Ask Billboard: Jelena Is Back Together … In the Hot 100's Top 10
Selena Gomez and Justin Bieber have reunited (well, sort of). Plus, Rozes blooms with "Roses."
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@gthot20 Biebz & Gomez both have 2 songs in the Top 10, when was the last time/has this happened where exes did this? It's interesting/neat.— Sai (@theonenonlysai) February 1, 2016
If only through the magic of chart placement, Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez have reunited … each with a pair of songs in the Billboard Hot 100's top 10. On the latest chart (dated Feb. 13), Bieber ranks at Nos. 1 and 2 with "Love Yourself," his new leader, and "Sorry," respectively, while Gomez zooms 21-7 with "Hands to Myself" and dips 7-8 with "Same Old Love."
(Feel free to play Elle King's "Ex's & Oh's" in the background as you read this "Ask Billboard.")
Never mind two exes in the Hot 100's top 10 with a pair of songs each; how rare is it to happen with at least a single song for each at the same time? First, Bieber and Gomez have done that for 15 weeks prior to the latest chart with hits from their respective Purpose and Revival albums; in their 16th shared week together in the top 10 this week, they each double up.
But, have any other former couples previously shared space in the top 10 with separate hits? Looking at more than 57 years of Hot 100 history, the answer is … yes, more than once.
First, Rihanna and Drake have long been rumored, though not confirmed, to be a couple, and debuted together this past week at No. 9 with "Work." They've each previously charted in the top 10 together with their own hits multiple times since 2009. (Rihanna has also ranked in the top 10 at the same time as ex Chris Brown.)
After consulting Billboard.com's handy Taylor Swift Boyfriend Timeline, has she charted top 10s hits alongside One Direction's Harry Styles? Yes, last year for two separate weeks, Swift and Styles placed in the top 10 simultaneously, first with "Bad Blood" and 1D's "Drag Me Down," then with "Wildest Dreams" and "Perfect," respectively.
(Speaking of 1D, we'll find out tomorrow where Zayn debuts on the Hot 100 – perhaps at No. 1? – with "Pillowtalk," his first single apart from the group.)
Still, let's go much further back, 34 years, to one of the rock era's most famous former couples.
On the Dec. 26, 1981 Hot 100, Stevie Nicks ranked at No. 8 with "Leather and Lace," which had reached the top 10 the week before. On the Dec. 26, chart, Lindsey Buckingham rose to No. 10 with "Trouble," joining her in the bracket. The latter would spend three total weeks at No. 10 before climbing to its No. 9 peak for two weeks, all while "Leather and Lace" remained in the top 10, lifting to its No. 6 peak in the former's final week in the region.
So, for five weeks in 1981-82, Nicks and Buckingham each placed in the Hot 100's top 10 simultaneously with their own songs. (Like Bieber and Gomez this week, they avoided back-to-back chart contact throughout that stretch.) Making things potentially more awkward, Nicks had moved on to another … as her hit is a duet, of course, with Don Henley (whom she did date).
"Relations with Lindsey are exactly as they have been since we broke up," according to Nicks, who dated Buckingham in the '70s, helping lead to Fleetwood Mac's iconic breakup-inspired album, 1977's Rumours, as they remained bandmates (after first teaming as duo Buckingham Nicks). "He and I will always be antagonizing to each other, and we will always do things that will irritate each other, and we really know how to push each other's buttons.
"We know exactly what to say when we really want to throw a dagger in. And, I think that that's not different now than it was when we were 20. And, I don't think it will be different when we're 80."
(Beyond continuing in Fleetwood Mac to this day, Nicks and Buckingham teamed 20 years ago this year for "Twisted," a single worth revisiting from the movie Twister.)
As for Bieber and Gomez reuniting ... not just in the Hot 100's top 10? Gomez recently said, bluntly: "What I would love to be printed is that I am so beyond done with talking about that, and him."
Bieber is more nostalgic, and hopeful. "We have a lot of history together, so it could possibly happen. I think we're both just on our own journeys, figuring ourselves out. Once we've figured ourselves out, we could maybe come together and make an awesome duo."
ROZES IS COMING UP 'ROSES'
As first posed on Monday's (Feb. 1) Periscope of the Hot 100's top 10, which Emily White and I host, exclusively revealing the chart's top 10 each Monday (and, end of shameless plug), how rare is another Hot 100 occurrence this week: With Rozes at No. 6 as featured on the Chainsmokers' "Roses," what other acts have charted with songs that double as their names?
Put to you on Twitter, here are some good examples:
@gthot20 Re: Roses question Monday, Human League's 1986 multiformat smash "Human" hit #1 Hot 100 & Dance, #3 Hot R&B/Hip-Hop & AC.— Brian C. Cole (@BrianCCole) February 4, 2016
@gthot20 Self titled songs by Living In A Box, Bad Company, & Big Country all did well but missed the T 10, LIAB may be T 20.— Brian C. Cole (@BrianCCole) February 4, 2016
UPDATED (Feb. 7, 11:45 p.m. ET), thanks to reader Ray Thomas of Frankfort, Ky.: Just like Human League's "Human," another Hot 100 No. 1 where the title and artist have common ground (among other words): "Crank That (Soulja Boy)" by Soulja Boy Tell'em, which ruled for seven weeks in 2007. Ten other instances of a song title and artist sharing words in Hot 100 hits, including another No. 1:
"Old Alabama," Brad Paisley feat. Alabama (No. 38, 2011)
"The Beach Boys Medley," the Beach Boys (No. 12, 1981)
"The Beatles' Movie Medley," the Beatles (No. 12, 1982)
"Here Comes the Hammer," M.C. Hammer (No. 54, 1991)
"Ice Ice Baby," Vanilla Ice (No. 1, one week, 1990)
"Are You Jimmy Ray?," Jimmy Ray (No. 13, 1998) (While this song is now largely a lost '90s hit, the London native was managed by Simon Fuller, also manager of the Spice Girls, and producer of … American Idol.)
"B**** I'm Madonna," Madonna (feat. Nicki Minaj) (No. 84, 2015)
"My Name Is Prince," Prince and the New Power Generation (No. 36, 1992)
"Killer Queen," Queen (No. 12, 1975)
"Who Are You," the Who (No. 14, 1976)
Other related thoughts:
Technically, given their spellings, "Roses" and Rozes aren't a perfect match of title and artist for a Hot 100 top 10; and, after a scan of the more than 4,600 top 10s in the chart's history, such a fit would appear to be a first. The Chainsmokers' lead billing also prevents all-"Roses"/Rozes exclusivity. Still, one song and artist came oh-so-close to being identical top 10 twins: celebrity charity act and single "Voices That Care" hit No. 11 in 1991.
Like Living in a Box (No. 17, 1987) and Voices That Care, New Kids on the Block could've joined as a dual hit title and artist: "New Kids on the Block" is the title track to their debut 1986 album. (We can call these rare types of songs "artist title tracks," i.e., a step further than a song that's an album's title track. Another? The 1975's "The 1975," the first track on I Like It When You Sleep, for You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware of It, the forthcoming album from last night's musical guests on NBC's Saturday Night Live.)
(Oh, um, again: speaking of forever-young boy band New Kids on the Block, we'll find out tomorrow where Zayn debuts on the Hot 100 … maybe on top? … with "Pillowtalk," his first single after departing One Direction.)
Fergie could be considered the closest chart relative of Rozes regarding their top 10 feats: her "Fergalicious" reached No. 2 in 2007.
Some acts have scored hits directly related to their names, like the Cars with "Drive" (No. 3, 1984) and Hot Butter, whose "Popcorn" as-salt-ed the top 10 in 1972, reaching No. 9.
If only they'd come right out and said it: Jim Croce's "I Got a Name" (No. 10, 1973) and Snoop Dogg's "What's My Name?" (No. 8, 1994) were just a little too passive-aggressive to match titles and artists.
Similarly, Miley Cyrus could've gone by simply Miley on her No. 10 2008 hit "See You Again," which she also could've called "Miley," per its famous self-referencing lyric, "She's just being Miley …"
We could still see examples of artists and titles aligning perfectly for a top 10 hit. We'd just need acts like these (some of whom are groups that would need to reunite) to cover songs like these:
Artist that would need to cover … Title (by actual artist)
ABC, "ABC" (Jackson 5)
America, "America" (Neil Diamond)
Boston, "Boston" (Augustana)
Breathe, "Breathe" (Faith Hill, Michelle Branch)
Cream, "Cream" (Prince and the N.P.G.)
Jet, "Jet" (Paul McCartney and Wings)
Kiss, "Kiss" (Prince and the Revolution)
Loverboy, "Loverboy" (Mariah Carey feat. Cameo)
Survivor, "Survivor" (Destiny's Child)
And … Tim McGraw, "Tim McGraw" (Taylor Swift)
Oh, and back to the differences between Rozes and Roses. Why quibble over spelling when you can use a photo and emojis instead? Differences solved!