Weekly Chart Notes: Lil Wayne, Lady Antebellum, John Mellencamp
'ABOVE' AND BEYOND: With his highest career debut as a lead artist, Lil Wayne becomes one of just 10 acts in the Billboard Hot 100's history to make at least 60 visits to the survey.
"Right Above It" soars in as the Hot 100's Hot Shot Debut at No. 6. As a lead artist, Lil Wayne's previous highest launch was a No. 13 start for "Got Money" in June 2008. The rapper has inked one debut higher as a featured act: Jay-Z and T.I.'s "Swagga Like Us," also featuring Kanye West, charged in at No. 5 in September 2008.
With his latest entrance, Lil Wayne joins the exclusive club of acts with 60 or more Hot 100 hits. The artist directly above him, Jay-Z, maintains a one-title lead, as he guests on Usher's "Hot Tottie," which rises 100-88 in its second week on the list.
Here is an updated look at the artists with the most Hot 100 entries, dating to the chart's Aug. 4, 1958 launch:
108, Elvis Presley
91, James Brown
74, Ray Charles
73, Aretha Franklin
71, the Beatles
67, Elton John
64, "Glee" Cast
63, Stevie Wonder
60, Lil Wayne
Of his 60 Hot 100 appearances, Lil Wayne has shown as a lead act on 25 titles and as a featured artist on 35. The latter sum marks the most guest appearances by any act in the Hot 100's history.
PRODUCTIVE 'SESSION': Lady Antebellum's "iTunes Session" EP bounds onto the Billboard 200 at No. 17. The seven-song acoustic set instantly becomes the highest-ranked iTunes-branded album to place on the chart.
The collection bests the No. 66 peak of Counting Crows' "iTunes Live From SoHo" in 2008. Two other such titles have reached the Billboard 200's top half: Colbie Caillat's "iTunes Session" (No. 72) and My Morning Jacket's "iTunes Live from Las Vegas: Exclusively at the Palms" EP (No. 94).
Boasting the band's three Country Songs No. 1s - "I Run to You," "Need You Now" and "American Honey" - Lady Antebellum's new set also sports a cover of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers' No. 28 1991 Hot 100 hit "Learning to Fly." The reinterpretation debuts atop the Hot 100's Bubbling Under chart and on Country Digital Songs at No. 8.
Starting at No. 3 on Country Albums, Lady Antebellum's EP joins the trio's "Need You Now" (No. 2) and its self-titled debut release (No. 10) in the chart's top 10. The act is the first to place three titles in the top 10 concurrently since LeAnn Rimes the week of Sept. 27, 1997.
The only other artist to chart three efforts concurrently in the top 10 of Country Albums since its conversion to Nielsen SoundScan data in 1991 is Garth Brooks, who achieved the feat in an impressive 74 weeks between 1991 and 1993.
COOL CAT: Cat Stevens' Starbucks-exclusive "Opus Collection: A Journey" starts at No. 38 on the Billboard 200, granting the singer/songwriter his best rank on the chart (billed as Cat Stevens or Yusuf) since "Back to Earth" reached No. 33 in 1979.
Stevens notched seven top 10s on the Billboard 200 between 1971 and 1977. He spent four weeks at No. 1 with "Catch Bull at Four" in 1972. Four of his singles reached the Hot 100's top 10: "Peace Train" (No. 7, 1971), "Morning Has Broken" (No. 6, 1972), "Oh Very Young" (No. 10, 1974) and "Another Saturday Night" (No. 6, 1974).
Stevens' new hits collection also arrives on Folk Albums at No. 3 and Digital Albums at No. 8.
COUGAR TOWN: John Mellencamp earns his 10th top 10 on the Billboard 200, as "No Better Than This" begins at No. 10. The set opens one week shy of the 28th anniversary of his first top 10 and sole No. 1, "American Fool," reaching the chart's summit.
Here is a recap of Mellencamp's 10 top 10 sets. After plating his first seven top 10s from 1982 through 1996 (one credited to John Cougar and four to John Cougar Mellencamp), the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer has added three such sets since 2007:
Billboard 200 Peak, Title, Debut Week
No. 1 (9 weeks), "American Fool," May 8, 1982
No. 9, "Uh-Huh," Nov. 5, 1983
No. 2, "Scarecrow," Sept. 14, 1985
No. 6, "The Lonesome Jubilee," Sept. 19, 1987
No. 7, "Big Daddy," May 27, 1989
No. 7, "Human Wheels," Sept. 25, 1993
No. 9, "Mr. Happy Go Lucky," Sept. 28, 1996
No. 5, "Freedom's Road," Feb. 10, 2007
No. 7, "Life Death Love and Freedom," Aug. 2, 2008
No. 10, "No Better Than This," Sept. 4, 2010
In addition to playing Farm Aid 25 Oct. 2 at Milwaukee's Miller Park, as part of a lineup including Kenny Chesney, Dave Matthews, Willie Nelson and Neil Young, Mellencamp is offering his high-profile assistance to World Homeless Day Oct. 10.
RE-'HEAT'-ED: "And, now you find yourself in '82," sings Asia on the group's memorable 1982 No. 4 Hot 100 hit "Heat of the Moment." The song's lyrics prove timeless 28 years later, as Steven Lee and Gaby Dershin debut at No. 47 on Dance/Club Play Songs with "Heat aka Heat of the Moment," featuring Asia.
The rock band makes its first appearance on a Billboard songs chart since 1990, when "Days Like These" rose to No. 2 on Mainstream Rock and No. 64 on the Hot 100.
The reincarnation of "Heat of the Moment" as a dance track isn't its first revival in recent years. A certain Cheesy Poof-loving animated TV character inspiringly sang the song in 2005 and it appears in act two, as a medley with Joan Jett's "I Hate Myself for Loving You," of the hit musical "Rock of Ages."