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.
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,
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."