Fred discusses Kelly Clarkson, "Hannah Montana 2 (Soundtrack)/Meet Miley Cyrus," Freeway and Jay-Z and more!

'DECEMBER' IN JULY: Kelly Clarkson's third album goes where no Kelly Clarkson album has gone before. "My December" (RCA) debuts on The Billboard 200 at No. 2. Clarkson's first album, "Thankful," peaked at No. 1 the week of May 3, 2003. The follow-up, "Breakaway," debuted and peaked at No. 3 the week of Dec. 18, 2004. That No. 3 peak may be a surprise to some, given that the album spawned five hit singles and had a lengthy visit on the chart. But despite its six-times-platinum status, "Breakaway" never climbed higher than third place.

While Clarkson missed the top spot on the album tally, thanks to the debut of "Hannah Montana 2 (Soundtrack)/Meet Miley Cyrus" (Walt Disney/Hollywood), the first "American Idol" does manage a No. 1 debut on Top Digital Albums. That hikes the number of No. 1s for the "Idol" franchise to 129, counting all national, domestic charts compiled by the Billboard Information Group.

That number also jumps up to 130 this week, as Clarkson's "Breakaway" CD rises to No. 1 on Top Pop Catalog Albums for the first time. "Breakaway" first appeared on the catalog chart the week of Dec. 30, 2006. Until this week, the disc's highest position was No. 3, achieved the week of June 9.


STATE OF MONTANA: The above-mentioned "Hannah Montana 2" CD is a hybrid: half-soundtrack, half-Miley Cyrus. The 14-year-old actress stars in the Disney Channel TV series "Hannah Montana" as a teen who has a secret identity as recording superstar Hannah Montana.

It's a bit tricky of how to credit Cyrus' accomplishment, as the first "Hannah Montana" album was considered a soundtrack as opposed to a Miley Cyrus album. Nevertheless, the 14-year-old is the youngest solo female singer to ever have a No. 1 album on the Billboard chart.

Miley and her dad, Billy Ray Cyrus, are the second father-daughter combination to both have No. 1 albums on the Billboard album survey. Billy Ray's "Some Gave All" was on top of the chart 15 years ago this week, in the middle of a 17-week reign.

The other father and daughter pairing to both have No. 1 albums was Nat King Cole and Natalie Cole. Nat was No. 1 for eight weeks in 1957 with "Love Is the Thing" and Natalie spent five weeks in pole position in 1991 with "Unforgettable With Love," a tribute to her father's songs, which included a duet with him on the title song, "Unforgettable."

Other fathers and daughters have made separate appearances on the Billboard album chart, but both parent and child did not both have No. 1 records. Those pairs include Frank Sinatra and Nancy Sinatra, Pat Boone and Debby Boone, Ravi Shankar and Norah Jones, Johnny Cash and Roseanne Cash and Elvis Presley and Lisa Marie Presley.


MORE FROM MONTANA: The new Miley Cyrus album is also making an impact on The Billboard Hot 100. Five songs from the CD appear on the chart; four are debuts. Of those four, three are credited to the fictional Hannah Montana and one to the real-life Miley Cyrus.

The highest new entry from the "Hannah Montana 2" soundtrack is "Life's What You Make It," at No. 25. This song is credited to Montana, as is the rising "Nobody's Perfect," which moves 33-27 to join "Life's" in the top 30.


BUT ONLY ONE 'ICKY THUMP': In the almost 49-year history of the Hot 100, there has never been a chart song titled "Like This." Now there are two of them, and against all odds, they hold adjacent positions. "Like This" (Capitol) by Mims advances 56-49, while "Like This" (Music World/Columbia) by Kelly Rowland featuring Eve glides 51-50.

Close to the "Like Thises" are two songs sharing the title "Because of You." Ne-Yo's "Because of You" (Def Jam) drops 37-44, while Reba McEntire and Kelly Clarkson's remake of Clarkson's "Because of You" (MCA) debuts at No. 52. It is McEntire's highest-ranking song on the Hot 100 since "Somebody" locked in at No. 35 in August 2004.

It's not quite the same, but Shop Boyz' "Party Like a Rockstar" (OnDeck/Universal Republic) stands at No. 2, while Nickelback's "Rockstar" (Roadrunner/Atlantic) marches 47-34.


FERRY 'CROSS THE CHART: Bryan Ferry makes his 11th solo voyage onto The Billboard 200 with "Dylanesque" (Virgin), a new entry at No. 117. It is his highest-charting set in almost 13 years.

The album of all Bob Dylan covers is Ferry's first title to appear on the chart since "Frantic" reached No. 189 in June 2002. Prior to that album, "As Time Goes By" stalled at No. 195 in November 1999. And before that, "Mamouna" sailed to No. 94 in October 1994.

Ferry's first solo effort to reach The Billboard 200 was "Let's Stick Together," No. 160 in 1976. Just counting his solo work, his album chart span is 30 years and nine months. Adding in his work with Roxy Music, his album chart span is stretched to 33 years, 11 months and two weeks, dating back to the debut of "For Your Pleasure" the week of July 28, 1973.


LOWE AND BEHOLD: Bryan Ferry is not the only British gentleman who debuted in America in the '70s to return to a Billboard chart this week. Debuting at No. 26 on Top Independent Albums is "At My Age" (Yep Roc) by Nick Lowe of "Cruel to Be Kind" fame. The former member of Brinsley Schwartz first appeared on the Billboard album chart the week of April 29, 1978, giving him a career chart span of 29 years, two months and two weeks.


STATE OF HAWAII: Two Hawaiian natives have debuts on the Top World Albums chart. The late Israel "Iz" Kamakawiwo'ole debuts at No. 1 with "Wonderful World" (Big Boy), a CD marking the 10th anniversary of his death. This is Kamakawiwo'ole's second No. 1 on this chart; "Alone in Iz World" started a 13-week run at the top in October 2001.

Honolulu-born Tia Carrere, an actress known for her role in "Wayne's World" (and for singing on that soundtrack), has a new entry at No. 13 with "Hawaiiana" (Daniel Ho Creations).


THE MINUTE THEY ENTERED THE CHART: You can see Freeway and Jay-Z are men of distinction from their new entry at No. 70 on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs. "Hey Big Spender" (Roc-A-Fella) interpolates the song of the same name from the Broadway musical "Sweet Charity," written by Cy Coleman and Dorothy Fields.

Jay-Z has dipped into the Broadway songbook before. In November 1998, he went to No. 10 with "Hard Knock life (Ghetto Anthem)," incorporating a song from the musical "Annie."

The most recent Broadway song to appear on the R&B chart before "Hey Big Spender" was "Rich Girl" by Gwen Stefani featuring Eve. Based on "If I Were a Rich Man" from "Fiddler on the Roof," the song peaked at No. 78 in February 2005.

"Hey Big Spender" is the eighth chart entry for Freeway since he made his debut in December 2001 and the 78th for Jay-Z since his debut in March 1996.


PARKED AT ONE: Linkin Park still occupies the penthouse of the Modern Rock Tracks chart. "What I've Done" (Warner Bros.) rules for a 13th week, surpassing the 12-week run of "Numb" to become the group's longest-running chart-topper on the Modern tally.


'CHEATS' PROSPERS: Carrie Underwood has outlasted her competition to have the longest-running title among all of the songs that have peaked in 2007. "Before He Cheats" dips 13-16 in its 44th chart week. That breaks a tie that existed last week, as the Red Jump Suit Apparatus had a 43-week run with "Face Down," which peaked at No. 24 in April.

In third place is John Mayer's "Waiting on the World to Change," which remained on the Hot 100 for 40 weeks, peaking at No. 14 in March.

Underwood will have to remain on the Hot 100 for another 19 weeks to own the record for the longest-running song of the 21st century. The current champ is "You and Me" by Lifehouse with a 62-week stay. That single peaked at No. 5 in August 2005.