Fred Bronson reports on the latest chart feats of Alan Jackson, Mariah Carey, Kanye West, Jamie Foxx, Pussycat Dolls, Busta Rhymes, Bow Wow, Paul McCartney and more.
PRESSING MATTER: Alan Jackson turns to a newspaper for inspiration for his latest hit single. "USA Today" (Arista) is the highest new entry on Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart, debuting at No. 49.
This isn't the first time the press has served as source material for a hit single -- and Jackson is indeed singing about the national newspaper in the self-penned song, as evidenced by these lyrics: "...they're thinking about putting me on the cover of the USA Today, story of heartbreaking pain, picture of the loneliest man they claim, in the U.S.A. today."
The prime example is Dr. Hook's pop hit from 1972, "The Cover of 'Rolling Stone.'" That song led to the band actually being featured on the cover of Rolling Stone, so watch out for a page one photo of Alan Jackson in USA Today.
There have been other hits that use the titles of publications only by coincidence, including "Time" by the Pozo Seco Singers, "Life" by Elvis Presley and "Vogue" by Madonna.
LET'S STAY 'TOGETHER': Mariah Carey is just one week away from tying the modern record for the longest-running No. 1 hit on Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. "We Belong Together" (Island) is in its 13th week on top. If Carey can keep it "Together" for one more week, she will tie the 14-week record set by Deborah Cox in 1998 with "Nobody's Supposed to Be Here."
The Cox song is the longest-running No. 1 since 1955. At 13 weeks, "We Belong Together" is tied for second place with a single from 1956, "Honky Tonk (Parts 1 & 2)" by Bill Doggett.
"We Belong Together" is Carey's most successful R&B single by far. "Fantasy" is in second place, with six weeks at the summit in 1995. "Together" is the sixth R&B No. 1 of 2005. Only one other of the six remained on top for more than four weeks: Mario's "Let Me Love You" dominated the list for 11 weeks.
FOXX NETWORKS: Teaming up with Kanye West has proven to be a good idea for Jamie Foxx. The Academy Award-winning actor is a likely candidate to succeed Mariah Carey at No. 1 on Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, as "Gold Digger" (Roc-A-Fella/Def Jam) by Kanye West featuring Jamie Foxx rushes 6-3.
Meanwhile, "Extravaganza" (J) by Jamie Foxx featuring Kanye West debuts on the same chart at No. 77. It's the first time in almost 11 years that Foxx is on the chart as a lead artist. In July 1994 he peaked at No. 36 with "Infatuation" and in October of that year he went to No. 88 with the follow-up, "Experiment."
Last year, West and Foxx were featured artists on Twista's "Slow Jamz," which enjoyed a two-week stint at No. 1.
BUSTA UP: Just as the Jamie Foxx/Kanye West teaming has been beneficial for both artists, the Pussycat Dolls and Busta Rhymes have also formed a successful partnership. Their collaboration on "Don't Cha" (A&M) holds at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100. It is the Dolls' first hit and the highest-charting song for Rhymes on this chart.
Rhymes has been to No. 3 twice. "What's It Gonna Be?!" with featured guest Janet Jackson reached its peak the week of April 17, 1999, and "I Know What You Want," recorded with Mariah Carey and featuring the Flipmode Squad, achieved its highest mark the week of May 31, 2003.
BOW BOW WOW WOW: Bow Wow dominates Billboard's Hot Rap Songs this week, holding down the first two spots on the chart. "Let Me Hold You" (Columbia), featuring Omarion, continues at No. 1, while the follow-up, "Like You," featuring Ciara, marches 5-2.
It's only been three months since another artist had the top two rap songs. The week of May 28, 50 Cent was No. 1 with "Just a Lil Bit" and the Game featuring 50 Cent ranked second with "Hate It or Love It."
HE WALKS THE 'LINE': Paul McCartney makes his first appearance on Billboard's Adult Contemporary chart in more than three years, thanks to the No. 33 debut of "Fine Line" (MPL/Capitol). The former Beatle last appeared on the AC list in the spring of 2002, when "Your Loving Flame" peaked at No. 19.
"Fine Line" is McCartney's 35th post-Beatles AC chart entry. The Beatles didn't fit the AC format until almost the end of the band's tenure. The Fab Four first showed up on the AC tally the week of Nov. 1, 1969, when "Something" debuted, eventually peaking at No. 17.