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'NICE' CHICKS FINISH FIRST

Following the Dixie Chicks' big wins at the Grammys, "Not Ready to Make Nice" rocketed to No. 1 on iTunes. Could this surge in paid digital downloads result in a re-entry on The Billboard Hot 100?

Thanks,
Mike Tadlock


Dear Mike,

There definitely was a surge in sales of digital downloads for the Dixie Chicks' "Not Ready to Make Nice" following their multiple wins at the Grammys. The surge occurred so late in the sales week that the effect was barely felt on this week's charts, where the song re-entered Hot Digital Songs at No. 43. The full impact should be felt next week, so I would look for a huge jump on the digital songs chart dated March 3.

As for the Hot 100, it may be a surprise to some that "Not Ready to Make Nice" IS eligible for re-entry. The song is a current hit on the Adult Top 40 chart and the label has informed our chart department that it will be actively re-working the track in light of its Grammy triumphs. That's enough to qualify for re-entry status.

Actually, it's not quite enough. There is one more thing that has to fall into place. Hot 100 chart manager Silvio Pietroluongo informs me that since the song was moved to recurrent status in the last six months, it can only return to the chart once it ranks above the cut-off point for recurrent hits, which is No. 50.

Given the sales figures the song has racked up this week, that's a hurdle easily passed, so look for "Not Ready to Make Nice" to show up somewhere in the top 50 of the Hot 100 next week. We'll be waiting to see if "Nice" will debut higher than its peak position during its first chart run. The single reached No. 23 in May 2006.



'BREAKFAST' IS SERVED, AGAIN

Dear Fred,

I may or may not be the first to point this out, but it's the first time in 27 years that Supertramp songwriters Rick Davies and Roger Hodgson have cruised into the top 10 [on the Hot 100]. Gym Class Heroes' "Cupid's Chokehold" (which samples the title track from Supertramp's No. 1 album "Breakfast in America") moves up to No. 7. Thanks for the great news and observations today!

Jason Voigt


Dear Jason,

You are the first to write about the Gym Class Heroes' sampling of Supertramp. For those who haven't recognized the "take a look at my girlfriend" refrain in "Cupid's Chokehold," it does come from the song "Breakfast in America," as Jason notes.

Of the 10 Supertramp singles to chart on the Hot 100, only two found their way to the top 10. "The Logical Song" peaked at No. 6 and "Take the Long Way Home" landed at No. 10, both in 1979. So it has been 27 years, as you say, since Rick Davies and Roger Hodgson have had a songwriting credit in the top 10 of the Hot 100.



THE LONG AND WINDING HITS

By simply holding onto the No. 1 spot on the Hot 100 this week, Beyonce has given a two-year lease on life to a recent chart streak. Since the era of longer-reigning No. 1s began with Boyz II Men's 13-week run with "End of the Road" in 1992, followed closely by Whitney Houston's 14-week run with "I Always Love You," every calendar year since has at least shared part of a double-digit No. 1 run. That streak looked to be all but dead in 2006 as mid-December arrived without a double digit No. 1 hit.

But then Beyonce took control with the ironically-titled "Irreplaceable," and with her run reaching its 10th week, both 2006 and 2007 can now be added to the streak and this watch can be put to bed until 2008.

"Irreplaceable" becomes the 20th single to tally at least 10 weeks at No. 1 since this era began in 1992. Those songs have spent a total of 237 weeks at the top, accounting for just under 30 percent of the chart weeks during this period of time.

Mark Jones
Germantown, Maryland


Dear Mark,

It did look like Justin Timberlake's "SexyBack" was going to be the longest-running No. 1 of 2006 with its seven-week reign, but then along came Beyonce with her "Irreplaceable," the first song to remain No. 1 for 10 weeks or more since Kanye West and Jamie Foxx's "Golddigger" stayed on top for 10 weeks in 2005.

I won't argue with your phrasing of "every calendar year since has at least shared part of a double-digit No. 1 run," because that's true. But just to be clear, I count songs as belonging to the year in which they peaked, so "Irreplaceable" is a No. 1 hit from 2006, even if part of its run spilled into 2007.

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboard

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