Fred discusses foreign Hot 100 chart-toppers, download vs. airplay semantics and LeAnn Rimes.

UNITED NATIONS

Dear Fred,

It has been an exciting year to watch the top of the Hot 100 chart. One trend that I've noticed is that 2006 is a great year for foreign artists in the United States. So far, five of this year's No. 1 songs have come from foreign acts:

"You're Beautiful," James Blunt (United Kingdom)
"Temperature," Sean Paul (Jamaica)
"Bad Day," Daniel Powter (Canada)
"SOS," Rihanna (Barbados)
"Hips Don't Lie," Shakira (Colombia)

It's great to see this much diversity at the top of the charts. Not only are there five foreign No. 1s, but each artist represents a different country. Have there ever been more than five foreign countries represented at No. 1 in the same calendar year?

Thanks,

Alex Donatoni
New Jersey


Dear Alex,

I had to go back to 1989 to find another year with five foreign nations represented at No. 1 on the Hot 100. That year, we had chart-toppers from the United Kingdom (Phil Collins, Mike + the Mechanics, Fine Young Cannibals, Simply Red and the Anglo-American band Bad English), Canada (Sheriff), Sweden (Roxette), Germany (Milli Vanilli) and Cuba (Gloria Estefan).

I couldn't find any year in the rock era with more than five international countries represented at No. 1. Since 2006 isn't half over yet, there's a good chance we can set an all-time record.



IT ALL ADDS UP

Dear Fred,

In a week where Shakira had such huge airplay numbers and Nelly Furtado was No. 1 with digital downloads, how did Chamillionaire land at No. 1 on the Hot 100?

Mark Mueller
foxmueller1@yahoo.com


Dear Mark,

The key to being No. 1 on the Hot 100 is having the highest number of points when a song's sales points and airplay points are added together. There are many weeks when the song that is No. 1 on the main Hot 100 isn't No. 1 on either the sales charts or the airplay chart.

Shakira's "Hips Don't Lie" went on sale in the middle of the chart week in question, which didn't allow it to accrue a full week of sales. That's why it only went to No. 9 on the Hot 100 last week. This week, with a full week of sales, the single easily captured the top spot.

"Promiscuous" by Nelly Furtado featuring Timbaland was very strong in sales but needed more airplay points to be No. 1 on the Hot 100. In the chart week you're asking about, "Promiscuous" was No. 18 on the Hot 100 Airplay chart (up from No. 32, a great move, but not high enough to lift Furtado to No. 1 on the main Hot 100).




RIMES WITH THREE

Fred,

I really enjoy your weekly column. You have my dream job! I have been celebrating Leann Rimes' success this last year with the "This Woman" album. The June 8 Chart Beat states it is the first time since 2000 that Leann has had consecutive top 10 hits. It could be semantics, but isn't this Leann's third top 10 hit in a row? First there was 'Nothin 'Bout Love Makes Sense," then "Probably Wouldn't Be That Way" and finally (or hopefully the third of a much larger string!) "Something's Gotta Give."

I have also been pleased to see this child singing star maintain a successful singing career into adulthood without any of the "child star syndrome."

One last thing, what is your thought on why Leann Rimes and Faith Hill have had great success "returning" to the country charts after dabbling in pop, but Shania Twain has experienced resistance? Granted, Shania's last album sold a ton, but she did not have much luck on the singles chart.

John Newton
Downers Grove, Ill.


Dear John,

It's a technicality that gives LeAnn Rimes two consecutive top 10 hits, but in all fairness she has had three top 10 hits in a row from the "This Woman" CD. After "Nothin 'Bout Love Makes Sense," three holiday-themed songs debuted on Hot Country Songs. If we only count non-seasonal releases, then Rimes would get credit for three top 10 hits in a row.

And like you suggest, the run of top 10 hits from "This Woman" may not be over yet, so let's see what happens before closing the page on this chart achievement.

Shania Twain's last album was a greatest hits collection with four new songs added, and then she had a song on the "Desperate Housewives" soundtrack. I'd prefer to wait for her next studio album to see if she is embraced by country radio before counting her out.