Chart Beat

Fred discusses chart action on British solo female artists, Madonna, Danity Kane and more!

TOP OF THE WORLD: For the first time in almost 27 years, and only the third time in the entire rock era, a British solo female artist hits No. 1 on The Billboard Hot 100 with her first chart entry. Leona Lewis' "Bleeding Love" (Syco/J) leaps 8-1, making her the first woman from the United Kingdom to top the Hot 100 with a debut single since Sheena Easton traveled to No. 1 with "Morning Train (Nine to Five)" in 1981. The only other solo female artist from the United Kingdom to achieve pole position with her initial chart entry was Petula Clark, who ruled the Hot 100 in 1965 with "Downtown."

Counting all U.K. solo females who have spent time at No. 1 on the pop singles chart, Lewis is the first to visit the penthouse since Kim Wilde had a one-week stay in June 1987. Counting all U.K. acts that have reached the summit, Lewis is the first to do so since James Blunt occupied the top rung for one week in March 2006.

"Bleeding Love" was No. 1 for seven weeks in Lewis' home country, where she won Simon Cowell's TV talent competition "The X Factor" (which is why she is signed to Cowell's label, Syco). The single stands on its own in the United States, where it has captured first place without the benefit of the series (though Lewis and Cowell appearing on Oprah Winfrey's show was of some help).

While Lewis is experiencing her first No. 1 hit, so are songwriters Ryan Tedder and Jesse McCartney, who have both charted on the Hot 100 as artists. As a member of OneRepublic, Tedder peaked at No. 2 with "Apologize." McCartney's best showing as an artist was the No. 16 peak of "Beautiful Soul" in 2005.

"Bleeding Love" is the third song to advance to No. 1 in 2008 and the first by a female artist, following the 10-week reign of "Low" by Flo Rida featuring T-Pain and the three-week rule of "Love in This Club" by Usher featuring Young Jeezy. Lewis is the first female artist to have a No. 1 single since Alicia Keys led the list with "No One" for the last five weeks of 2007. It is likely that Lewis will be succeeded next week by another solo female artist.

Even though Mariah Carey's "Touch My Body" (Island) collects a backward bullet as it dips 14-15, the availability of a digital download should send the song hurtling to No. 1 next week. That will give Carey her 18th No. 1 and push her past Elvis Presley's 17 chart-toppers to land in second place among artists with the most No. 1s in the rock era.


THIS ONE'S '4' YOU: We are seven months away from the 25th anniversary of Madonna's debut on the Hot 100. Her chart life began the week of Oct. 29, 1983, with "Holiday." This week, she scores the 53rd entry of her career with "4 Minutes" (Warner Bros.), only her second single to share billing with another artist.

Madonna's first shared credit was "Me Against the Music," the 2003 single that was billed as Britney Spears featuring Madonna. "4 Minutes" is credited to Madonna featuring Justin Timberlake.

"4 Minutes" enters at No. 68 and is Madonna's first chart entry in two years. She was last on the Hot 100 with "Sorry," a single that peaked at No. 58 in March 2006.

If "4 Minutes" becomes Madonna's 13th No. 1 on the Hot 100, the song will be only the second chart-topper in the chart's history to start with the digit "4." The first was "4 Seasons of Loneliness" by Boyz II Men in 1997. The most recent Hot 100 title to start with the digit "4" was Gwen Stefani's "4 in the Morning," which peaked at No. 54 in August 2007. A different song called "4 Minutes" was a No. 52 hit for Avant in May 2006.


'WELCOME' BACK: The "Making the Band" band Danity Kane returns to The Billboard 200 with its second album. And just as the self-titled "Danity Kane" entered and peaked at No. 1 in September 2006, "Welcome to the Dollhouse" (Bad Boy) does the same this week.

One difference this time: that debut set only went to No. 2 on Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums, while "Dollhouse" is instantly at the head of the class to give the group its first No. 1 on this tally.

"Dollhouse" is being fueled by the single "Damaged," which rockets 64-27 on the Hot 100. It is already the second best performing Danity Kane single of the outfit's four chart entries, bested only by debut single "Show Stopper," No. 8 in 2006.


'A' IS FOR ABDUL AND ADULT CONTEMPORARY: All three "American Idol" judges are represented on the Billboard charts this week. As reported above, Simon Cowell's label, Syco, has the No. 1 song on the Hot 100 with Leona Lewis' "Bleeding Love." Simon's pals Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson are on a number of charts, including Adult Contemporary, where "Dance Like There's No Tomorrow" (Dream Merchant 21) opens at No. 29.

"Dance" is Abdul's first AC entry in 12 years and five months, since "My Love Is for Real" peaked at No. 40 in June 1995. The collaboration with Jackson is Abdul's ninth AC chart entry over a period of 19 years.
Here's how Abdul's nine AC songs rank in order of chart peak:

No. 1 (five weeks): "Rush, Rush" (1991)
No. 5: "Blowing Kisses in the Wind" (1991)
No. 11: "Forever Your Girl" (1989)
No. 17: "Will You Marry Me?" (1992)
No. 26: "The Promise of a New Day" (1991)
No. 29 (to date): "Dance Like There's No Tomorrow" (2008) [Paula Abdul & Randy Jackson]
No. 39: "Straight Up" (1989)
No. 40: "My Love Is for Real" (1995)
No. 45: "Opposites Attract" (1990) [Paula Abdul with the Wild Pair]

"Dance" is Jackson's first AC chart appearance as an artist.


THE THREE BROWNS: With so many collaborations on the chart, it's no longer unusual for an artist to have three songs in the top 10 of the Hot 100. Still, Chris Brown is the first person to pull off this achievement in 2008. He's down 2-4 with "With You;" holding steady at No. 6 with "No Air," his duet with Jordin Sparks and he's up 19-10 with "Shawty Get Loose," the Lil Mama single that features Brown.
This is the first time one artist had had three top 10 hits at once since T-Pain accomplished the hat trick in December 2007.


APOLOGETIC: Ryan Tedder gets to bookend Chart Beat this week. While his composition "Bleeding Love" goes to No. 1 on the Hot 100 for Leona Lewis, his own "Apologize" by Timbaland featuring One Republic slides 9-11, falling out of the top 10 after a 25-week run.

That's the longest any song has been in the top 10 since 1999, when "Smooth" by Santana featuring Rob Thomas spent 30 weeks in the upper elite section of the survey. That long run helped "Smooth" become the No, 1 song of the rock era according to my book, "Billboard's Hottest Hot 100 Hits." That bodes well for "Apologize" showing up high on the list of the Top 5,000 Songs of the Rock Era in the next edition.