Solo Beyoncé bests her Destiny's Child No. 1 quota, plus inside the stats of Garth Brooks & Trisha Yearwood, Johnny Cash, Dion DiMucci and Mary J. Blige.
PICKING UP THE 'CHECK': With "Check On It" (Columbia) advancing to No. 1 on The Billboard Hot 100, Beyoncé Knowles has now spent more time in this chart's pole position as a solo artist than she did as part of Destiny's Child.
Until this week, the group and the solo performer were tied, with 17 weeks each at No. 1. Destiny's Child arrived at that total with four chart-toppers: "Bills, Bills, Bills" (one week), "Say My Name" (three weeks), "Independent Women Part I" (11 weeks) and "Bootylicious" (two weeks).
Beyoncé amassed 17 weeks at No. 1 with just two hits: "Crazy in Love" (eight weeks) and "Baby Boy" (nine weeks). The current chart week is her 18th frame at No. 1.
The rapid turnover of No. 1 hits in 2006 continues, as Beyoncé's "Check On It" featuring Slim Thug is the third song to move into first place since the calendar year began. The longest-running No. 1 title of the year to date is "Grillz" by Nelly featuring Paul Wall, Ali & Gipp, and that single led the list for only two weeks.
With "Check On It" sitting on the throne, the Columbia label maintains its lead as the imprint with the most No. 1 songs in the rock era. This latest Beyoncé hit is the logo's 97th No. 1, a run that began on Sept. 3, 1955, with the ascendancy of Mitch Miller's "The Yellow Rose of Texas." Columbia is comfortably ahead of all other labels; second-place RCA has 60 No. 1 songs in the rock era.
"Check On It" is the first No. 1 hit for Houston rapper Slim Thug. His only other Hot 100 chart entry was "Still Tippin'" by Mike Jones, No. 60 in April 2005, but his album "Already Platinum" debuted and peaked at No. 2 in July 2005.
WEDDED BLISS: Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood appeared as a duo on Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart four times between 1997-2002. This week they collect their first hit as a married couple, as "Love Will Always Win" (Pearl/Lyric Street) enters at No. 36.
It's Yearwood's highest debut out of 40 chart entries, while Brooks has had eight of his 77 chart entries debut higher than No. 36.
Brooks and Yearwood are the latest in a long list of couples who said "I do" and then charted as bride-and-groom. Two of the most recent are Tim McGraw and Faith Hill and Clint Black and Lisa Hartman Black. Other wedded duos with country chart entries to their credit include:
Jack Blanchard & Misty Morgan
Pat & Shirley Boone
The Canadian Sweethearts
Captain & Tennille
Carl & Pearl Butler
Rick & Janis Carnes
Johnny Cash & June Carter Cash
Stoney Cooper & Wilma Lee
Rodney Crowell & Rosanne Cash
Gwen & Jerry Collins
Elmo & Patsy
Guy & Raina
Merle Haggard & Bonnie Owens
Merle Haggard & Leona Williams
Jack & Trink
Waylon Jennings & Jessi Colter
Gene Kennedy & Karen Jeglum
Kris Kristofferson & Rita Coolidge
Lulu Belle & Scotty
Louise Mandrell & R.C. Bannon
Charly McClain & Wayne Massey
Johnny & Jonie Mosby
Willie Nelson & Shirley Collie
Les Paul & Mary Ford
Jon Randall & Lorrie Morgan
Saskia & Serge
Margie Singleton & Leon Ashley
Ricky Skaggs & Sharon White
Tommy & Donna
Kitty Wells & Johnny Wright
L.E. White & Lola Jean Dillon
Keith Whitley & Lorrie Morgan
HERE COMES THE MAN IN BLACK: A 10-5 surge on The Billboard 200 makes "The Legend of Johnny Cash" (Legacy/Columbia/American/Island) the second-highest charting album in a career that stretches back more than 47 years.
With "Walk the Line" doing well at the box office and collecting awards for lead actors Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon, the music of Johnny Cash continues in high-performance mode on the charts.
Of the 42 Cash albums to appear on The Billboard 200, the only one that has charted higher than "The Legend of Johnny Cash" is the classic 1969 LP "Johnny Cash at San Quentin," which spent four weeks at No. 1. The only other Cash album to reach the top 10 was "Hello, I'm Johnny Cash," No. 6 in 1970.
BORN IN THE BRONX: The success of his first blues album has extended the career chart span of Bronx-born Dion DiMucci, best known for his string of pop singles in the first half of the 1960s.
"Bronx in Blue" (Dimensional/The Orchard) enters Billboard's Top Internet Albums chart at No. 11, while leaping 9-3 on the Top Blues Albums list. Dion last appeared on a Billboard chart in the summer of 1990, when his remake of Frankie Ford's "Sea Cruise" sailed to No. 28 on the Adult Contemporary survey.
Dion made his chart debut in May 1958 when "I Wonder Why," which he recorded with the Belmonts, bowed on the pop singles chart. That means his career chart span expands to 47 years, eight months and two weeks.
RETURN TO THE SUMMIT: Mary J. Blige earns the second No. 1 of her career on Billboard's Adult R&B tally with "Be Without You" (Geffen), which ends the 11-week reign of Alicia Keys' "Unbreakable."
Blige's only other song to top this chart was "Not Gon Cry'," the "Waiting to Exhale" soundtrack selection that spent four weeks as leader of the pack in March 1996. That No. 1 hit also ended a long streak in pole position, as it replaced Whitney Houston's "Exhale (Shoop Shoop)" (from the same soundtrack) after a 15-week run.
The gap of nine years, 10 months and two weeks is the longest break between No. 1 hits for a lead artist in the history of the Adult R&B chart. The record was previously held by Anita Baker, with nine years and five months between "I Apologize" in 1995 and "You're My Everything" in 2004.