JACKSON ACTION: Tuesday's (July 7) star-studded, and oftentimes touching, memorial at Los Angeles' Staples Center may have begun to engender a sense of closure for fans of Michael Jackson following his passing June 25. On the newest Billboard charts, however, the King of Pop continues to reign.
After monopolizing the top nine spots last week on the Top Pop Catalog chart (eight solo sets and one by the Jackson 5), Jackson this week makes a clean sweep of the top 10. His solo material ranks at Nos. 1 through 6, led again by "Number Ones." "Ultimate Collection" by the Jackson 5 places at No. 7, and Jackson rounds out the top 10 before Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Chronicle the 20 Greatest Hits" shows at No. 11.
For a second consecutive week, Jackson's solo songs control the top 14 slots on the Billboard Hot 100 Recurrents chart. Last week, Jackson and the Jackson 5 owned the top 19. This week, Kelly Clarkson breaks the family's stronghold with "My Life Would Suck Without You" at No. 15. Whereas "Billie Jean" led the chart a week ago, the song this week dips to No. 2, giving way to "Man in the Mirror." It's the first time that the latter track has topped a Billboard chart since it ruled the Hot 100 and Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs in 1988.
In research conducted by the Billboard charts department, this and last week's Hot 100 Recurrents lists mark the only charts among Billboard's current menu of surveys in which a single artist has dominated the entire top 10.
After setting a record by placing 21 titles on Hot Digital Songs last week, Jackson this week totals the chart's second-best sum, 19 tracks. All songs except one were on the prior chart: after the release of video footage of Jackson's last tour rehearsal in which he performed the song, "They Don't Care About Us" arrives at No. 66.
'NOW' WOWS: While Jackson's "Number Ones" and "Thriller" rank Nos. 1 and 2, respectively, on Top Comprehensive Albums, the No. 3 spot on the chart and the top rung of the Billboard 200 belong to the compilation "NOW 31."
The album is the 14th in the "NOW" series to reach No. 1 on the Billboard 200. "NOW 4" in 2000 was the first to top the survey. Just three months ago, "NOW 30" arrived at the summit.
At No. 2 this week on the Billboard 200, Brad Paisley bows with "American Saturday Night," matching the country star's best start on the chart. His "Time Well Wasted" also debuted in the runner-up slot in 2005.
BREAKTHROUGH: After debuting on the Billboard Hot 100 at no higher than No. 82 with any of her previous six entries, Colbie Caillat is off and running with the lead track from her sophomore album, "Breakthrough," due Aug. 25. "Falling for You" blasts onto the chart as the Hot Shot Debut at No. 12, marking the Californian's highest rank since her debut smash "Bubbly" rose to No. 5 in 2007.
Caillat wrote and produced the song with Rick Nowels, who first appeared on the Hot 100 the week of Feb. 22, 1986 as co-writer/producer of Stevie Nicks' "I Can't Wait." "Falling for You," additionally produced by John Shanks, marks Nowels' 16th Hot 100 entry as a writer and 12th as a producer.
The new song instantly becomes the venerable Nowels' seventh highest-charting effort as a writer/producer. Four were recorded by a solo Go-Go:
No. 1, "Heaven Is a Place on Earth," Belinda Carlisle, 1987
No. 2, "I Get Weak," Belinda Carlisle, 1988 (producer)
No. 5, "The Game of Love," Santana featuring Michelle Branch, 2002
No. 7, "Circle in the Sand," Belinda Carlisle, 1988
No. 11, "Leave a Light On," Belinda Carlisle, 1989
No. 11, "The Power of Goodbye," Madonna, 1998
No. 12, "Falling for You," Colbie Caillat, 2009
WHEN HE'S 64: Not only does Jason Mraz's "I'm Yours" march closer to a Billboard Hot 100 longevity record, but for the second consecutive week the cut continues rebounding up the chart. The song, which peaked at No. 6 last September, rises to No. 29 this week after lifting 33-31 last week.
"I'm Yours" is now tied for the third-most weeks logged on the Hot 100:
69 weeks, "How Do I Live," LeAnn Rimes, 1997-98
65 weeks, "You Were Meant for Me/Foolish Games," Jewel, 1996-98
64 weeks, "Before He Cheats," Carrie Underwood, 2006-07
64 weeks, "I'm Yours," Jason Mraz, 2008-09
It's been a very good year for Mraz's track. This week, the song spends its 52nd consecutive (and total) week in the chart's top 40. In addition to racking the most weeks on the Hot 100, "How Do I Live" also holds the mark for most weeks totaled in the top 40 (61).
RUCKER: Darius Rucker continues an impressive streak on the Billboard Hot 100. Beginning with Hootie & the Blowfish's debut track, "Hold My Hand," in 1994, all six of the group's and all three of its frontman's solo entries have reached the chart's top 40.
This week, "Alright" advances 41-35, tying last year's "Don't Think I Don't Think About It" for Rucker's highest-charting solo hit.
On Hot Country Songs, "Alright" lifts 9-6. The song follows Rucker's No. 1 Country tracks "Don't Think I Don't Think About It" and "It Won't Be Like This for Long."
TUCKER: Country cornerstone Tanya Tucker first drew ink on the Billboard 200 the week of March 30, 1974, at age 15. Between charting her debut title, "Would You Lay With Me (In a Field of Stone)," and "Complicated" in 1997, Tucker sent 11 albums onto the tally.
This week, she expands her Billboard 200 chart span to 35 years, three months and three weeks with the debut of her 12th charted album, "My Turn," at No. 183.
The set also starts at No. 27 on Top Country Albums.
ROB & THE 'CRADLE': Rob Thomas opens on the Billboard 200 at No. 3 with his second solo effort, "Cradlesong."
His first solo set, "...Something to Be," began at No. 1 in 2005. With Matchbox Twenty, Thomas has scored four top 10 albums, with "Mad Season" in 2000 and "Exile on Mainstream" in 2007 both peaking as high as No. 3.
"Cradlesong" also starts atop Billboard's Top Rock Albums chart.
A notch below Thomas on the Billboard 200 and Top Rock Albums, Wilco's "Wilco (The Album)" debuts. The set's No. 4 start on the Billboard 200 matches 2007's "Sky Blue Sky" for the veteran band's best showing.
WHERE 'WOLF' IS ON THE PROWL: International star Shakira bounds onto Hot Latin Songs at No. 23 and Latin Pop Airplay at No. 9 with "Loba/She Wolf." She last enjoyed a top 10 debut on the former chart as a lead artist in 1998 when "Ciega, Sordomuda" lifted off at No. 3.
The new track will be available for download beginning Tuesday (July 14) and previews Shakira's as-yet-untitled album, due in October. The collection will sport a predominantly English track list. An album of Spanish material is due to follow next year.
Shakira's "La Tortura" holds the record for longest reign over Hot Latin Songs. The cut, featuring Alejandro Sanz, led for 25 weeks in 2005. A year later, the Colombian singer's "Hips Don't Lie," featuring Wyclef Jean, became her first Hot 100 No. 1.
BACK TO THE '80s: The continued sales boon of Michael Jackson's catalog isn't the only evidence of '80s nostalgia on the charts.
Matt Zarley's beat-heavy remake of Steve Winwood's "While You See a Chance," featuring Billy Porter, bows on Hot Dance Club Songs at No. 49. Winwood's original reached No. 7 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1981.
On Smooth Jazz Songs, Craig Chaquico's cool cover of Kenny G's "Songbird" flies in at No. 26. The song became latter artist's first and biggest Hot 100 hit, rising to No. 4 this month in 1987.
A newer yet familiar title also arrives on Smooth Jazz Songs. Saxophonist Eric Darius debuts at No. 22 with an instrumental update of Ne-Yo's "Because of You." Ne-Yo's version peaked at No. 2 on the Hot 100 in May 2007.
HOT STUFF: Billboard this week introduces the Heatseekers Songs chart.
Similar to the rules (and premise of spotlighting up-and-coming acts) that apply to the 18-year-old Heatseekers Albums chart, Heatseekers Songs will rank the top titles from artists who have yet to reach the top half of the Billboard Hot 100 as a lead performer.
While Heatseekers Songs will serve as a companion chart to Heatseekers Albums, the artists eligible for the former chart are not dependent on the rules that govern the latter tally and vice versa. For example, the Veronicas place at No. 4 this week on Heatseekers Albums with "Hook Me Up," which has so far peaked at No. 107 on the Billboard 200. Because the duo's "Untouched" hit No. 17 on the Hot 100, however, the act is not eligible to appear on Heatseekers Songs.
Theory of a Deadman is the first act to top Heatseekers Songs. "Not Meant To Be," No. 56 on the Hot 100, leads the inaugural list.
CHART BEAT BITS: As vocalist/drummer of the Band, Levon Helm enjoyed 11 trips to the Billboard 200's top 40 between 1968 and 1978. This week he makes his first venture on his own, as "Electric Dirt" debuts at No. 36. Previously as a solo artist, he reached No. 142 with "Levon Helm & the RCO All-Stars" in 1977 and No. 102 with "Dirt Farmer" in 2007 ...
Paul Simon's "This Better Be Good" gracefully lands on the Billboard 200 at No. 60. The Starbucks compilation is the singer's 18th solo entry and first in exactly two years. He first charted as a solo act with his self-titled debut in 1972. He's made 11 additional appearances as half of Simon & Garfunkel between 1966 and last year ...
Rascal Flatts extends its lead for most top 10s by a group or duo on Hot Country Songs this decade, as "Summer Nights" sizzles 11-10. The track is the trio's 22nd top 10, a run that began with debut hit "Prayin' for Daylight" in 2000. Brooks & Dunn ranks second among groups or duos this decade with 16 top 10s ...
Mario ascends to his fastest-rising top 10 on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs in close to five years, as "Break Up," featuring Gucci Mane and Sean Garrett, zips 11-7 in its ninth chart week. The singer last scaled the survey more quickly when his sole No. 1, "Let Me Love You," flew 22-10 in its sixth frame in November 2004 on its way to an 11-week reign ...
Mariah Carey's "Obsessed" lifts 37-31 on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs and debuts on Hot 100 Airplay at No. 60. The real action, however, should come next week, when the lead track from "Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel," due Aug. 25, will make a lofty entrance on the Billboard Hot 100 following its release to the digital market Tuesday (July 7). The song will face competition on next week's Hot 100 from Hannah Montana's "He Could Be the One," also new at digital retailers as of this week.