Fred discusses chart action from T.I., James Taylor, Kellie Pickler and more!
T.I., T.I., OH!: In a very newsy chart week, one newsmaker stands out above the rest: T.I. rewrites chart history, not only replacing himself at No. 1 on The Billboard Hot 100 but replacing himself as the artist with the biggest jump to No. 1 during the 50-year life of this survey.
"Live Your Life" (Def Jam/Grand Hustle), credited to T.I. featuring Rihanna, takes an unheard of 80-1 rocket ride to the penthouse. That breaks the record set just six weeks ago when T.I.'s "Whatever You Like" soared 71-1. While T.I. owns the two biggest leaps to No. 1, Rihanna has four of the top nine biggest jumps to pole position:
80-1: "Live Your Life," T.I. featuring Rihanna (Oct. 18, 2008)
71-1: "Whatever You Like," T.I. (Sept. 6, 2008)
64-1: "Makes Me Wonder," Maroon 5 (Sept. 12, 2007)
53-1: "Take a Bow," Rihanna (May 24, 2008)
52-1: "A Moment Like This," Kelly Clarkson (Oct. 5, 2002)
51-1: "Love in This Club," Usher featuring Young Jeezy (March 15, 2008)
42-1: "Give It to Me," Timbaland featuring Justin Timberlake and Nelly Furtado (April 21, 2007)
41-1: "Umbrella," Rihanna featuring Jay-Z (June 9, 2007)
34-1: "SOS," Rihanna (May 13, 2006)
32-1: "This Is Why I'm Hot," Mims (March 10, 2007)
31-1: "SexyBack," Justin Timberlake (Sept. 9, 2006)
"Live Your Life" is the fifth No. 1 for Rihanna, moving her up on the list of the solo female artists with the most No. 1s on the Hot 100:
Mariah Carey (18)
Whitney Houston (11)
Janet Jackson (10)
Diana Ross (6)
Paula Abdul (6)
Barbra Streisand (5)
Olivia Newton-John (5)
T.I. is the ninth artist in the rock era to succeed himself at No. 1, following Elvis Presley, the Beatles, Boyz II Men, P. Diddy (as Puff Daddy), Ja Rule, Nelly, OutKast and most recently Usher, whose "Confessions Part II" knocked out "Burn" in July 2004.
And finally, T.I. is the first artist to hold down the top two spots since Akon's "I Wanna Love You" and "Smack That" finished win and place on Dec. 2, 2006.
'GROWING' UP: James Taylor returns to the Adult Contemporary chart with the second Motown remake of his career to appear on this tally. His take on the Temptations' "It's Growing" (Hear) is a new entry at No. 29.
The last time Taylor charted AC with a Motown remake was in the summer of 1975 when "How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved by You)" topped the list. "How Sweet It Is" was originally a hit for Marvin Gaye in 1965, though the original never came near the AC chart. Gaye didn't appear on this list until 1967, when his duet with Tammi Terrell on "Your Precious Love" peaked at No. 37.
Similarly, "It's Growing" has never registered with AC radio until Taylor recorded the song. The Temptations had been charting on the Hot 100 for seven years when they finally broke through to the AC format in 1971 with "Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me)," which only went to No. 33 despite its No. 1 status on the Hot 100. The Temptations didn't chart AC again until 1984, when "Sail Away" floated to No. 17.
Although "It's Growing" is only the second Motown remake by Taylor to show up at AC, he has charted with a number of cover versions.
Here is a summary of those remakes, excluding holiday songs, with the original artist noted in brackets:
"You've Got a Friend," No. 1 (1971) [Carole King]
"Mockingbird," No. 10 [Carly Simon & James Taylor] (1974) [Inez Foxx]
"How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved by You)," No. 1 (1975) [Marvin Gaye] "Woman's Gotta Have It," No. 20 (1977) [Bobby Womack]
"Handy Man," No. 1 (1977) [Jimmy Jones]
"(What a) Wonderful World," No. 1 [Art Garfunkel with James Taylor & Paul Simon] (1978) [Sam Cooke]
"Devoted to You," No. 2 [Carly Simon & James Taylor] (1978) [Everly Brothers]
"Up on the Roof," No. 7 (1979) [The Drifters]
"Everyday," No. 3 (1985) [Buddy Holly]
"Everybody Loves to Cha Cha Cha," No. 19 (1992) [Sam Cooke]
"It's Growing," No. 29 (to date) (2008) [The Temptations]
After not charting with a Motown remake for 33 years, Taylor could have another classic from the Detroit vault on the chart soon. "It's Growing" is the first track on his new "Covers" album and track two is a remake of Jr. Walker & the All Stars' "(I'm a) Road Runner."
Only two of Taylor's albums have charted higher than "Covers," which opens at No. 4. His first entry, "Sweet Baby James," went to No. 3 in 1970 and the follow-up, "Mud Slide Slim and the Blue Horizon," peaked at No. 2 in 1971. "Covers" is the fourth Taylor album to peak at No. 4, following "One Man Dog" in 1973, "JT" in 1977 and "October Road" in 2002.
With "Covers," Taylor's album chart span expands to 38 years and seven months.
DÉJÀ VU FOR THE SMALL TOWN GIRL: Exactly one year and 11 months ago this week, Kellie Pickler's debut album, "Small Town Girl," debuted at No. 1 on Top Country Albums and No. 9 on The Billboard 200. The follow-up, an eponymous set, rings some familiar bells, debuting on Top Country Albums at No. 1 and The Billboard 200 at No. 9.
Pickler is the sixth artist in the Nielsen SoundScan era to debut at No. 1 with her first two studio albums. All six are female; Kellie's predecessors are Wynonna Judd (with her first two solo sets away from the Judds), LeAnn Rimes, Gretchen Wilson, Miranda Lambert and Carrie Underwood.
By entering the country chart at No. 1, Pickler's second album is the 205th chart-topper for the "American Idol" franchise.
HUDSON DRIVES IT HOME: Fifth season, sixth-place finalist Kellie Pickler isn't the only "American Idol" singer to finish out of the top five and have a big debut this week. Third season, seventh-place Jennifer Hudson bows at No. 2 on both The Billboard 200 and Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums with her self-titled debut.
Hudson is the eighth "Idol" competitor to have a top two album on The Billboard 200, but the first to finish out of the top five on the series. No one else from her season has charted higher on The Billboard 200, including first place Fantasia and second place Diana DeGarmo.
Here is a recap of the 11 albums recorded by "Idol" finalists to reach No. 1 or No. 2:
"Thankful," Kelly Clarkson (May 3, 2003)
"Measure of a Man," Clay Aiken (Nov. 1, 2003)
"Soulful," Ruben Studdard (Dec. 27, 2003)
"Daughtry," Daughtry (Feb. 3, 2007)
"Carnival Ride," Carrie Underwood (Nov. 10, 2007)
"Some Hearts," Carrie Underwood (Dec. 3, 2005)
"A Thousand Different Ways," Clay Aiken (Oct. 7, 2006)
"Taylor Hicks," Taylor Hicks (Dec. 30, 2006)
"Katharine McPhee," Katharine McPhee (Feb. 17, 2007)
"My December," Kelly Clarkson (July 14, 2007)
"Jennifer Hudson," Jennifer Hudson (Oct. 18, 2008)
FOREVER 'YOURS': In its 28th week on the Adult Top 40 chart, "I'm Yours" (Atlantic) by Jason Mraz hits No. 1. It's the first time Mraz has topped this chart and it is the longest any song has taken to reach No. 1 on this list.
"I'm Yours" surpasses the 27 weeks it took Daniel Powter's "Bad Day" to land at No. 1.
"I'm Yours" is the sixth song by Mraz to appear on the Adult Top 40 survey. Until this hit, his highest-ranked single was his first chart entry, "The Remedy (I Won't Worry)," which peaked at No. 4 five years ago this month.
THEY PUT THE FOUR IN 40: There are four new entries in the top 40 portion of the Hot 100. That's the highest number of debuts from four different albums since the chart dated June 8, 1996. Toni Braxton debuted at No. 7 that week with "You're Makin' Me High" / "Let It Flow" and Metallica opened at No. 10 with "Until It Sleeps." Coincidentally, the two highest new entries this week are Christina Aguilera's "Keeps Gettin' Better" (RCA) at No. 7 and Nickelback's "Gotta Be Somebody" (Roadrunner) at No. 10.
The other two debuts in 1996 were "Why I Love You So Much" / "Ain't Nobody" by Monica at No. 16 and "They Don't Care About Us" by Michael Jackson at No. 30. This week's other two debuts are "Light On" (19/RCA) by David Cook at No. 17 and "Human" (Island) by the Killers at No. 32.
"Keeps Gettin' Better" is the highest debut of Aguilera's career on the Hot 100. Her only other single to debut inside the top 40 was "Ain't No Other Man," which started at No. 19 the week of June 24, 2006. "Better" is Aguilera's eighth top 10 hit.
"Gotta Be Somebody" is the sixth top 10 hit for Nickelback and the first to debut inside the top 40. The group's previous highest debut was the No. 50 entry of "If Everyone Cared" the week of Feb. 3, 2007.
"Light On" is Cook's third title to debut inside the top 20; the earlier two debuted higher. "The Time of My Life" opened at No. 3 on June 7, the same date "Dream Big" bowed at No. 17.
"Human" is the third Killers song to begin life in the top 40. "When You Were Young" was birthed at No. 29 in August 2006 and "Mr. Brightside" beamed on at No. 40 in February 2005.
TINA'S TURN: A new greatest hits collection featuring two new tracks brings Tina Turner back to The Billboard 200 for the first time in three years. "Tina!" (Capitol) is new at No. 61. It's the legendary diva's first appearance on this tally since another greatest hits collection, "All the Best," peaked at No. 2 the week of Feb. 19, 2005.
"Tina!" is the 11th solo album by Turner to chart over the last 33 years and one month. The run started with "Acid Queen" in 1975.
Counting her work as half of Ike & Tina Turner, her album chart span is 43 years, eight months and two weeks, harking back to the February 1965 debut of "Live! The Ike & Tina Turner Show."
Ike & Tina made their Hot 100 debut the week of Aug. 29, 1960, with "A Fool in Love," giving Tina a career chart span of 48 years, one month and three weeks.
'MAESTRO,' PLEASE: Harlem-born blues singer Taj Mahal has been charting on The Billboard 200 since 1969. The Top Blues Album tally hasn't been around that long, but Taj Mahal has managed to accumulate 10 chart albums since 1996.
The latest, "Maestro" (Heads Up), is the highest-ranked set to date for the veteran artist. "Maestro" bows at No. 2, besting the No. 3 debut and peak of Taj Mahal's first album to appear on this genre chart, "Phantom Blues."