Ask Billboard is updated every Friday. As always, submit your questions about Billboard charts, sales and airplay, as well as general music musings, to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your first and last name, as well as your city, state and country, if outside the U.S.
WHICH SUPERSTARS HAVE YET TO REACH NO. 1?
Last week, a discussion began about. I've been keeping my own top 30 chart for a few years now, which draws upon not only U.S. singles, but also songs from around the world.
Here's this week's top 10 (with last week's positions also noted):
TW-LW, Title, Artist
1-1, "Good Life," OneRepublic
2-2, "Hello," Martin Solveig & Dragonette
3-4, "Give Me Everything," Pitbull featuring Ne-Yo, Afrojack & Nayer
4-3, "Till The World Ends," Britney Spears
5-5, "Uncharted," Sara Bareilles
6-6, "The Lazy Song," Bruno Mars
7-8, "Backseat," New Boyz featuring the Cataracts & Dev
8-9, "Who Says," Selena Gomez & the Scene
9-12, "Alone Again," Alyssa Reid featuring P. Reign
10-13, "Don't Hold Your Breath," Nicole Scherzinger
Keep up the good work!
I've enjoyed thinking about artists who have topped the Billboard 200 without capping the Hot 100 or vice-versa. As you mentioned, Rihanna is a remarkable example of that phenomenon. It's startling that an artist with 10 Hot 100 No. 1s and 18 top 10s still hasn't scaled the album chart's summit.
For me, another striking example is John Mayer. He's topped the Billboard 200 twice, with 2003's "Heavier Things" and 2009's "Battle Studies," but he's never even reached the top 10 on the Hot 100, let alone No. 1. Granted, he's reached the top 20 seven times, but I'd imagine it's frustrating to keep getting close to the top 10 without ever breaking in. To my mind, Mayer's the biggest male pop/rock star without a Hot 100 top 10 single.
Going back a few years, it's also surprising that Roxette never had a chart-topping album. In the late '80s and early '90s, the duo scored four No. 1 hits and two No. 2s, yet its highest-charting album, "Joyride," peaked at No. 12. Even the "Pretty Woman" soundtrack, which was driven by the pair's No. 1 "It Must Have Been Love," stopped at No. 4.
I guess I'm biased, since Roxette is one of my all-time favorite pop acts, but I wish it had impacted the album charts as strongly as it did the Hot 100.
Thanks for hosting such a fun discussion!
New York, New York
... and all readers who sent such perfect examples of acts that while they have not topped both the Billboard 200 and Hot 100 are unquestionably accomplished artists.
It goes to show that while Billboard charts have served as the barometer of artists' success for more than seven decades, analyzing between the bullets is what truly tells the most complete stories.
As for Roxette, I'd bet that our iPods could pass for twins. The Swedish duo is also one of my favorites, as - for 25 years - it's consistently served up melodic power-pop. Per Gessle's solo albums, especially 1997's "The World According to Gessle" and 2009's "Party Crasher," are also well worth seeking.
Having recently released its first studio album, "Charm School," since 2001, Roxette registered its first No. 1 on Billboard's menu of international charts in 10 years when the set opened atop the German albums chart in March.
The collection's first single is now making its way stateside, as "She's Got Nothing On (But the Radio)" goes to adult contemporary and adult pop radio June 20.
Satellite pop reporter Sirius XM 20 on 20 has already been an early supporter, having played the song 255 times, according to Nielsen BDS. The cut is the channel's 16th-most played title of the past seven days.