Fred Bronson reports on the latest chart feats of Mariah Carey, Gretchen Wilson, Bellamy Brothers, Josh Gracin, Babyface, Natasha Bedingfield, Sugarland, the Rolling Stones and more.
DOUBLE DIGITS: Mariah Carey's "We Belong Together" (Island) is on top of the Billboard Hot 100 for a 10th week, making it the longest-running No. 1 single of 2005, and the first to achieve a double-digit run since the first half of 2004, when Usher's "Yeah!" reigned for 12 weeks.
"We Belong Together" is the seventh single of the millennium to be No. 1 for 10 weeks or longer. The magnificent seven are, in chronological order:
"Maria Maria," Santana featuring the Product G&B (2000) 10 weeks
"Independent Women Part I," Destiny's Child (2000) 11 weeks
"Foolish," Ashanti (2002) 10 weeks
"Dilemma," Nelly featuring Kelly Rowland (2002) 10 weeks
"Lose Yourself," Eminem (2002) 12 weeks
"Yeah!" Usher featuring Lil Jon and Ludacris (2004) 12 weeks
"We Belong Together," Mariah Carey (2005) 10 weeks to date
"We Belong Together" is Carey's second No. 1 single to have a double-digit run. At the end of 1995, "One Sweet Day," recorded with Boyz II Men, began a 16-week reign.
With Gwen Stefani's "Hollaback Girl" preceding Carey's song in pole position, and Carrie Underwood's "Inside Your Heaven" interrupting Carey's run, women have led the list for 15 consecutive weeks. That's the longest shut-out of men at No. 1 in over six years. From January-April 1999, consecutive chart-toppers from Brandy ("Have You Ever?"), Britney Spears ("...Baby One More Time"), Monica ("Angel of Mine"), Cher ("Believe") and TLC ("No Scrubs") held sway for 16 weeks in a row.
JUMPIN' 'JACKED' DASHES: Gretchen Wilson is here for the party -- another one. The first single from her second album crashes onto Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart at No. 21, making it the second-highest debut of the last 15 years and the highest debut by a female artist.
"All Jacked Up" (Epic) is Wilson's seventh chart entry is just over a year. She made her mark with her debut single, "Redneck Woman," which spent five weeks at No. 1 in 2004.
The debut of "All Jacked Up" at No. 21 bests the previous highest debut of a female artist in the last 15 years, the No. 24 opening of Shania Twain's "I'm Gonna Getcha Good!" in October 2002. "All Jacked Up" is the second-highest debut of the last 15 years, runner-up to the No. 19 bow of Garth Brooks' "The Thunder Rolls" in May 1991.
LET THEIR HITS FLOW: Elsewhere on Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart, two prodigal sons return after an absence of just over 11 years. The Bellamy Brothers' very first No. 1 on this chart was "If I Said You Had a Beautiful Body Would You Hold It Against Me." That song topped the list for three weeks in May-June 1979.
The song is back, too, this time as a collaboration with Dolly Parton. It's the first appearance by the Bellamy Brothers on the Hot Country Songs chart since "Not" went to No. 71 in January 1994, when the chart featured 75 positions.
'BED' TIME: Josh Gracin earns the third chart entry of his career on the Billboard Hot 100, thanks to the No. 99 debut of "Stay With Me (Brass Bed)" (Lyric Street).
"Bed" is the 24th song by an "American Idol" contestant to appear on the Hot 100. In order of peak position, here are the "Idol" songs that have charted to date:
No. 1 for 2 weeks, "A Moment Like This," Kelly Clarkson (October 2002)
No. 1 for 2 weeks "This Is the Night," Clay Aiken (June 2003)
No. 1 for 1 week "I Believe," Fantasia (July 2004)
No. 1 for 1 week "Inside Your Heaven," Carrie Underwood (July 2005)
No. 2 "Flying Without Wings," Ruben Studdard (June 2003)
No. 2 "Since U Been Gone," Kelly Clarkson (April 2005)
No. 2 "Inside Your Heaven," Bo Bice (July 2005)
No. 4 "God Bless the U.S.A.," American Idol Finalists Season 2 (May 2003)
No. 4 "Solitaire," Clay Aiken (April 2004)
No. 6 "Breakaway," Kelly Clarkson (November 2004)
No. 6 "Behind These Hazel Eyes," Kelly Clarkson (June 2005)
No. 9 "Miss Independent," Kelly Clarkson (July 2003)
No. 9 "Sorry 2004," Ruben Studdard (February 2004)
No. 14 "Dreams," Diana DeGarmo (July 2004)
No. 21 "Truth Is," Fantasia (March 2005)
No. 37 "Invisible," Clay Aiken (January 2004)
No. 39 "Nothin to Lose," Josh Gracin (March 2005)
No. 39 "When You Tell Me That You Love Me," American Idol Finalists Season 4 (May 2005)
No. 41 "Free Yourself," Fantasia (July 2005)
No. 45 "I Want to Live," Josh Gracin (August 2004)
No. 49 "8th World Wonder," Kimberley Locke (May 2004)
No. 58 "Low," Kelly Clarkson (October 2003)
No. 60 "Baby Mama," Fantasia (April 2005)
'GROWN' UP: A No. 10 debut on The Billboard 200 makes the new Babyface CD, "Grown & Sexy" (Arista), the second highest-charting album of his career. Only "The Day," with a peak position of No. 6 in November 1996, has sailed higher.
"Grown & Sexy" is Babyface's first chart album since "Face2Face" reached No. 25 in September 2001.
On the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart, "Grown & Sexy" opens at No. 3, but is still the second-highest charting album for Babyface on this tally. "For the Cool in You" went to No. 2 in September 1993.
'WORDS' PLAY: Natasha Bedingfield may yet challenge her brother Daniel to see who can have the biggest Billboard Hot 100 hit in the family.
New Zealand-born Daniel has scored two hits on the chart to date, and both have made the top 15. "Gotta Get Thru This," the U.K. No. 1 that introduced him to U.S. audiences, peaked at No. 10 in September 2002. His second hit was "If You're Not the One," No. 15 in May 2003.
This week, Daniel's sister, London-born Natasha, advances 30-23 with "These Words" (Epic), a song that topped the U.K. chart a year ago. The coming weeks will tell if Natasha can outrank brother Daniel.
WANTING 'SOMETHING MORE': Is Sugarland on its way to becoming the Creedence Clearwater Revival of the country chart? The Atlanta-based trio is sitting at No. 2 for the second time on the Hot Country Songs chart. Since the group has only had two entries on this tally, you might say they are two-for-two when it comes to being No. 2.
"Baby Girl" spent two weeks in the runner-up slot in April. Now, "Something More" in its second week at No. 2. If "More" doesn't step up to No. 1, the group will continue to face comparisons to Creedence, the group that had five No. 2 hits on the Hot 100 without ever going to No. 1.
'JUSTICE' AND THE AMERICAN WAY: It was a good chart week on the Billboard Hot 100. New singles by James Brown, Wayne Newton, the Dave Clark Five (with two different singles entering the chart), Nat King Cole, and Marvin Gaye and Mary Wells recording as a duet all debuted, along with 45s by three new acts: the Dixie Cups, Brenda Holloway and the Rolling Stones.
It was the week of May 2, 1964. England's newest hitmakers, the Stones, opened at a lowly No. 98 with a cover of Buddy Holly's "Not Fade Away." It was the group's first American single to chart.
Now it's the week of Aug. 13, 2005, and the Stones are still charting. The band's career chart span grows to 41 years, three months and two weeks, as "Rough Justice" (Virgin) debuts on Billboard's Mainstream Rock Tracks chart at No. 29.
It's the first track by the veteran act to appear on the Mainstream chart in almost three years. "Don't Stop" peaked at No. 21 in October 2002. "Justice" ties a live version of "Gimme Shelter" released in 1998 at the Stones' highest-debuting title on this chart since September 1997, when "Anybody Seen My Baby?" opened at No. 4.
The Mainstream tally was introduced the week of March 21, 1981. The Stones' first single to appear on this survey was "If I Was a Dancer (Dance, Pt. 2)," which entered the week of April 18, 1981, ultimately peaking at No. 25. Four months later, "Start Me Up" debuted, and became the Stones' only No. 1 hit on this list, spending 13 weeks on top.
MADNESS GRIPS THE U.K.: But so do a lot of other veteran acts. Looking at this week's singles chart in the United Kingdom, one has to check and make sure it really is 2005. New singles by Bananarama, Roxette and Madness debut, and 1970s icon Tony Christie follows up his recent No. 1 hit.
It's been 12 years since Bananarama visited the U.K. singles chart. "More More More" went to No. 24 in 1993, so with new single "Move in My Direction" (A&G Productions) bowing at No. 14, it's the biggest hit for the women since a charity remake of the Beatles' "Help" (recorded with the comedy act Jennifer Saunders and Dawn French) peaked at No. 3.
Swedish duo Roxette's most recent appearance was in 1999, with a No. 56 single, "Stars." The remake of "Fading Like a Flower" by Dancing DJs vs. Roxette (All Around the World) enters at No. 18, making it the group's highest-charting single since "Wish I Could Fly" peaked at No. 11 in March 1999. The original "Fading Like a Flower" went to No. 12 in 1991.(It would have been nice if "Fading Like a Flower" had managed to debut inside the British top 10, since on the Hot 100 in the United States, DHT moves to No. 10 with its remake of Roxette's "Listen to Your Heart" (Robbins)).
Madness did chart once this decade, when the single with the off-putting title "Drip Fed Fred" went to No. 55 in 2000. This week, "Shame & Scandal" (V2) enters at No. 38, making it the biggest Madness hit since "Lovestruck" struck No. 10 in July 1999.
Finally, the temporarily retired Christie is in his 20th chart week with "(Is This the Way to) Amarillo," his No. 18 hit from 1971 that spent time at No. 1 this year. While "Amarillo" dips 31-36, the follow-up, "Avenues and Alleyways" (UMTV), is new at No. 26, besting its original peak position of No. 37 in 1973.