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THE STREAK

Hi Gary,

"Alejandro" is Lady Gaga's seventh consecutive top 10 on the Hot 100.

Is that a record run for a new artist? The only act I could think of who may have arrived with a better streak is the Jackson 5, whose first six singles all peaked at No. 1 or 2. I also considered the Carpenters, forgetting that their first single, "Ticket to Ride," peaked at No. 54!

All the other usual suspects - Elvis Presley, the Beatles, the Supremes, Elton John, Madonna, et. Al - seem to be disqualified for one reason or another, and, yet, I'm sure I must be forgetting someone obvious, which begs the question:

What is the record for most consecutive Hot 100 top 10s to begin a career?

Thank you!

Tim Howard
Alpine, Texas

Hi Tim,

Your e-mail gives me a chance to do my Jerry Seinfeld impression, since the iconic comedian has been ruing the singer's recent salute in his luxury box at Citi Field:

"What's the deal with Lady Gaga? Why is that her name? Last time I checked, she wasn't acting so lady-like!"

(Crickets ...)

As for your question ...

Lady Gaga's first seven officially-promoted radio singles, from "Just Dance" through "Alejandro," have all the reached the Hot 100's top 10. We need to make that distinction since her chart history includes three other tracks that did not reach even the chart's top half.

"Chillin' " by Wale featuring Lady Gaga became her fifth Hot 100 entry, spending a week at No. 99 on the chart dated Sept. 12, 2009. On the Dec. 12, 2009, chart, two songs debuted that would peak at Nos. 65 and 94, respectively: "Video Phone," credited to Beyonce featuring Lady Gaga, and her own "Speechless."

Thus, while her career launch has certainly been impressive, in terms of Hot 100 archives, Lady Gaga sent her first four chart entries into the top 10.

Here are the acts that have started with the longest streaks of Hot 100 top 10s beginning with their first chart entries:

13, Lionel Richie (1981-87)
12, George Michael (1985-90)
11, Mariah Carey (1990-94)
9, New Kids on the Block (1988-90)
7, Air Supply (1980-82)
7, Taylor Dayne (1988-90)
7, Expose (1987-90)
7, Gary Lewis and the Playboys (1965-66)
7, the Lovin' Spoonful (1965-67)
7, Richard Marx (1987-89)
7, Monica (1995-99)
7, Ricky Nelson (1958-59)

Carey came close to logging an even lengthier top 10 streak, as, after her 12th Hot 100 charted title, "Anytime You Need a Friend," peaked at No. 12, she rebounded with top 10s in her next six visits. In all, 17 of her first 18 and 20 of her first 22 Hot 100 entries scaled the top 10.

Also notably, Madonna narrowly misses holding the record, as she fell short of the top 10 when her first Hot 100 single, "Holiday," peaked at No. 16 in 1984. Her next 17 Hot 100 hits, however, all reached the top 10. Overall, 25 of her first 27 chart appearances resulted in top 10 peaks.

No artist has entered the top 10 with at least seven consecutive out-of-the-box Hot 100 charted titles since Monica in 1999.

In an era where album cuts can reach the chart due to even a week's-worth of robust digital sales, it could be difficult for another artist to accomplish such a streak anytime soon.

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboard

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