Weekly Chart Notes: P!nk, Bruno Mars, Band Perry
'GLASS' CEILING: As previously reported, "Raise Your Glass" is the toast of the Billboard Hot 100, rising 2-1 to become P!nk's third No. 1.
The artist born Alecia Moore last led with "So What" the week of Sept. 27, 2008. She first held sway for five frames beginning June 2, 2001, with "Lady Marmalade," with Christina Aguilera, Lil' Kim and Mya.
"Raise Your Glass" is the fifth title to appear atop the Hot 100 in five weeks, following Rihanna's "Only Girl (In the World)," Far*East Movement's "Like a G6," featuring Cataracs and Dev (which had previously reigned for two weeks), Rihanna's "What's My Name?," featuring Drake, and Ke$ha's "We R Who We R."
The quintet of Hot 100 leaders in as many weeks marks the chart's fastest turnover at No. 1 since eight songs led in eight weeks from Sept. 22 through Nov. 10, 1990:
"Release Me," Wilson Phillips
"(Can't Live Without Your) Love and Affection," Nelson
"Close to You," Maxi Priest
"Praying for Time," George Michael
"I Don't Have the Heart," James Ingram
"Black Cat," Janet Jackson
"Ice Ice Baby," Vanilla Ice
"Love Takes Time," Mariah Carey
P!nk co-wrote "Raise Your Glass" with the song's producers, Max Martin and Shellback. The track is Martin's ninth Hot 100 leader as a writer:
1999, "...Baby One More Time," Britney Spears (two weeks at No. 1)
2000, "It's Gonna Be Me," 'N Sync (two weeks)
2008, "I Kissed a Girl," Katy Perry (seven weeks)
2008, "So What," P!nk (one week)
2009, "My Life Would Suck Without You," Kelly Clarkson (two weeks)
2009, "3," Britney Spears (one week)
2010, "California Gurls," Katy Perry featuring Snoop Dogg (six weeks)
2010, "Teenage Dream," Katy Perry (two weeks)
2010, "Raise Your Glass," P!nk (one week, to-date)
Dating to the first week that "...Baby One More Time" spent at No. 1 Jan. 30, 1999, Martin trails only Beyonce (10) for most Hot 100 toppers among writers. Martin's frequent collaborator Lukasz "Dr. Luke" Gottwald follows with eight No. 1s in that span.
FIRST AND FOUR-MOST: As "Grenade" explodes 17-10, Bruno Mars is the first solo male to send his first four Hot 100 entries to the top 10 in more than 21 years.
Mars previously guested on B.o.B's "Nothin' On You" (No. 1, two weeks) and Travie McCoy's "Billionaire" (No. 4) before occupying the summit with his own "Just the Way You Are" (four weeks).
The last male soloist to begin with a quartet of top 10s in his first four Hot 100 visits? Rick Astley, who arrived in 1988-89 with the No. 1s "Never Gonna Give You Up" and "Together Forever" and followed with "It Would Take a Strong Strong Man" (No. 10) and "She Wants to Dance With Me" (No. 6).
Lionel Richie holds the record for most consecutive top 10s to begin a solo career, having strung together 13 between 1981 and 1987. Mariah Carey is the leader among solo artists not previously associated with a group (11 top 10s, 1990-94), while Richard Marx claims the honor among solo males (seven, 1987-89).
The "Glee" cast concurrently ups its count to 97 Hot 100 entries as it enters at No. 32 with two Bruno Mars covers: "Marry You" (No. 32) and "Just the Way You Are" (No. 40). Mars' original "Marry You" bows at No. 91.
(Train's like-themed "Marry Me" climbs 95-86, while two additional titles foreshadow a less than favorable response to such an offer. "Maybe" by Sick Puppies starts at No. 100, three notches below "Let Me Down Easy" by Billy Currington).
GHOSTS OF CHANTS: After winning his first CMA Entertainer of the Year Award Nov. 10, Brad Paisley mused, "Country music is unique. It is not afraid to deal head-on with subjects like disease, death, religion, drinking, family or anything else that qualifies as life.
"As its recording artists, we are there in song at the most impactful moments of our fans' lives.
The Band Perry offers the latest example of the depths of country music songwriting, as "If I Die Young" becomes the group's first No. 1 (3-1) on Country Songs.
"Lord, make me a rainbow, I'll shine down on my mother / She'll know I'm safe with You when she stands under my colors," sings the sibling trio's Kimberly Perry, the cut's writer.
Supporting Paisley's description of the genre, "If I Die Young" is the fifth song with "die," or a form of the word, in its title to reign:
2010, "If I Die Young," the Band Perry (one week, to-date)
2004, "Live Like You Were Dying," Tim McGraw (seven weeks)
1994, "Live Until I Die," Clay Walker (one week)
1971, "The Year That Clayton Delaney Died," Tom T. Hall (two weeks)
1955, "Live Fast, Love Hard, Die Young," Faron Young (one week)
Paisley expands upon his definition of country in "This Is Country Music," which ties for the biggest jump this year on Country Songs. The song replicates the 52-29 vault of Keith Urban's "I'm In" in May.
"You're not supposed to say the word 'cancer' in a song / And, tellin' folks Jesus is the answer can rub 'em wrong," Paisley sings. "It ain't hip to sing about tractors, trucks, little towns and mama. Yeah, that might be true / But this is country music. And we do."
FOXY LADIES: Cher and Christina Aguilera double up for debuts at No. 18 on the Billboard 200 and No. 2 on Soundtracks with "Burlesque."
Aguilera contributes eight songs to the set and Cher, two. The pair stars in the film that has grossed $19.2 million since its opening.
Cher concurrently makes her first appearance since 2003 on Dance/Club Play Songs, as the "Burlesque" cut "You Haven't Seen the Last of Me" opens as the Hot Shot Debut at No. 35. The Academy, Emmy and Grammy Award winning icon has celebrated six No. 1s on the survey, beginning with the coronation of "Believe" 12 years ago this week.
HOOVE WE GOT?: The holiday season regularly heralds the return of Dr. Elmo. This year, the comedic caroler adds a new format ranking to his Billboard chart discography.
The singer and banjo player's "Bluegrass Christmas" debuts at No. 13 on Bluegrass Albums. The Lexington, Ky., native had previously appeared solely on the Comedy Albums and Comedy Digital Songs charts.
The new set includes an instrumental of Dr. Elmo's 1979 chestnut "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer," which he refers to as a "little song written by (my) friend Randy Brooks that everyone but (me) agreed was one of the weirdest Christmas songs they had ever heard."
Along with his famed (and reckless) "Reindeer," Dr. Elmo likewise runs, maintaining a 25-mile weekly training regimen. In the past year, he finished first in his age division at Silicon Valley's prestige Compaq 10K and second in the San Francisco and Humbolt half marathons.
"For my entire career, I have been a bluegrass player but was known only as the guy who sang 'Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer'," Dr. Elmo (real name: Elmo Shropshire) tells Chart Beat. "Although the song has made me famous every December, I am most thrilled, and giddy, to make Billboard's Bluegrass Albums chart with a more serious musical endeavor.
"'Tis a lovely place to be."