Chart Beat

Fred discusses Paula Adbul, Yael Naim, Flo Rida and more!

'DANCE' WITH THE STARS: She might be forever our girl, but it's been awhile since Paula Abdul has appeared on a Billboard singles chart. Granted, that's because she hasn't recorded any new material in a long while.

It's been exactly 12 years and one week since Paula has been listed on a singles chart. "Ain't Never Gonna Give You Up" peaked at No. 12 on the Bubbling Under the Hot 100 tally and had a three-week run which ended on the chart dated Feb. 10, 1996.

Ever since Paula made her debut on the TV series "American Idol" in 2002, her fans have been waiting for her return to the singles charts. This week, her new release, "Dance Like There's No Tomorrow" (Dream Merchant 21), shows up at No. 76 on the Pop 100 and is No. 5 on the Bubbling Under the Hot 100 list. The single is credited to Paula Abdul & Randy Jackson and marks Randy's first time on a Billboard chart as an artist.

Counting all Billboard charts, Abdul's absence has been much shorter. Her "Greatest Hits: Straight Up!" CD spent a week on Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums in May 2007.

"Dance" isn't on the Hot 100 yet, but if it debuts, it will be Abdul's first song on this chart since "Crazy Cool" went to No. 58 in the autumn of 1995.


WHAT'S 'NEW': Debuting in the top 10 of The Billboard Hot 100 is still rare enough that only 18 songs have done so this century. The first title to make an entrance in this upper tier in 2008 is "New Soul" (Tot ou Tard) by an artist born in France and raised in Israel, Yael Naim.

Who, you might ask? While you might have not heard of her when the year began, Naim's sudden fame is due to her song being heard in the TV commercial for the latest Apple laptop, the ultra-thin MacBook Air.

So just as "1234" by Feist benefited from being used in an iPod Nano advert, "New Soul" blasts onto the chart at No. 9. It is the highest new entry since the week of Aug. 4, 2007, when "What Time Is It" by the High School Musical 2 Cast opened at No. 6 and "Sorry, Blame It on Me" by Akon bowed at No. 7.

There were seven top 10 debuts in 2007, though by this time last year, only one song had achieved such status. Fall Out Boy's "This Ain't a Scene, It's an Arms Race" debuted at No. 2 the week of Feb. 3.


LOWER AND LOWEST: "Low" (Poe Boy/Atlantic) by Flo Rida featuring T-Pain sets a new record for longevity at No. 1 on Hot Digital Songs. The track leads the list for the 10th week, surpassing the old record of nine weeks, held jointly by Gwen Stefani's "Hollaback Girl" and Kanye West's "Gold Digger."

On the Hot 100, "Low" is No. 1 for the seventh consecutive week. It is the only song to top this chart in 2008, so by default it is also the longest-running No. 1 of the calendar year. More noteworthy, "Low" has already matched the two longest-running chart-toppers of 2007. "Umbrella" by Rihanna featuring Jay-Z and "Crank That (Soulja Boy)" by Soulja Boy Tell'em both had seven-week reigns.

If "Low" is still No. 1 next week, it will be the longest-running chart-topper since "Irreplaceable" by Beyonce held sway for 10 weeks from December 2006-February 2007. "Irreplaceable" spent its final week at No. 1 on the Hot 100 dated one year ago this week.

"Low" faces a strong challenge from Chris Brown's "With You" (Jive) at No. 2 and Rihanna's "Don't Stop the Music" at No. 3. Both artists have had two No. 1s on the Hot 100 to date.


A GIRL CALLED SHELBY: I've already declared Shelby Lynne's "Just a Little Lovin': Inspired by Dusty Springfield" (Lost Highway) a candidate for my top 10 albums of 2008 list, so I'm happy to report the CD is her highest-debuting and highest-charting album to date on The Billboard 200. The Dusty Springfield tribute enters at No. 41.


Three previous albums by Lynne have charted, and none reached the top half of the chart. They are, in chronological order:


I Am Shelby Lynne," No. 165 (2001)
"Love, Shelby," No. 109 (2001)
"Identity Crisis," No. 160 (2003)


'GIRL,' YOU KNOW IT'S THROUGH: Carrie Underwood collects her sixth top 10 hit on Hot Country Songs with "All-American Girl" (Arista), which takes a 12-8 hike in its 10th chart week.

Underwood's five previous top 10 hits and the number of weeks it took them to reach the top 10 are:

"Jesus, Take the Wheel," No. 1 (2006) seven weeks
"Before He Cheats," No. 1 (2006) 31 weeks
"Don't Forget to Remember Me," No. 2 (2006) 16 weeks
"Wasted," No. 1 (2007) 13 weeks
"So Small," No. 1 (2007) eight weeks

The first four titles are from Underwood's debut album. "Some Hearts" and "So Small" and "All-American Girl" are from the follow-up, "Carnival Ride."

"All-American Girl" is one of four new entries in the top 10, along with Alan Jackson's "Small Town Southern Man" (Arista), up 11-7; Chuck Wicks' "Stealing Cinderella" (RCA), up 13-9 and Craig Morgan's "International Harvester" (Broken Bow), up 15-10.

That is the highest number of songs breaking into the top 10 on this chart since the week of Nov. 21, 1998, when there were six new songs in the top 10.