Fred Bronson discusses T.I., Beyonce, David Cook, Christmas albums and more!

DOUBLING UP: For the first time in the 50-year history of the Hot 100, two lead artists hold down the top four positions on the chart, dividing this territory equally between them. T.I. stands pat at No. 1 and slides 2-4, while Beyonce races 28-2 and is holding at No. 3. The top four songs are:

1. "Live Your Life," T.I. featuring Rihanna
2. "Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It)," Beyonce
3. "If I Were a Boy," Beyonce
4. "Whatever You Like," T.I.

There have been instances when two artists appeared in the top four, but not as lead artists in all four slots. Two months ago, on the chart dated Oct. 18, T.I. was No. 1 with Rihanna as featured artist. T.I. was also No. 2, Pink was No. 3 and Rihanna was No. 4.

And for a five-week period beginning May 4, 2002, Usher and Ashanti each had two songs in the top four, but only one each as lead artist.

Then there was the time the Beatles occupied the entire top five, on the Hot 100 dated April 4, 1964, but that was a case of one artist holding down the top five - an amazing feat, but slightly different from what T.I. and Beyonce did this week.


LONG 'TIME': David Cook's reign on the Adult Contemporary chart with "The Time of My Life" (19/RCA) has gone into double digits, making him one of 15 solo male artists to rule this survey for 10 weeks or more since the chart began in 1961. Here is a list of those 15 songs that have visited the penthouse for 10 weeks or more:

19 weeks: "You'll Be in My Heart," Phil Collins (1999)
19 weeks: "Bad Day," Daniel Powter (2006)
18 weeks: "Lonely No More," Rob Thomas (2005)
16 weeks: "Waiting On the Wor;d to Change," John Mayer (2007)
15 weeks: "Hero," Enrique Iglesias (2001)
13 weeks: "Change the World," Eric Clapton (1996)
12 weeks: "The River of Dreams," Billy Joel (1993)
12 weeks: "Said I Loved You...But I Lied," Michael Bolton (1993)
12 weeks: "Kiss from a Rose," Seal (1995)
11 weeks: "Now and Forever," Richard Marx (1994)
10 weeks: "King of the Road," Roger Miller (1965)
10 weeks: "This Guy's in Love With You," Herb Alpert (1968)
10 weeks: "Time Passages," Al Stewart (1978)
10 weeks: "Something About the Way You Look Tonight," Elton John (1997)
10 weeks: "The Time of My Life," David Cook (2008)

Cook is the only male artist to have a song advance to No. 1 on the AC chart in 2008. The last song by a solo male to top this survey was Josh Groban's "I'll Be Home for Christmas," which began a three-week stay on the throne the week of Dec. 22, 2007.

"The Time of My Life" is a bonus track on David Cook's eponymous debut album, which enters The Billboard 200 at No. 3, just one week after Cook's runner-up on "American Idol," David Archuleta, bowed at No. 2 with his first album. That mirrors their peak positions on the Hot 100, where Archuleta went to No. 2 with "Crush" and Cook went to No. 3 with "The Time of My Life."

While Cook came in third to Beyonce's debut at No. 1 with "I Am...Sasha Fierce" (Music World/Columbia) and Nickelback's "Dark Horse" (Roadrunner), his album debuts at No. 1 on Top Digital Albums, giving the "American Idol" its 210th No. 1 on a Billboard chart.


WE NEED A LITTLE 'CHRISTMAS':
And a little Christmas is all we're going to get, as just one holiday song is included among the top 30 hits on the Adult Contemporary chart. Barry Manilow enters at No. 30 with "Christmas Is Just Around the Corner" (Arista).

"Corner" is Manilow's 47th song to appear on the AC list in a span of 34 years and one month, dating back to the November 1974 debut of "Mandy." That pushes him past Kenny Rogers and Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass, who each have 46 AC chart entries, into seventh place among artists with the most AC hits.

The top six:

Elton John 67
Barbra Streisand 64
Neil Diamond 57
Elvis Presley 52
Johnny Mathis 49
Frank Sinatra 48


GOOD 'ROCKIN'' TONIGHT: While Barry Manilow has the only Christmas song on the main Adult Contemporary chart, the AC recurrents list is completely filled with holiday cheer - no surprise, given AC radio's predilection for turning to the sounds of the season even before the arrival of Thanksgiving.

Leading the recurrents tally for the 16th week is Brenda Lee's "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree." Her first AC No. 1 was "All Alone Am I," which was in its fifth week on top 46 years ago this week.

"Tree" has led the recurrents chart in 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 and now 2008.


'STAND' TALL: Usher has had eight No. 1s on The Billboard Hot 100 and nine on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, so you might be surprised to learn that "Here I Stand" (LaFace) is his first No. 1 on the Adult R&B chart.

Of Usher's 18 entries on this list, only four titles have reached the top 10. "U Got It Bad" peaked at No. 4 in 2002 and "Burn" equaled that mark in 2004. Usher's duet with Alicia Keys, "My Boo," went to No. 10 in 2005.

"Here I Stand" is performing better on Adult R&B than on the Hot 100, where it hasn't appeared, and Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, where it glides 24-22 to reach a new peak position.


EVEN DOZEN: Flo Rida and T-Pain may have the longest-running No. 1 song of 2008 on the Hot 100 with the 10-week domination of "Low," but T.I. is the artist with the most weeks on top this calendar year.

T.I.'s "Whatever You Like" was king of the hill for seven weeks and "Live Your Life" by T.I. featuring Rihanna is in its fifth week on top, for a total of 12 weeks at No. 1 since the beginning of January.