Chart Beat now offers a sneak peak at chart action with a first-look edition on Wednesdays. On Thursdays, when all of our online charts are refreshed with the latest data, Chart Beat appears as always in its full form, spotlighting achievements from among our entire menu of charts.
AIN'T NO 'STOP'-ING THEM NOW: Rascal Flatts' new album "Unstoppable" is appropriately titled, bowing atop the Billboard 200 with 351,000 copies sold.
The set is the trio's fourth No. 1, lifting the act into a solo share of first place for most No. 1s by a group this decade. The band had been tied in the '00s with Dave Matthews Band, Disturbed, Linkin Park, Staind and System of a Down with three leaders apiece.
"Unstoppable" also joins an exclusive club of albums by country duos or groups to top the Billboard 200 since the chart converted to Nielsen SoundScan data in May 1991. In that span, just 10 of 444 No. 1s have belonged to country duos or groups. Notably, more than half of those 10 have reigned in the last three years.
Here are those elite titles, along with their first and total weeks at No. 1:
Eagles, "Hell Freezes Over," Nov. 26, 1994 (2)
Dixie Chicks, "Fly," Sept. 18, 1999 (2)
Dixie Chicks, "Home," Sept. 14, 2002 (4)
Rascal Flatts, "Feels Like Today," Oct. 16, 2004 (1)
Rascal Flatts, "Me and My Gang," April 22, 2006 (3)
Dixie Chicks, "Taking the Long Way," June 10, 2006 (2)
Rascal Flatts, "Still Feels Good," Oct. 13, 2007 (1)
Eagles, "Long Road Out of Eden," Nov. 17, 2007 (1)
Sugarland, "Love on the Inside," Aug. 16, 2008 (1)
Rascal Flatts, "Unstoppable," April 25, 2009 (1 to date)
(We're counting the Eagles' "Hell Freezes Over," which never charted on Top Country Albums, in this category due to the group's long history of play at country radio. We're not including Bon Jovi's 2007 Billboard 200 No. 1 "Lost Highway," which likewise did not appear on Top Country Albums. But it would seem a stretch to consider Bon Jovi a country act in the vein of the Eagles).
Rascal Flatts concurrently plants its 10th leader atop Hot Country Songs, as "Here Comes Goodbye" vaults 6-1. The track joins Taylor Swift's "Our Song" in December 2007 as the only titles this decade to jump to the summit from outside the top five. That excludes Garth Brooks' No. 1 entrance with "More Than a Memory" in September 2007.
THE SOUNDS OF CYRUS: Set-up for Rascal Flatts' new album has included its appearance in "Hannah Montana: The Movie," where the threesome performs "Backwards" and "Bless the Broken Road." In the wake of the film's strong start at the box office ($34 million), its star makes major chart moves.
Miley Cyrus rebounds 10-8 on the Billboard Hot 100 with "The Climb," which takes Greatest Gainer/Digital honors, and steps 62-28 with the film’s dance craze "Hoedown Throwdown." "Butterfly Fly Away," a duet with dad Billy Ray, bows at No. 72, and "Let's Get Crazy," billed to Hannah Montana, starts at No. 75.
Taylor Swift's soundtrack cut "Crazier" also makes great strides, shifting 69-38. A sixth song from the set, Hannah Montana's "You'll Always Find Your Way Back Home," bullets at No. 88. The soundtrack meanwhile rebounds 5-2 with the Greatest Gainer tag on the Billboard 200.
Billy Ray Cyrus makes his own chart noise, as his new collection, "Back to Tennessee," opens on the Billboard 200 at No. 41 and Top Country Albums at No. 13. The set's title cut, as well as "Butterfly Fly Away," appears on both his album and the "Hannah Montana" soundtrack.
EM'S ENTRANCE: Eminem scores his highest debut on Rhythmic airplay in five years, as his celebrity spoof "We Made You" blasts in at No. 27 after its first week at radio. The song, featuring an uncredited vocal from soul singer Charmagne Tripp on the catchy chorus, marks the rapper's best bow since "Encore" arrived at No. 23 in November 2004.
The new single from "Relapse," due May 19, concurrently begins on Mainstream Top 40 at No. 38 and the Pop 100 at No. 63.
"We Made You" has yet to appear on the Billboard Hot 100, debuting this week at No. 24 on the chart's Bubbling Under tally. With the song ranking in iTunes' top five upon its release this week, it is primed for a lofty arrival on next week's Hot 100. Slim Shady's highest Hot 100 beginning to date was a No. 12 start for "You Don't Know," with 50 Cent, Lloyd Banks and Ca$his, in 2006.
A VERY GOOD YEAR: Jason Mraz's "I'm Yours" logs its 52nd frame on the Billboard Hot 100. The song, which peaked at No. 6 in September, is the 22nd in the history of the Hot 100 to spend at least a year on the list. Until this week, the most recent song to achieve the feat was Carrie Underwood's "Before He Cheats" (64 weeks) in 2006-07.
With "I'm Yours" placing at No. 26, the countdown is on as to whether it can break the all-time mark for longest-charting title (songs are allowed to remain on the Hot 100 regardless of age as long as they rank in the top 50). That honor belongs to LeAnn Rimes' "How Do I Live," which spent 69 weeks on the list in 1997-98.
SEAL OF APPROVAL: "If You Don't Know Me By Now" rises 12-10 at Adult Contemporary, granting Seal his first top 10 at the format since the No. 4 "Love's Divine" in 2004. The singer also reached the top bracket with "Kiss From a Rose" (No. 1, 1995), "Don't Cry" (No. 4, 1996) and "Fly Like an Eagle" (No. 9, 1997).
Although Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes' 1972 original never reached the Adult Contemporary chart (then-titled Easy Listening), Seal brings the song back to the tally's top 10 for a second time, following Simply Red's chart-topping run in 1989. It is just the fifth non-holiday title to reach the top 10 as recorded by two artists in the past 20 years:
"If You Don't Know Me By Now"
Simply Red, No. 1, 1989
Seal, No. 10, 2009
"Listen to Your Heart"
Roxette, No. 2, 1989
D.H.T., No. 6, 2005
Fleetwood Mac, No. 10, 1998
Dixie Chicks, No. 1, 2003
"To Make You Feel My Love"
Billy Joel, No. 9, 1997
Garth Brooks, No. 8, 1998
"You Got It"
Roy Orbison, No. 1, 1989
Bonnie Raitt, No. 6, 1995
LUCKY 13: Kristine W logs her 13th No. 1 in 14 tries on Hot Dance Club Play, as "Love Is the Look" lifts 2-1. The singer born Kristine Weitz first led with her maiden entry "Feel What You Want" in 1994 and missed the summit only with the No. 2-peaking "I'll Be Your Light" in 2006.
With her new No. 1, she claims fifth place all to herself for most leaders in the chart's history. Here is a ranking of the artists to make the most visits to the summit:
18, Janet Jackson
15, Donna Summer
14, Mariah Carey
13, Kristine W
12, Whitney Houston
CHART BEAT BITS: Jadakiss posts his third consecutive top five on the Billboard 200, his entire chart output, as "Last Kiss" opens at No. 3. The rapper launched at No. 5 with "Kiss tha Game Goodbye" in 2001 and at the summit with "Kiss of Death" in 2004 ... Jason Aldean matches his previous best Billboard 200 ranking, as "Wide Open" bows at No. 4. His prior set, "Relentless," arrived at the same spot two years ago ... 311 makes its first Modern Rock chart appearance in more than three years, as "Hey You" soars in at No. 20. The quintet's 19th chart entry dating to its first in 1993 previews its June 2 release "Uplifter" ... "Tu Eres Para Mi" vaults 6-1 on Hot Latin Songs to become Fanny Lu's second No. 1. Her prior entry, "Y Si Te Digo," led the chart dated Sept. 1, 2007. Her current hit also becomes her first leader on Latin Pop Airplay ... Matthew West notches his third No. 1 on Hot Christian AC Songs with "The Motions." He previously led with "You Are Everything" a year ago and "More" in 2004 ... After "American Idol" favorite Adam Lambert received a coveted standing ovation from Simon Cowell April 7 for his moody rendition of "Mad World," the Michael Andrews 2001 recording of the song, featuring Gary Jules, makes its first appearance on Hot Digital Songs at No. 36. A similar stripped-down cover of the Tears for Fears' original by Sacre spent a week on Hot Digital Songs at No. 56 in 2006 ... Special kudos to Ramblin' Jack Elliott. The legendary artist has been recording for more than 50 years, but he makes his first Billboard chart appearance this week, as "A Stranger Here" opens at No. 5 on Top Blues Albums. The 77-year-old performer steps out of the folk world with the Depression-era blues set.