'MONSTER' SMASH: "I'm so happy I could die."
Such is Lady Gaga's exuberance upon learning that, with a 2-1 lift for "Bad Romance" on Billboard's Pop Songs radio airplay chart, she becomes the first artist in the survey's 17-year history to send her first five singles to No. 1.
Just as impressively, a year ago this week, Lady Gaga had yet to lead the list. She first reigned 51 weeks ago, on the chart dated Jan. 24, 2009, when "Just Dance" began a two-week stay at the summit.
The next three singles from her debut album, "The Fame," also ruled: "Poker Face" (five weeks, beginning April 25), "LoveGame" (two weeks, beginning July 25) and "Paparazzi" (two weeks, beginning Nov. 14). "Bad Romance" is the lead single from "The Fame Monster," which also includes the chart's No. 27 song, "Telephone," featuring Beyonce.
In less than a year's time, Lady Gaga has launched into a tie for second-most No. 1s in the Pop Songs chart's history. Since the chart bowed in October 1992, Mariah Carey (who similarly arrived with five consecutive No. 1s on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1990-91) leads with six No. 1s. Beyonce, Avril Lavigne, Pink, Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake and now Lady Gaga follow with five chart champions.
Lady Gaga tells Billboard exclusively, "Just six months ago, 'Bad Romance' was nothing but a dream, a recurring melody, a lyric hidden on a napkin on my tour bus.
"Now, it's my fifth No. 1 record, and a reminder to fans to always follow their dreams. I would like to thank all my beautiful little monsters and my incredibly supportive team for the most memorable year of my life.
"To have had such a phenomenal reception to my second album, 'The Fame Monster,' is life-changing."
COUNTING 1-2-3: With her 23rd No. 1 on Country Songs, Reba McEntire celebrates a first. "Consider Me Gone" logs its third week at the summit, granting McEntire her longest reign atop the chart.
The song bests the two-week commands of four of McEntire's previous leaders: "For My Broken Heart" (1991), "Is There Life Out There" (1992), "The Heart Won't Lie," with Vince Gill (1993) and "If You See Him/If You See Her," with Brooks & Dunn (1998).
"Consider Me Gone" marks the longest stay atop Country Songs by a solo female in three years. Taylor Swift led for six weeks with "Our Song" in December-January 2007.
Fans will have an opportunity to hear as many as 67 Country Songs No. 1s in concert starting later this month. McEntire and George Strait (44 No. 1s) begin touring together Jan. 22 in Baltimore, Md.
SWEET SIXTEEN: Muse maintains its lock atop Alternative Songs, as "Uprising" racks a 16th week at No. 1.
Since the chart's inception in the Billboard issue dated Sept. 10, 1988, just five songs have spent at least 16 frames in charge:
18 weeks, "The Pretender," Foo Fighters (2007)
16 weeks, "Uprising," Muse (2009-10)
16 weeks, "Boulevard of Broken Dreams," Green Day (2004-05)
16 weeks, "It's Been Awhile," Staind (2001)
16 weeks, "Scar Tissue," Red Hot Chili Peppers (1999)
Muse's follow-up track, "Resistance," concurrently rises 35-31 on Alternative Songs.
COMPLETE BEAT: As they are every Thursday, all our charts will be refreshed tomorrow on billboard.com. Check tomorrow's posting of Chart Beat for more analysis of Billboard's latest sales and airplay tallies.