"One of the Boys," Katy Perry
The seven-week Hot 100 topper "I Kissed a Girl" in summer 2008 was not the album's first single. Capitol Records initially offered the similarly provocative "Ur So Gay," airplay for which the label would've considered a bonus.
"The campaign really started in November 2007 with the release of the video for 'Ur So Gay'," the label's Bob Semanovich told Billboard last year. "We were going for something that was playful and fun, a way to introduce her and get people talking."
When "I Kissed a Girl" followed as the first track promoted to radio, Perry launched a run of three Hot 100 top 10s. No solo female on Capitol had scored a trio of top 10s from an album since Tina Turner in 1985. "One of the Boys" has shifted 1,219,000 units to date.
"'I Kissed a Girl' almost didn't make it on (the album)," Perry told Billboard. "There was some concern at the top, but I just let them sit with the song and they came around. They liked it so much, it became the (first official) single."
"I'm Not Dead," Pink
Pink's fourth album entered the Billboard 200 at No. 6 in April 2006 with more than respectable sales of 126,000, and first single "Stupid Girls" peaked at No. 13 on the Hot 100. When second single "Who Knew" failed to chart, however, it looked as though the album would have trouble matching the success of 2002's "M!ssundaztood," which produced three Hot 100 top 10s.
The fortunes of the aptly titled "I'm Not Dead" album turned with the release of third single "U + Ur Hand," which topped Pop Songs for four weeks. Re-released, "Who Knew" then commanded the chart for three frames. In May 2007, the collection returned to the Billboard 200's top 40 for the first time in exactly a year. It has sold 1,488,000 copies since its release.
As "U + Ur Hand" rose 36-29 on the Hot 100 in March 2007, Jive Records' Tom Carrabba correctly forecasted the album's resurgence. "This single is the vehicle that will reignite the U.S. marketplace," he told Billboard. "We think we have a No. 1 record on our hands."
"Oral Fixation, Vol. 2" Shakira
Shakira's second English-language album faced lofty expectations. 2001's "Laundry Service" reached No. 3 on the Billboard 200 and included the Hot 100 top 10s "Whenever, Wherever" and "Underneath Your Clothes."
In June 2005, "Fijacion Oral: Vol. 1" debuted and peaked at No. 4 on the Billboard 200 and first single "La Tortura" spent a record 25 weeks atop Latin Songs.
When the latter set's bookend edition debuted at No. 5 on the Billboard 200 with sales of 128,000, its start appeared strong. By its fourth week on the chart, however, the album dipped below the top 40, and first single "Don't Bother" fell just shy of the Hot 100's top 40 (No. 42).
The album soared to new heights when "Hips Don't Lie," featuring Wyclef Jean, was added to its track list. In April 2006, the new single sent the set flying 172-98-6 in a three-week span, as weekly sales ignited from 8,000 to 81,000. The song topped the Hot 100 for two weeks in June 2006. To-date sales for "Oral Fixation, Vol. 2" stand at 1,690,000.
(On the eve of April 15, as Americans square away their finances, Shakira is putting her money to the worthiest of causes: the building of a school in earthquake-ravaged Haiti through her Pies Descalzos (Barefoot) Foundation. "We need to think about the future of this country and of how Haiti's children can be useful to their societies tomorrow," she explained. "Education is one of the fundamental tools with which to develop and rebuild Haiti").