Chart Beat: AI, Taylor Swift, Annie Lennox
ADULT EDUCATION: Ever since Kelly Clarkson made her first appearance on a Billboard chart, finalists from "American Idol" have been showing up on surveys that cross all genres -- pop, R&B, country, rock, Christian, reggae... O.K., not reggae. At least, not yet.
One radio format that has taken a particular shine to "Idol" releases is Adult Contemporary and this week's chart illustrates that point.
There are only two debuts this week on the 30-position chart and both are by "Idol" singers.
Melinda Doolittle makes her AC debut, as "It's Your Love" (Hi-Fi) glides onto the tally at No. 29. Right below it is a new entry at No. 30, Kelly Clarkson's "My Life Would Suck Without You" (RCA). With the addition of these two titles, there are seven Idols on the chart, occupying eight positions.
Here is a list of all eight:
No. 4: "The Time of My Life," David Cook
No. 6: "What About Now," Daughtry
No. 8: "Crush," David Archuleta
No. 15: "One Step at a Time," Jordin Sparks
No. 19: "Light On," David Cook
No. 26: "What's Right Is Right," Taylor Hicks
No. 29: "It's Your Love," Melinda Doolittle
No. 30: "My Life Would Suck Without You," Kelly Clarkson
Clarkson has the most successful AC hit of any Idol. Her "Breakaway" was No. 1 for 21 weeks in 2005.
Add in "The X Factor" winner Leona Lewis' twin AC charted songs ("Better in Time" at No. 7 and "Bleeding Love" at No. 9) and there are 10 songs by artists who competed on televised talent competitions on the AC list.
TAYLOR GOES FOR 10: Taylor Swift cements her lead as the country female with the longest-running No. 1 album in the history of The Billboard 200. Her "Fearless" (Big Machine) garners a 10th week in pole position, putting her in a three-way tie with the Singing Nun and Paula Abdul for the seventh-longest running No. 1 album by a solo female artist.
Here is an updated list of the longest-running chart-topping sets by solo female artists:
15 weeks: "Tapestry," Carole King (1971)
14 weeks: "Whitney Houston," Whitney Houston (1986)
13 weeks: "Judy at Carnegie Hall," Judy Garland (1961)
12 weeks: "Jagged Little Pill," Alanis Morissette (1995)
11 weeks: "Whitney," Whitney Houston (1987)
11 weeks: "Mariah Carey," Mariah Carey (1991)
10 weeks: "The Singing Nun," The Singing Nun (1963)
10 weeks: "Forever Your Girl," Paula Abdul (1989)
10 weeks: "Fearless," Taylor Swift (2008)
ANNIE HAD AN ALBUM: "The Annie Lennox Collection" (Arista), new at No. 34 on The Billboard 200, is the fifth solo album by Annie Lennox to chart.
That quintet of charted titles is spread out over almost 17 years. Here is a summary of those releases, ranked in order of chart position:
No. 4: "Bare" (2003)
No. 9: "Songs of Mass Destruction" (2007)
No. 11: "Medusa" (1995)
No. 23: "Diva" (1992)
No. 34 to date: "The Annie Lennox Collection" (2009)
Counting her work with Eurythmics, this is Lennox's 15th charting album. She made her debut the week of May 28, 1983 with "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)," giving her a career chart span of 25 years, nine months and one week. The highest-charted Eurythmics album was the duo's second entry, "Touch," No. 7 in 1984.
A PAIR OF 11s: Former Billboard director of charts Michael Ellis would always say that the positions artists hated the most were Nos. 2 and 11: How frustrating it must be to come so close to a No. 1 hit or a top 10 hit but not quite make it.
So you can imagine how Morrissey is feeling this week. His latest, "Years of Refusal" (Attack/Lost Highway), enters The Billboard 200 at No. 11. It ties his 2004 set "You Are the Quarry" as the highest-charting titles of his career.
"Years of Refusal" is the 13th solo album by Morrissey to appear on The Billboard 200. His run began with "Viva Hate," which debuted the week of April 9, 1988.
Morrissey charted with eight additional titles by his group, the Smiths. That band's highest charting album was "Strangeways, Here We Come," No. 55 in 1987. The first Smiths album to chart was an eponymous set that debuted the week of May 5, 1984.
TWICE-'TOLD' TALE: Given Carrie Underwood's track record on Hot Country Songs, it won't be a surprise if her latest single "I Told You So" (19/Arista) goes all the way to No. 1. The song climbs 14-13 this week.
If "I Told You So" does move into the penthouse, it will be the second visit for this song. The original by Randy Travis spent two weeks on top in June 1988.
'GOD' ASCENDS: Toby Keith collects his 18th No. 1 on Hot Country Songs as "God Love Her" (Show) is lifted 2-1. Keith scored his first chart-topping single in 1993 with his debut chart entry, "Should've Been a Cowboy." He had two more No. 1s in the '90s: "Who's That Man" in 1994 and "Me Too" in 1997.
Keith's next 15 No. 1s have all occurred this decade. He already held the record for the most No. 1s in the '00s; "God Love Her" simply extends his lead.