Ask Billboard: Lady Gaga, Black Eyed Peas, Hanson

Lady Gaga, "Bad Romance" video

<p>Billboard readers check in on Lady Gaga's multi-chart dominance, the Black Eyed Peas' international success and Hanson's newest album.</p>

Ask Billboard is updated every Friday. Submit your burning music questions to Gary Trust at Please include your first and last name, as well as your city, state and country, if outside the U.S.


Dear Gary,

Why is Lady Gaga's "Alejandro" not on Billboard's Dance/Electronic Digital Songs chart? It should be No. 1.

The song tops the Hot Dance Singles Sales chart and is on Dance/Club Play Songs and Hot Dance Airplay, so it definitely fits the format. Is this just an oversight?


Brian Cole
Tampa Bay, Florida

Hi Brian,

While the paparazzi covers the "Paparazzi" singer's emotional strikeout yesterday at New York's Citi Field, we'll focus on her music.

(Maybe she was just showing off her impersonation of a catcher putting down a sign for the pitcher?)

"Alejandro" ranks on all of Billboard's dance charts except for one due to different rules applying to each survey.

Dance/Club Play Songs ranks titles compiled from reports from a nationwide panel of club DJs, who chronicle the tracks that elicit the most audience response. Thus, any current song reacting on dance floors is eligible for this chart, where, this week, "Alejandro" jumps 7-5.

Hot Dance Airplay shows the most-played songs among a panel of dance-formatted U.S. radio stations, according to Nielsen BDS. Again, any current song receiving enough airplay can reach the 25-position tally, on which "Alejandro" bounds 5-2 this week.

Why, then, does the song appear on one sales chart but not another?

Hot Dance Singles Sales ranks the top-selling dance tracks available in physical configurations. With remixes having been released for "Alejandro," the song dips to No. 2 after two weeks on top.

Songs are flagged for Dance/Electronic Digital Songs, however, based on which version is selling the most, according to Nielsen SoundScan. The album version of "Alejandro" is more popular than its remixes, and, since Billboard dance charts manager Gordon Murray has judged that the original recording is a "mid-tempo pop song that lacks the elements of electronic production that are staples of most of Lady Gaga's songs," the title is charting only on SoundScan's Pop Digital Songs chart.

A song that has charted along similar lines would be Lady Antebellum's "Need You Now." Though remixes have enabled the song to reach No. 9 on Hot Dance Airplay, its majority of sales have belonged to the ballad album version, and so, among digital genre charts, the song has appeared only on Country Digital Songs, not its dance counterpart.


Hi Gary,

I've read Billboard columns like Chart Beat and the Between the Bullets commentary boxes in the magazine since around 1993 almost every week. I meant to write earlier, but I still think this item makes for great trivia.

The Black Eyed Peas' "The E.N.D." is the first album in more than 23 years to yield three No. 1 singles in the U.K. and on the Billboard Hot 100 in the U.S.

"Boom Boom Pow" and "I Gotta Feeling" topped the U.K. and U.S. charts, while "Meet Me Halfway" reigned in the U.K. and "Imma Be" in the U.S.

Madonna last accomplished this feat in 1986-87 with her album "True Blue": "Papa Don't Preach" led the U.S. and U.K. charts, "Live to Tell" and "Open Your Heart" ruled in the U.S., and "True Blue" and "La Isla Bonita" were U.K.-only No. 1s.

I just wanted to spotlight an achievement by the Black Eyed Peas that should not go overlooked.

Thank you,

Elmo Aybar
Puno, Peru

Hi Elmo,

Thanks for pointing out yet another monumental accomplishment by the quartet. As reported yesterday in Chart Beat, the Black Eyed Peas are the first duo or group to collect five top 10s on the Hot 100 from one album in more than 20 years.

Fans of international charts will love this link that Billboard's London-based Hits of the World chart manager Paul Pomfret e-mailed me. The site lists all the No. 1 songs on the Official UK Charts Co. survey from 1960 through 2010.

On the same site, you can also spend countless (and fun) hours perusing each weekly chart over the past 50 years.


Hey Gary!

has received a bit of mainstream attention for their latest single "Thinking 'Bout Somethin'," whose video features an appearance by "Weird Al" Yankovic, but it hasn't yet translated into substantial radio airplay. I also find it odd how huge the act was in its heyday and what relatively little attention its music seems to receive now.

Can you please run down the sales figures for Hanson's albums since the group released its debut set "Middle of Nowhere" in 1997?


Jay Lewis
Los Angeles, California

Hi Jay,

The members of Hanson have certainly grown up since topping the Hot 100 for three weeks in 1997 with "MmmBop" before all three brothers were even in their teens.

Isaac Hanson is now 29, Taylor is 27 and Zach is 24.

The general public may remember Hanson mostly from its bubblegum debut hit and not as much for a solid history of releases since. Find out more on the band's latest activity in Gary Graff's recent exclusive profile of the trio.

Hanson's eighth studio album, "Shout It Out," was released Tuesday (June 8). Billboard estimates that the set could debut in the Billboard 200's top 40.

"We wanted to make an upbeat record," says Isaac Hanson of the new set. "This is probably the most upbeat record we've done, period. I think we're saying that you can have a heart and compassion for others and do good things in your life, and at the same time dance in the street."

Here is a look at the sales of Hanson's eight charted albums to date on the Billboard 200, according to Nielsen SoundScan:

Sales, Album Title, Year of Release, Billboard 200 Peak
4,012,000, "Middle of Nowhere," 1997, No. 2
1,076,000, "Snowed In," 1997, No. 7
629,000, "3 Car Garage: the Indie Recordings '95-'96, 1998, No. 6
359,000, "Live From Albertane," 1998, No. 32
279,000, "This Time Around," 2000, No. 19
140,000, "Underneath," 2004, No. 25
53,000, "The Walk," 2007, No. 56
32,000, "The Best of Hanson: Live and Electric," 2005, No. 182

Hanson has sold 6,639,000 albums in its career, according to SoundScan.