Fred and his readers discuss Beyonce, the bullet system and more.

THE FANTASTIC FOUR

Happy New Year, Fred!

With "Irreplaceable" remaining No. 1 for five weeks, Beyonce joins Boyz II Men as the only two acts to have their first four No. 1s stay on top for four weeks or more (not including Beyonce's success with Destiny's Child).

Here is a list of the only other Hot 100 artists to have four or more No. 1s with that much staying power: Elvis Presley, the Beatles, Mariah Carey and Usher. (Michael Jackson would be in this category if we combined his solo career with his Jackson 5 years.)

Wishing you well,

Pablo Nelson
Berkeley, CA
pablonde88@hotmail.com


Dear Pablo,

Beyonce is certainly having an impressive run of No. 1 hits on the Hot 100. "Irreplaceable" is irresistible enough to hang on to the top spot for a few more weeks. We'll have to wait and see if it surpasses the eight-week run of "Crazy in Love" or the nine-week reign of "Baby Boy." No single has remained No. 1 longer than seven weeks since Kanye West and Jamie Foxx ruled for 10 weeks with "Gold Digger" in 2005.

For another perspective on "Irreplaceable," and the shortest reply in the 10-year history of Chart Beat Chat, see the next e-mail.



HUMOR US

Hey Fred,

If Beyonce continues to rule the roost on the Hot 100, we'll have to add "Irreplaceable" to the list of the most self-descriptive songs --where we left off with the Dixie Chicks' "Landslide."

Happy 2007,

Vince Ripol
San Diego, CA


Dear Vince,

Funny!



BULLET PROOF

I was wondering how the bullet system works. Songs on the Hot 100 and Hot Digital Songs didn't receive bullets, despite gaining two or three times the downloads, like "Irreplaceable" and "I Wanna Love You." What causes a song to not receive a bullet despite gaining 150,000+ downloads.

Cody Truman
Farmingdale, ME


Dear Cody,

Bullets are awarded on the curve, much like grades in some high school classes. In a week where sales are up and every song makes a major gain over the previous week, the bar would be set pretty high and only the songs that gained the most would be awarded bullets. Otherwise, every song on the chart would have a bullet and that wouldn't be helpful information - i.e., you wouldn't know which songs made the greatest gains.

In a rare week where every song declines in sales and/or airplay, bullets would be awarded to songs that declined the least, so in unusual circumstances, it is possible to receive a bullet even while selling fewer copies than the week before.



'LOVE' IS ALL AROUND

Happy 2007!

I just saw a TV ad selling Diana Ross' album "I Love You." I remembered it being on your top 10 list for 2006 and was wondering if it would be available in the United States. The ad is running on TV Land.
Just wanted to let you know.

Roberta Glaser
Studio City, CA


Dear Roberta,

When Diana Ross' "I Love You" was issued internationally last October, I was in Japan. I raced over to Tower Records in Shibuya to buy the CD on the day of release, Oct. 3.

The U.S. version is scheduled for release on Jan. 16. Diana Ross completists who already have the import may have to purchase the U.S. version as well. Diana's cover of Queen's "Crazy Little Thing Called Love," one of my favorite tracks, has been replaced by "Take My Breath Away."

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboard

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