David Bowie's New Makeover: Rock 'n' Roll Recluse
David Bowie's New Makeover: Rock 'n' Roll Recluse

Ask Billboard is updated every Friday. As always, submit your questions about Billboard charts, sales and airplay, as well as general music musings, to askbb@billboard.com. Please include your first and last name, as well as your city, state and country, if outside the U.S.

ADELE, AT LAST

Gary,

I can't begin to tell you how excited I am that Adele's "Rolling in the Deep" claims top honors on the Hot 100 this week (while she's still No. 1 on the Billboard 200 album chart).

Noticing that "Deep" reaches the top spot in its 18th week, it prompts the question of slow-rising No. 1 songs on the Hot 100. I know that in 1979 it took 21 weeks for Robert John's "Sad Eyes" to reach the top, and in 1982 Vangelis' theme to the 1981 Academy Award-winning film "Chariots of Fire" reached the summit in its 22nd week.

Can you run down the No. 1s that took the longest to top the Hot 100?

As always, thanks very much!

Ron Raymond, Jr.
Music Director, WMPG-FM
Portland, Maine

Hi Ron,

Billboard's ".com-menters" are clearly thrilled with the coronation of "Deep." As noted yesterday, it's rare for a song by a female artist that has charted on the Alternative Songs survey to top the Hot 100, as "Deep" is the highest-peaking Alternative hit (No. 21) by a woman to lead the big chart since Sinead O'Connor's "Nothing Compares 2 U" spent one week atop Alternative and four frames atop the Hot 100 in 1990.

Since the Hot 100 adopted Nielsen BDS and SoundScan airplay and sales data, respectively, the week of Nov. 30, 1991, "Deep" ties for the eighth-slowest journey to the summit. In a good sign for Adele's first No. 1, a look at the titles that have made the most scenic trips to the top in that span reveals (mostly) songs that have stood the test of time:

Weeks to No. 1, Title, Artist, Peak Year
33*, "Macarena (Bayside Boys Mix)," Los Del Rio, 1996
31*, "Amazed," Lonestar, 2000
27, "With Arms Wide Open," Creed, 2000
26, "Everything You Want," Vertical Horizon, 2000

22, "Just Dance," Lady Gaga featuring Colby O'Donis, 2009
21, "The Way You Move," OutKast featuring Sleepy Brown, 2004
19, "Big Girls Don't Cry," Fergie, 2007
18, "Rolling in the Deep," Adele, 2011
18, "Black and Yellow," Wiz Khalifa, 2011
18, "You're Beautiful," James Blunt, 2006
(*two chart runs)

Los Del Rio's pop culture dance hit holds the all-time Hot 100 record for longest trek to No. 1. Prior to 1991, UB40's "Red Red Wine" took the longest time to the top (25 weeks over two chart runs). The song that required the most time to top the Hot 100 in that pre-Nielsen data span in one chart run was Patti Austin's "Baby, Come to Me," with James Ingram (23 weeks, 1982-83).

"Deep" has made its steady run to the Hot 100's penthouse by starting at adult alternative and adult pop radio, eventually crossing to pop and adult contemporary and, in remixed form, dance radio (it's No. 7 this week on Dance Airplay).

It hasn't hurt that "American Idol" finalist Haley Reinhart covered the song, as has the "Glee" cast, while Adele has become a fixture in music blogs and publications, all while parent album "21" has racked seven weeks atop the Billboard 200.

The song's hybrid of styles - pop, rock, soul, blues - has also contributed to its widespread success.

"When we first heard 'Rolling in the Deep,' we felt that we had something very special," says Columbia Records senior VP/promotion, adult formats Pete Cosenza. "It's such a unique song, yet it still has a mass-appeal feel and sound.

"A few months later, I am incredibly proud of the way our team has worked to help Adele earn her first No. 1."

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboard

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