Ask Billboard: Olympics, Monica, Smokey Robinson
Monica Tony Duran

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

RINGS TONES

Hi Gary,

I enjoyed your list this week of Olympics-related titles to reach Billboard charts.

Here are two more songs to add to the list:

A song originally from 1971, then re-worked two years later as the theme for the daytime soap, "The Young and the Restless," "Nadia's Theme" by Barry De Vorzon and Perry Botkin, Jr. was issued after the 1976 Summer Olympics and the success of gymnast Nadia Comaneci. The song then reached No. 8 on the Billboard Hot 100 in December 1976.

Four years later, as the memorable 1980 Winter Olympics took place in Lake Placid, New York, Chuck Mangione rose to No. 18 on the Hot 100, No. 1 on Adult Contemporary and No. 32 R&B/Hip-Hop Songs with the 1980 Winter Olympics theme song (originally from 1979), "Give It All You Got."

Just two great Olympic instrumentals, both released on A&M Records, to add to your already great list.

(And, with Canada serving as this year's host country, a spin might be in order for Bob and Doug McKenzie's 1982 comedy album "Great White North." Beauty, eh?)

Ron Raymond, Jr.
Music Director, WMPG-FM
Portland, Maine

Hi Ron,

Thanks as always for sharing your extensive music knowledge.

Like so many, I've been glued to Olympics coverage this week. I'm sure if I ever stood at the gate at Whistler, faced with embarking on a run at speeds of 70 miles per hour on slopes that approximate icy cement, I'd be terrified. But it sure is fun to watch from a couch in a cozy living room. The athletes' talents are astounding, and it's always heartwarming to see them achieve dreams for which they've worked so hard.

Since Tuesday's posting of Chart Beat, which highlighted Olympics-themed chart entries dating to 1984, when the first such album entered the Billboard 200, new Olympics-related music has impacted Billboard surveys.

After performing the song at the opening ceremonies last Friday (Feb. 12), k.d. lang debuts on Digital Songs at No. 75 with her version of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah."

In Canada, lang wasn't the only artist to benefit from a performance at the opening gala in Vancouver. Wrote Nielsen BDS Canada director Paul Tuch in this week's Billboard Canadian Update (a weekly newsletter for which readers can sign up for free at billboard.biz):

"Montreal teen Nikki Yanofsky, who performed 'O Canada' during the festivities, rockets 44-1 on the Billboard Canadian Hot 100 with 'I Believe,' the official theme of broadcaster CTV's Olympics coverage. The ballad is the first song by a Canadian artist to lead the Canadian Hot 100 since Avril Lavigne's 'Girlfriend' in March/April 2007.

"'I Believe' wins the Greatest Gainer/Digital medal with 31,000 downloads sold (up 1,089%), the third-best weekly sum since Nielsen SoundScan began tracking sales of digital tracks in February 2005; only Ke$ha's 'TiK ToK' (36,000, Jan. 9, 2010) and Flo Rida's 'Right Round' (34,000, Feb. 28, 2009) have registered more impressive frames (on Canada's Digital Songs chart).

"Following k.d. lang's heavily-praised performance of 'Hallelujah,' at the opening ceremonies, the track arrives as the Hot Shot Debut on the Canadian Hot 100 at No. 4. The song launches on Canada's Digital Songs at No. 2.

"(And), 'Vancouver 2010: Opening Ceremonies Commemorative Album' debuts on Canada's Top Albums chart at No. 21, an impressive feat considering the set was available only during the last two days of the chart's tracking week and in a limited physical release."

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