Fred discusses Keith Urban, Danity Kane, Elton John and more!

URBAN HEIGHTS: A blog published in December 2005 suggested that if Keith Urban were to marry Nicole Kidman, his popularity would plunge. Urban and Kidman tied the knot in June and, judging by this week's Hot Country Songs chart, Urban's star power is shining brighter than ever. He sets an all-time record by debuting at No. 17 with his new song, "Once in a Lifetime" (Capitol).

Urban breaks a record held jointly by Eddie Rabbitt and Garth Brooks. In December 1978, Rabbitt's "Every Which Way But Loose" entered at No. 18, and in October 2005 Brooks' "Good Ride Cowboy" bowed in the same position.

Previously, Urban's highest new entry was "Days Go By," which debuted at No. 37 in July 2004. That song went on to become Urban's fifth No. 1. If "Once in a Lifetime" goes all the way, it will be Urban's eighth chart-topper.

Before this week, six songs had debuted inside the top 40 of Hot Country Songs in 2006, but "Once in a Lifetime" is the first title to begin its chart life in the top 30. The highest debut of the calendar year until now was Pat Green's "Feels Just Like It Should," which opened at No. 32 the week of May 27.

In contrast, six songs entered inside the top 30 in 2005. In addition to Brooks, the other artists with top 30 debuts in 2005 were Toby Keith, George Strait, Faith Hill, Gretchen Wilson and Kenny Chesney. But in 2002, 2003 and 2004, only one song debuted in the top 30 each year.

With "Once in a Lifetime" breaking onto the tally, Urban's chart span expands to exactly seven years. His first charted single was "It's a Love Thing," which debuted at No. 73 the week of Aug. 28, 1999.


NO BUSINESS LIKE 'SHOW' BUSINESS: Keith Urban isn't the only act to make chart news with a No. 17 debut this week. On the Billboard Hot 100, the "Making the Band" quintet Danity Kane enters at No. 17 with its first single, "Show Stopper" (Bad Boy).

That puts the female quintet into a tie for the third-highest debut of 2006. Coincidentally, the other song to debut at No. 17 this year is "Let U Go" by Ashley Parker Angel, former member of the first "Making the Band" band, O-Town. The two highest debuts of the year are "Do I Make You Proud" by Taylor Hicks (No. 1) and "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" by Katharine McPhee (No. 12). With the next highest-debuting single of the year being Paris Hilton's "Stars Are Blind" (No. 18), one could argue that the five highest-debuting singles of 2006 are all by television reality stars.

Also debuting inside the top 30 of the Hot 100 is "Call Me When You're Sober" (Wind-Up), the third chart entry from Evanescence. Bowing at No. 25, this is the by far the group's highest debut. "Bring Me to Life" started at No. 64 in March 2003 and "My Immortal" began at No. 70 in January 2004.

This year was already a record-setter for number of debuts inside the top 30, but with Danity Kane and Evanescence bowing inside the top 30, there have now been 14 songs that have begun their chart lives at No. 30 or higher. There were eight such debuts in 2005, six in 2004, three in 2003, one in 2002, four in 2001, five in 2000 and eight in 1999. Between 1995-1999, chart rules made high debuts extremely easy and many songs entered in the top 30.


SPAN EXTENDED BY 'BRIDGE': The most successful artist in the history of the Adult Contemporary chart solidifies his lead position with his first new entry of 2006. Elton John's "The Bridge" (Rocket) debuts at No. 29. It is his 66th AC chart entry, the highest total of any artist. Barbra Streisand is in second place with 64.

Elton is tied with the Carpenters for having the most No. 1 hits, with 15 (he also sang on "That's What Friends Are For," a No. 1 hit credited to "Dionne and Friends"). Elton also leads with the highest number of top 10 hits (38). Neil Diamond is in second place with 36.

The debut of "The Bridge" stretches Elton's AC chart span to 35 years, eight months and one week, dating back to the debut of "Your Song" the week of Dec. 26, 1970.


'16' GOING ON SIX: After a six-month reign, "16 Biggest Hits" (Legacy/Columbia) by Johnny Cash slips to No. 2 on the Top Country Catalog Albums chart, as Tim McGraw's "Greatest Hits" reclaims pole position. The Cash album was No. 1 for 25 consecutive weeks and has been No. 1 for a total of 41 weeks, since first appearing on this chart in February 2001.

The McGraw CD has been on this tally since December 2002 and is in its 26th week at No. 1. The album first hit the top spot in its second week on the chart, and was most recently No. 1 for two weeks in February.


NEW AGE SMACKDOWN: An artist who has enjoyed an even longer run at No. 1 than Johnny Cash has also been deposed this week. After 38 weeks on top of the new age albums chart, Enya's "Amarantine" (Warner Bros.) yields to a new entry, "Yanni Live!: The Concert Event" (Yanni).

It's not the first time that Yanni has knocked Enya off the new age throne. His "Tribute" album bumped her "Paint the Sky With Stars - The Best of Enya" to No. 2 the week of Feb. 21, 1998, after the Enya album had spent five weeks at the summit. Enya returned to No. 1 and "Paint the Sky" ran up 43 weeks in pole position by the time it was ready to move down the chart.


GREECE IS THE WORD: I have been reporting on the annual Eurovision Song Contest since 1995, so I'm often asked how the winning songs fare in America. The truth is they rarely chart in the United States, but more than a year after claiming victory in 2005, Helena Paparizou's "My Number One" (Moda) debuts on Hot Dance Club Play at No. 45.

Paparizou's song gave Greece its first win, after 31 years of competition. As a result of Paparizou's victory, the 2006 contest was held in Athens in May.


HEY PAULINA: Mexico's Paulina Rubio earns the highest-debuting hit of her career on the Hot Latin Songs chart, as "Ni Una Sola Palabra" (Universal Latino) blasts onto the chart at No. 4. Rubio's highest debut until this week was "Y Yo Sigo Aqui," which opened at No. 18 in February 2001.

Rubio's single is the second highest debut of 2006 on Hot Latin Songs. Last month, "Labios Compartidos" (Warner Latina) by Mana entered in pole position, and still occupies the lead spot after five weeks.


'BAD' NEWS: Time for another progress report on how Daniel Powter's "Bad Day" (Warner Bros.) is faring on the Adult Contemporary chart.

The song continues its unbroken run at the top and is now in its 17th week at No. 1. Only two songs by solo male artists have spent more time at No. 1 in the history of this survey. Here is the top five:

19 weeks: "You'll Be in My Heart," Phil Collins (1999)
18 weeks: "Lonely No More," Rob Thomas (2005)
17 weeks: "Bad Day," Daniel Powter (2006)
15 weeks: "Hero," Enrique Iglesias (2001)
13 weeks: "Change the World," Eric Clapton (1996)


GOT THE 'HORSE' RIGHT HERE: Since we updated Powter's status on the Adult Contemporary chart, we should also check in to see how KT Tunstall is doing on the Adult Top 40 tally.

The Scottish artist is the only female to lead this list in 2006. Her "Black Horse and the Cherry Tree" is in its 10th week at No. 1. That puts it into a tie as the second longest-running chart-topper by a solo female singer in this millennium.

Here is a recap of the songs by solo female artists to achieve pole position since the beginning of 2000, ranked in order of how long they remained No. 1:

16 weeks: "Complicated," Avril Lavigne (2002)
10 weeks: "I'm With You," Avril Lavigne (2003)
10 weeks: "Black Horse and the Cherry Tree," KT Tunstall (2006)
9 weeks: "Thank You," Dido (2001)
9 weeks: "Soak Up the Sun," Sheryl Crow (2002)
5 weeks: "Behind These Hazel Eyes," Kelly Clarkson (2005)
4 weeks: "Only Time," Enya (2001)
1 week: "Breathe," Faith Hill (2000)
1 week: "The First Cut Is the Deepest," Sheryl Crow (2004)