'DREAM' JOB: As previously reported, Katy Perry celebrates her first Billboard 200 No. 1, as "Teenage Dream" debuts at the chart's summit. (Perry's label, Capitol Records, sweetened the deal, literally, for consumers, by offering a cotton-candy-scented CD version of the album as an ode to the video of lead single "California Gurls").
"Teenage Dream" is just the second album by a solo female to rise to the top of the Billboard 200 this year, following Ke$ha's one-week command with "Animal." By comparison, seven men and seven groups (including the "Glee" cast, which has totaled three No. 1s), as well as the "Hope for Haiti Now" various artists compilation, have advanced to No. 1 since January.
Ke$ha and Perry's sum marks the fewest No. 1 albums by solo women at this point in a calendar year since 2000, when only one such set - Britney Spears' "Oops...I Did It Again!" - had reached the apex through the second chart week of September. Madonna would become the only other female artist to lead the list the rest of the year when "Music" arrived at No. 1 Oct. 7, 2000.
As of this week, 2010 is tied with 2000 for fewest Billboard 200 leaders among women since 1996, when just one title by a female soloist - Celine Dion's "Falling Into You" - inked a No. 1 ranking. 1996 had represented the lowest total of No. 1s among women since male artists and groups monopolized the chart's pinnacle throughout 1982-84.
Billboard 200 chart manager Keith Caulfield points out that at least one more female artist is almost certain to rule the ranking this year. Taylor Swift releases her third studio set, "Speak Now," Oct. 25.
USHER'S UP: As Usher debuts at No. 4 on the Billboard 200 with his new EP "Versus," the hip-hop superstar makes the third-largest jump of the year on the Hot 100, as "Hot Tottie," featuring Jay-Z, rockets 88-25.
This year, the song's 63-position vault trails only the "Glee" cast's 80-spot surge (100-20) with "Poker Face" in June and Kenny Chesney's 78-rung ascent (96-18) with "The Boys of Fall" three weeks ago.
KING OF BLUEGRASS: Since its inception in 2002, Billboard's Top Bluegrass Albums chart has hosted tributes to several acts beyond the genre's scope, including AC/DC, Coldplay, Metallica, the Moody Blues and Van Halen.
This week, the survey takes an R&B bent, as Honeywagon starts at No. 15 with its celebration of Michael Jackson, "Songs From Neverland." The band dramatically reinvents such Jackson favorites as "Beat It," "Thriller" and ...
Although "Songs From Neverland" marks Honeywagon's Billboard chart debut, it's the quartet's fourth album, all of which have been tribute sets. The band previously released odes to the Rolling Stones, Blink-182 and Green Day.
JUSTIN TIME: Mark Douglas turns Comedy Digital Songs into a medical chart, as "Bieber Fever" debuts at No. 24. The cut provides valuable information about the epidemic that has afflicted the song's subject's young followers.
"It starts with screaming, and 'OMG'-ing," the track explains, "followed by weeping and lots of tweeting."
The song also offers this helpful Q&A between a "reporter" and a "scientist": "Can adults contract Bieber fever?" "Yes! But, it's mostly single moms and substitute teachers."
CHART BEAT BITS: Comedienne/actress - and newly-named "Dancing With the Stars" contestant - Margaret Cho lands her second Billboard chart hit, as "Cho Dependent" debuts at No. 3 on Comedy Albums. Cho previously reached the list with "Assassin" (No. 13) in 2005. Guests on the new set, which contains solely comedic songs, not spoken bits, include Fiona Apple, Ani DiFranco and Tommy Chong ...
Chrissie Hynde had previously recorded albums credited only to the Pretenders until her latest set, "Fidelity!," a collaboration with Welsh singer-songwriter J.P. Jones. The collection, billed as by JP, Chrissie & the Fairground Boys, starts at No. 2 on Heatseekers Albums and No. 167 on the Billboard 200. The Pretenders have placed 12 titles on the latter tally since 1980 ...
Two of Billboard's religious radio airplay charts sport first-time leaders. With its eighth Christian Songs entry dating to its arrival in 2005, Sanctus Real claims its first No. 1, as "Lead Me" advances 3-1. On Gospel Songs, Lisa Page Brooks' "I Want to Say Thank You," featuring Royal Priesthood, climbs 2-1. The coronation halts Marvin Sapp's 25-week reign with "The Best in Me" ...
Chris Brown earns his first No. 1 in almost four years on R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, as "Deuces" rises 2-1. The song is Brown's third topper on the survey, following his debut single "Run It!" (two weeks, beginning Nov. 19, 2005) and "Say Goodbye" (six weeks, starting Oct. 14, 2006) ...
Perhaps the chart that Brown commands should be renamed R&B/Hip-Hop $ong$. Billboard associate chart production manager Alex Vitoulis points out two titles that rank back-to-back on the list. Bun-B's "Trillionaire," featuring T-Pain, pushes 86-77. Though it's a smaller fortune, Travie McCoy's "Billionaire," featuring Bruno Mars, boasts a ranking one notch higher, as the pop crossover hit jumps 84-76. A third related song could soon place alongside the tracks. With assistance from Diddy and Fabolous, Red Cafe cashes in for a second frame at No. 99 with "Money Money Money."