Hot 100.
The foursome could face a challenge. Miley Cyrus' "Party in the U.S.A." has occupied the No. 1 spot on iTunes since its release Tuesday and appears primed for a lofty Hot 100 bow next week. A monstrous lead in airplay, however, for "I Gotta Feeling" may be enough to send Black Eyed Peas to uncharted chart waters. "I Gotta Feeling" this week reaches No. 1 on Radio Songs/Hot 100 Airplay (3-1) and Pop Songs/Mainstream Top 40 (2-1). "Boom Boom Pow" previously led each list for five and seven weeks, respectively.
Amazingly, the Peas are the only group to top Radio Songs in just shy of the last five years. Previously, the last group to lead was Terror Squad, whose "Lean Back" held sway from Aug. 21 through Sept. 4, 2004. Black Eyed Peas are the first group to reign consecutively on the chart since Destiny's Child notched four straight No. 1s - "Say My Name," "Jumpin', Jumpin'," "Independent Women Part 1" and "Survivor" - in 2000-01.
On Pop Songs, BEP is the first group to post back-to-back leaders since Maroon 5 ruled in succession with "This Love" and "She Will Be Loved" in 2004.
With "Celebration," new at No. 71, her 55th entry, Madonna moves within one of Dionne Warwick for second-most Hot 100 hits among women.
At No. 74, "I Look to You" marks Houston's first Hot 100 hit since 2003 and her 38th overall. The bow lifts her past Mary J. Blige into a solo share for 10th-most charted titles among women in the Hot 100's history.
Here is an update look at the women who've made the most Hot 100 visits:
73, Aretha Franklin
56, Dionne Warwick
53, Connie Francis
48, Brenda Lee
41, Barbra Streisand
40, Mariah Carey
40, Diana Ross
39, Janet Jackson
38, Whitney Houston
37, Mary J. Blige
"I Look to You," the title cut to Houston's album due Aug. 25, also returns her to the Adult Contemporary chart (No. 25) for the first time since 2003. On R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, the R. Kelly-penned ballad pushes 20-19, while the new set's second single, "Million Dollar Bill," co-written by Alicia Keys, claims Hot Shot Debut honors at No. 71.
On the Hot 100, Madonna and Houston had made simultaneous Hot 100 starts twice before. On Aug. 17, 1985, Madonna unveiled the eventual No. 5-peaking "Dress You Up" at No. 36, and Houston debuted at No. 53 with "Saving All My Love for You," which would become her first No. 1.
On Feb. 19, 2000, Madonna arrived at No. 43 with "American Pie," and Houston began at No. 83 with "I Learned From the Best." Again, though Madonna launched at a higher spot, Houston's track would peak higher. The former title reached No. 29, the latter No. 27.
'MAGIC' SHOWS: Selena Gomez earns the Hot 100's Hot Shot Debut at No. 61 with "Magic." The song is a remake of Pilot's No. 5 Hot 100 hit in 1975. The composition returns to the Hot 100 34 years and one week after the original version completed a 20-week run.
The song's parent album, the "Wizards of Waverly Place" soundtrack, likewise bows on the Billboard 200, at No. 24. The set features other similarly-themed remakes, including Steve Rushton's update of Electric Light Orchestra's "Strange Magic," Mitchell Musso's reinvention of the Police's "Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic," Honor Society's cover of the Cars' "Magic" and Meaghan Martin's new spin on Olivia Newton-John's "Magic."
(Chart cheers to you if you can think of any artists other than Selena Gomez whose name combines two acts that have consistently scaled Billboard charts. The late Selena, for whom the Disney star was named, placed 21 titles on Hot Latin Songs between 1992 and 2005. English rock act Gomez has reached the top 10 on Independent Albums and Triple A).
SPARKS FLIES: 2007 "American Idol" queen Jordin Sparks collects her fourth consecutive top 10 in as many tries on the Pop Songs/Mainstream Top 40 airplay chart, as "Battlefield" charges 11-8. The title track from her sophomore album follows a trio of top 10s last year from her debut self-titled set: "Tattoo" (No. 5), "No Air" (No. 2) and "One Step at a Time" (No. 3).
Sparks is the first "Idol" alumnus to storm the chart with four career-opening top 10s, passing 2006 finalist Chris Daughtry, whose band Daughtry arrived with three: "It's Not Over" (No. 1), "Home" (No. 3) and "Over You" (No. 4). The group's fourth pop single, "Feels Like Tonight," peaked at No. 12.
LEADER OF THE PACK: As Shakira's "She Wolf" howls 21-13 with Greatest Gainer/Digital honors on the Billboard Hot 100, the song's Spanish version crowns Latin Pop Airplay.
"Loba" lifts 2-1 to become Shakira's 10th No. 1 on the tally. She is the first female and one of just four artists overall with double-digit No. 1s since the chart's October 1994 launch, joining Enrique Iglesias (14), Cristian Castro (11) and Luis Miguel (10). The two runners-up for most No. 1s among women combined match Shakira's sum: Gloria Estefan and Paulina Rubio each own five Latin Pop Airplay leaders.
CHART BEAT BITS: Creedence Clearwater Revival scores its highest-charting album on the Billboard 200 in 36 years, as "Opus Collection" launches at No. 25. The legendary rock band last placed higher when the No. 15-peaking "Creedence Gold" completed a string of seven top 15 albums in 1973. The group has led the list twice, with 1969's "Green River" and 1970's "Cosmo's Factory" ...
"Kidz Bop 16" enters the Billboard 200 at No. 8 to become the series' 10th consecutive top 10 title. The first six editions peaked between Nos. 14 and 76, while the following 10 have reached between Nos. 2 and 8. The new set includes the act's ever-rotating lineup of children musing on philosophy ("If Today Was Your Last Day"), shawties ("Fire Burning") and paper-chasing ("Live Your Life") ...
After peaking between Nos. 30 and 94 with his first nine Billboard Hot 100 chart entries, Pitbull makes it back-to-back top 10s, as "Hotel Room Service" rings the bell at No. 9, up six places. "I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho)," this week at No. 15, reached No. 2 in June ...
On Alternative Songs, Paramore pockets its fourth top 10. "Ignorance," the lead track from "Brand New Eyes," due Sept. 29, rises 12-9 in its fifth chart week. That's the quickest top 10 climb for the band, besting its seven-week arc to the top 10 with "Decode" in December ...
Here's a little song that Bobby McFerrin wrote that you might recognize on Latin Pop Airplay. Sie7e debuts at No. 33 with a Spanglish remake of "Don't Worry, Be Happy," featuring Si Senor. McFerrin's original became the first a capella song to top the Hot 100 (the new version sports instrumentation), reigning on the charts dated Sept. 24 and Oct. 1, 1988. The title had not appeared on a Billboard song chart until this week since the original version spent its last week on the Hot 100 dated Jan. 21, 1989.