Fred discusses Paris Bennett, Maroon 5, Barbra Streisand and more!

WE'LL ALWAYS HAVE BENNETT: As the sixth season of "American Idol" is about to come to an end, another contestant from season five makes a debut on the Billboard charts. Fifth place finalist Paris Bennett shows up at No. 1 on the Top Heatseekers chart with her first album, "Princess P" (306/TVT). Paris is the 27th "Idol" singer to appear on the Billboard charts, and by capturing pole position, she gives the franchise its 122nd No. 1, counting all national, domestic charts compiled by the Billboard Information Group.

Bennett's "Princess P" also debuts on The Billboard 200 (at No. 133) and Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums (at No. 47).

Bennett is not the first person in her family to read her name on the Billboard charts. Her grandmother, Ann Nesby, has charted on her own and as a member of Sounds Of Blackness. Neither Nesby nor her granddaughter will ever forget the last time Nesby had a CD debut on Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums. The chart was for the week ending May 6, 2006. Bennett was voted off "Idol" on May 3, 2006.

Bennett's chart debut means that the season five contestants have now tied the finalists from season three for having the highest number of chart-worthy singers. Seasons three and five have both produced seven contestants who have charted in Billboard. The top seven finalists from season three have all charted, and the top six from season five, plus the contestant who came in eighth.

Here is an update on the standings of charted "Idol" finalists, season by season:

Season one: (five)
Kelly Clarkson
Justin Guarini
Tamyra Gray
R.J. Helton
Jim Verraros

Season two: (four)
Ruben Studdard
Clay Aiken
Kimberley Locke
Josh Gracin

Season three: (seven)
Fantasia
Diana DeGarmo
Jasmine Trias
LaToya London
George Huff
John Stevens
Jennifer Hudson

Season four: (three)
Carrie Underwood
Bo Bice
Mario Vazquez

Season five: (seven)
Taylor Hicks
Katharine McPhee
Elliot Yamin
Chris Daughtry
Paris Bennett
Kellie Pickler
Bucky Covington

The number adds up to 26. One additional "Idol" contestant has charted, but he was not a finalist. His name is William Hung.


SEVEN LIVES: While Paris Bennett has her first chart entry on The Billboard 200, another female singer sees her 55th album debut on the tally. That's 55 albums in 44 years, one month and two weeks and the artist is Barbra Streisand, who first appeared on this list the week of April 13, 1963, with "The Barbra Streisand Album." Her "Live in Concert 2006" (Columbia) is new at No. 7. Coincidentally, this is Streisand's seventh live album to chart.

This latest CD is Streisand's 29th top 10 title. Her streak began with her very first album, which peaked at No. 8. She has had top 10 albums in every decade since -- which would add up to five consecutive decades.

Streisand ranks fourth among artists with the most top 10s on The Billboard 200. The top three: the Beatles, Frank Sinatra and the Rolling Stones.


STACKS OF 'VOLTA': She's charted more albums than Paris Bennett and fewer than Barbra Streisand. Iceland's Bjork makes chart news with the debut of "Volta" (Elektra), her ninth set to appear on The Billboard 200. By opening at No. 9, "Volta" becomes Bjork's first top 10 album. Her previous best was the No. 14 peak of her most recent release, "Medulla," in September 2004.

Bjork made her album chart debut with "Debut" the week of July 31, 1993. That gives her a new album chart span of 13 years, nine months and four weeks.


MERCURY IN ANTI-RETROGRADE: Mercury is moving in the right direction on Hot Country Songs. With Billy Currington's "Good Directions" replacing Sugarland's "Settlin'" at No. 1, it's the first time the label has had back-to-back chart-toppers in over 45 years.

The last time one single on the Mercury label succeeded another was the week of Oct. 16, 1961, when Leroy Van Dyke's "Walk on By" knocked George Jones' "Tender Years" out of the lead position.


SOME GAIN FOR PAIN: Just when it looked like Maroon 5 might break away from the pack and score the longest-running No. 1 of 2007 on The Billboard Hot 100, the group's "Makes Me Wonder" (A&M/Octone) retreats after a two-week reign. That means five songs are tied for the lead, with a mere two weeks each. The longest-running No. 1 hits of this calendar year are:

"This Is Why I'm Hot," Mims
"Glamorous," Fergie featuring Ludacris
"Don't Matter," Akon
"Give It To Me," Timbaland featuring Nelly Furtado & Justin Timberlake "Makes Me Wonder," Maroon 5

The new No. 1 song on the Hot 100 is "Buy U a Drank (Shawty Snappin')" (Konvict) by T-Pain featuring Yung Joc. "Buy U" is the ninth song to advance to No. 1 in 2007. In this millennium, it is the earliest in a year that the ninth No. 1 has arrived. Here are the ninth No. 1 hits of each year dating back to 2000, and ther date they moved into pole position:

"Everything You Want," Vertical Horizon (July 15, 2000)
"Bootylicious," Destiny's Child (Aug. 4, 2001)
"Baby Boy," Beyonce featuring Sean Paul (Oct. 4, 2003)
"Goodies," Ciara featuring Petey Pablo (Sept. 11, 2004)
"Ridin'," Chamillionaire f/Krayzie Bone (June 3, 2006)

In 2002 and 2005, there were fewer than nine new No. 1 songs.


OZZ FEST: After a hiatus of over 15 years, Ozzy Osbourne returns to the Hot 100 with "I Don't Wanna Stop" (Epic), a new entry at No. 85. Osbourne was last on the tally with "Mama, I'm Coming Home," which peaked at No. 28 the week of Feb. 15, 1992.
As a solo artist, Osbourne first appeared on the Hot 100 the week of March 22, 1986, with "Shot in the Dark," which topped out at No. 68. That means Osbourne's solo chart span on the Hot 100 stretches to 21 years, two months and one week.
The span is even longer when you count the two Black Sabbath singles that charted before Osbourne stepped out on his own. "Paranoid" kicked it all off when it debuted the week of Nov. 28, 1970. That gives Osbourne a career chart span on the Hot 100 of 36½ years.


THE JUDGE AND THE JUDGED: This column started with Paris Bennett and it ends with Paris Bennett. When the teenager was competing on "American Idol," week after week she had to face the show's three judges. Little did Bennett realize that the week her own album made its debut, one of those judges would also have an album debut on the same chart.

It's been 16 years since a set by Paula Abdul entered the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums survey. "Spellbound" debuted the week of June 1, 1991 and peaked at No. 31. New on the chart this week is "Greatest Hits – Straight Up!" (Virgin) at No. 86.

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboard

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