Ask Billboard: Katy Perry, Kylie Minogue, Cee Lo Green

Ask Billboard: Katy Perry, Kylie Minogue, Cee Lo Green

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.


FLYING OBJECT

Hi Gary,

With this week's 28-8 Billboard Hot 100 blast for "E.T." and another week in the top 10 for "Firework," Katy Perry has moved into a tie with Santana for second place in the sweepstakes for most consecutive weeks in the top 10 as a lead artist.

Perry's 42-week streak, dating to the No. 2 debut of "California Gurls" on the chart dated May 29, 2010, and continuing with "Teenage Dream," "Firework" and "E.T.," featuring Kanye West, equals the run of Santana starting Sept. 4, 1999 ("Smooth" and "Maria Maria").

With the fourth single from "Teenage Dream" now reaching the top 10, it's possible that Perry will surpass the 48-week leader, whose record run began Oct. 16, 1993. (See if you can guess who it is before reading the next sentence).

The record belongs to ... Ace of Base, with "All That She Wants," "The Sign" and "Don't Turn Around."

Just thought folks would like to know,

JonMichael Rasmus
Madison, Wisconsin


Hi JonMichael,

Thanks for the detailed book-keeping!

The watch, then, is on for "E.T.," which makes its impressive Hot 100 move with Digital Gainer honors, roaring 12-4 on Digital Songs (170,000, up 42%, according to Nielsen SoundScan). It also enters Radio Songs at No. 57 (20 million, up 194%, according to Nielsen BDS), fueled by a No. 31 debut on Pop Songs.

(Perry scores another notable honor with the advance of "E.T.": "Teenage Dream" becomes the first Capitol Records release to generate four Hot 100 top 10s since Heart's self-titled set in 1985-86. "Heart" yielded "What About Love?" (No. 10), "Never" (No. 4), "These Dreams" (No. 1) and "Nothin' at All" (No. 10)).

Thus, between its promising start and the sustained popularity of "Firework" (5-6 this week), Perry appears to have a good chance to pass Ace of Base's mark.

Ace of Base, meanwhile, last year released "The Golden Ratio," its first studio album since 2002. (You can find it in the group's native Swedish iTunes Store).

Should Perry break the group's record, it's unlikely that there will be any hard feelings, as each act is a fan of the other's.

Said Perry when she was working on "Teenage Dream" in 2009, "I'm kind of thinking I want to do my record like a mesh between 'Lovefool' by the Cardigans and 'The Sign' by Ace of Base. I want to make songs that people want to hold hands and roller-skate to."

The admiration is mutual.

"We are extremely honored to have (one) of the biggest and most creative artists in the world saying those nice things about us," says Ulf Ekberg, Ace of Base's co-founder (with Jonas Berggren).

"I listen to ... Katy Perry and find myself in turn being inspired by (her). In many ways ... 'I Kissed a Girl' opened up radio for pop and dance again. We did a little of that in the early '90s in the U.S., so it's amazing (that she's) inspired by us and we've come back."


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.


KYLIE FEVER

Hey Gary!

First of all, congrats of Kylie Minogue for making history with two songs in the Dance/Club Play Songs top three last week, a first for any artist!

I wanted to know how many albums and singles she has sold in America.

While regarded more as an international success, I'm sure she's still moved at least a few units stateside.

Thanks,

Matthew Johns
Illinois State University


Hi Matthew,

From her beginnings in the U.S. with "The Loco-Motion" more than 22 years ago, Minogue remains a force in clubs.

Here is a look at her best-selling U.S. albums and digital songs, per Nielsen SoundScan:

Albums
1,159,000, "Fever," 2002
177,000, "Body Language," 2004
50,000, "Aphrodite," 2010
50,000, "Ultimate Kylie," 2004
42,000, "X," 2008

Songs
531,000, "Can't Get You Out of My Head"
134,000, "Love at First Sight"
66,000, "Get Outta My Way"
63,000, "Slow"
56,000, "Come Into My World"

Minogue has sold 1,580,000 albums and 1,407,000 downloads since SoundScan began tracking U.S. point-of-sale data in 1991.

"Fever" is her highest-peaking Billboard 200 entry (No. 3, 2002).

On the Hot 100, Minogue has twice reached the top 10: with "The Loco-Motion" (No. 3) in 1988 and "Can't Get You Out of My Head"" (No. 7) in 2002.


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.


GREEN ENERGY

Hi Gary,

I'm happy to see Cee Lo Green's "F**k You (Forget You)" benefiting from his brilliant Grammy Awards performance (Feb. 13). Its No. 2 Hot 100 peak (so far) reminds me how one of the most distinct tunes of the past decade, and another contender for record of the year - "Crazy" (2006), by Gnarls Barkley, featuring Green's vocals - settled in at No. 2 for seven consecutive weeks.

I think it would be phenomenal if Green makes it to No. 1. If he doesn't, however, he'll have something in common with another remarkable pop/soul vocalist, Aaron Neville. Both have never had a No. 1 hit and both have peaked at No. 2 twice, once as a solo act and once as part of a duo.

In Neville's case, I'm talking about his solo 1966 smash "Tell It Like It Is" (a No. 1 on R&B/Hip-Hop Songs) and his 1989 Grammy Award-winning duet with Linda Ronstadt, "Don't Know Much" (a No. 1 on Adult Contemporary).

Of course, Green's career is riding high, so a No. 1 is still possible. I'll swear to that (please don't censor me).

P.S.: With the Recording Academy honoring Danger Mouse in the category of non-classical producer of the year and rewarding "F**k You" for best urban/alternative performance, it was a reunion of sorts for the Gnarls Barkley partners, and a top-ranking one at that.

Best,

Pablo Nelson
Berkeley, California


Hi Pablo,

There's life - and a chance at the Hot 100's penthouse - yet for "F**k You," despite the song's 39% digital decline this week (to 252,000, after its prior Grammy-boosted weekly sum).

The song claims the Hot 100's Airplay Gainer award for a second consecutive week, charging into the top 10 (14-6) on Radio Songs (80 million in audience, up 28%).

On Pop Songs, the track reaches the top 10 (11-7) in its 20th chart week, tying for the third-longest climb to the tally's top tier after Edwin McCain's "I'll Be" (31 weeks, 1998) and matchbox twenty's "Back 2 Good" (21 weeks, 1998-99).

If we counted the five weeks the song was absent from the chart in November/December after its first chart run, in which it peaked at No. 18, "F**k You" would trail only "I'll Be" for having taken the most scenic route to the chart's top 10.

Green's other big news this week? He'll join Maroon 5's Adam Levine as a judge on "The Voice." Hosted by Carson Daly, the NBC reality competition launches April 26.

"It's an honor for me to be able to help mold a malleable and new talent in such a fashion as 'The Voice'," says Green.

"Being a coach on 'The Voice' is a substantial responsibility and I take it with sincerity and distinction."


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.


'IDOL' THOUGHTS

Hi Gary,

Congratulations on eight of your "American Idol" contestant picks making it to the top 13!

This year is so full of talent I am sure we are all eager to hear this season's upcoming performances.

Of the eight that I voted for, six made it:
Casey Abrams
Naima Adedapo
Ashthon Jones
Jacob Lusk
Paul McDonald
Haley Reinhart

I would be happy to be surprised by any of the others' upcoming performances (as I was with Stefano Langone in the wild card round), but my top four are Abrams, Lusk, McDonald and Reinhart, with Haley my pick to win the season!

Regards,

Shay Brown


Hi Shay,

Before commenting on my remaining favorites, let's praise two top 24 finalists that impressed me despite departing last night.

With his jazzy cover of the Doors' "Light My Fire" Tuesday, Brett Loewenstern would have made for an energetic, quirky member of the top 13.

And, contrary to the consensus of judges Steven Tyler, Jennifer Lopez and Randy Jackson (and voters), I give points to big-voiced Rachel Zevita for her creative and commanding reinvention Wednesday of Fiona Apple's "Criminal."

As noted in "Ask Billboard" in previous weeks, I'm hoping to identify this year's eventual 2011 "Idol" champion early on.

(With eight of my original 41 choices still remaining, I have a better chance of picking the winner than my girlfriend, Michelle, who counts six remaining picks. She reminds me to remind you, however, that she chose only 25 contestants, so her 24% success rate is more impressive than my 20%).

Of the remaining lucky 13, we do share the same prediction for the eventual top three (in a rare and boring moment of agreement).

Here is my early forecast for how the voting for the top 13, a promising group, could play out:

13, Ashton Jones
12, Karen Rodriguez
11, Naima Adedapo
10, Stefano Langone
9, Jacob Lusk
8, Scott McCreery
7, Haley Reinhart
6, Thia Megia
5, Paul McDonald
4, Pia Toscano
3, James Durbin
2, Casey Abrams
And ... 1, Lauren Alaina


How do you foresee the final order of this season's "American Idol" contenders?

Follow Billboard.com's complete coverage of the 10th season of "American Idol" and, as always, please feel free to share your opinions in the comments section below or by e-mailing askbb@billboard.com.