Chart Beat: Elton John, David Cook, Maxwell
ELTON'S ELLIOT 'ELECTRICITY': Considering the thunderous applause that "Billy Elliot: The Musical" is eliciting on Broadway, it's fitting that the production's signature song, "Electricity," extends a prominent record on the Adult Contemporary chart for Elton John, who composed the production's music.
"Billy Elliot: The Musical" claimed 10 Tony Awards June 7 (of a record-tying 15 nominations, matching that of "The Producers"). Among its triumphs were Best Musical, Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical (co-winners David Alvarez, Trent Kowalik and Kiril Kulish) and Best Choreography.
The show first opened in London in 2005, and the original cast recording spent four weeks on Top Cast Albums in March and April 2006. Its stateside premiere last fall sent the set back onto the Cast chart, where, in the wake of the production's Tony Awards accolades, the album reached its best peak to date last week, climbing 10-6.
With "Billy Elliot: The Musical" the toast of the Tonys, Decca is promoting John's version of "Electricity" to radio. The ballad, which John originally recorded in 2005 and performed live to open the Tony Awards ceremony, bows this week on Adult Contemporary at No. 28, becoming John's record-extending 68th entry. He first appeared the week of Dec. 26, 1970, with "Your Song." John spent time on the list each year for 38 consecutive years through 2007. He had most recently charted with "The Bridge," which wrapped a 20-week run on Feb. 10, 2007. The debut of "Electricity," thus, ends John's longest absence from the chart.
Below is a look at the five artists with the most charted titles dating to the Adult Contemporary list's July 17, 1961, inception (with each artist's chart span included in parentheses). Notably, while the top four performers ranking below John enjoyed the majority of their format success in the '60s and '70s, all have drawn chart ink this decade:
68 charted titles, Elton John (1970-2009)
64 charted titles, Barbra Streisand (1964-2005)
57 charted titles, Neil Diamond (1969-2008)
53 charted titles, Elvis Presley (1961-2009)
49 charted titles, Johnny Mathis (1962-2003)
Ironically, in a week where the Adult Contemporary chart's most frequent visitor adds to his total, the tally's top two positions belong to a 19- and 16-year-old. Taylor Swift logs a fifth week at No. 1 with "Love Story," while Miley Cyrus bounds 5-2 with "The Climb." John had charted 39 and 44 songs, respectively, by the time each was born.
WHAT'S COOKING: On the Adult Contemporary chart's sister survey, Adult Top 40, David Cook completes a feat previously achieved by only two solo males.
Cook collects his third top 10, as "Come Back to Me" lifts 11-10. His introductory single "Time of My Life," last year's "American Idol" victory song, reached No. 7, and "Light On" peaked at No. 4. All three songs appear on Cook's self-titled debut album, which bowed at No. 3 on the Billboard 200 in December and has sold 1,174,000 copies to date, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
Only two other male soloists have notched at least three top 10s from an album in the Adult Top 40 chart's 13-year history, and the previous two also did so from debut releases: John Mayer (three top 10s from "Room for Squares," 2002-03) and Rob Thomas (four top 10s from "...Something to Be," 2005-07).
MAXED OUT: Maxwell notches his third No. 1 on the Adult R&B airplay chart, as "Pretty Wings" ascends 2-1. The song's eight-week flight to the top is the chart's fastest since Anita Baker's "You're My Everything" reigned in its fifth week in 2004. It's the quickest coronation by a male artist since Luther Vandross reached No. 1 in seven frames with "Take You Out" in 2001.
Maxwell's first chart-topper stands as the longest-leading No. 1 in the chart's 15-year archives: "Fortunate" ruled for 18 weeks in 1999. He returned to the top for 15 weeks with "Lifetime" in 2001-02.
"BLACKsummers'night," Maxwell's first album since 2001, arrives July 7.
COMPLETE BEAT: Check back tomorrow when we run down feats from among all our charts, including the Billboard 200, where Jonas Brothers burst in at No. 1 with "Lines, Vines and Trying Times." Having entered atop the list with "A Little Bit Longer" last August, the trio is the first group to send two sets to the summit within a year's time since System of a Down ruled with "Mesmerize" and "Hypnotize" six months apart in 2005. The only other groups since the dawn of the Nielsen SoundScan era in 1991 to notch No. 1s in so short a span? The Beatles and Hootie & the Blowfish, both in 1995-96.