Fred Bronson reports on chart activity related to Mariah Carey, Cowboy Troy, Sugarland, Holland-Dozier-Holland and Roxette.
'TOGETHER' ALONE: From Aug. 4,1990, the week she hit No. 1 for the first time on Billboard's Hot 100 (with "Vision of Love"), Mariah Carey occupied the chart's summit for at least one week every year through 2000, when she spent the week of Feb. 19 in pole position with "Thank God I Found You."
Carey hasn't visited the zenith since -- until now. More than five years after "Thank God I Found You," Carey earns her 16th No. 1 with "We Belong Together" (Island). This new chart-topper keeps Carey in third place among all artists with the most No. 1s in the rock era, but inches her ever closer to matching and surpassing Elvis Presley's second-place total of 17 No. 1 hits. The Beatles remain in first place with 20.
"We Belong Together" is Carey's first No. 1 on the Hot 100 without any featured artists in seven years and one week, since "My All" topped the chart the week of May 23, 1998.
A 2-1 rise on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart is good enough to make "We Belong Together" Carey's ninth No. 1 on this survey, and her first since "Loverboy" led the list for two weeks in August 2001.
Carey was supported on "Loverboy" by Da Brat and Ludacris. "We Belong Together" is Carey's first No.1 without any guest artists since "Always Be My Baby" captured the top spot in May 1996.
A COWBOY'S WORK: "Loco Motive" (Raybaw) by Cowboy Troy debuts at No. 2 on Billboard's Top Country Albums chart. The man who sings about playing "chicken" with the train is the highest-charting African-American artist on this tally since Charley Pride had a No. 1 album in May 1980 with his tribute to Hank Williams, "There's a Little Bit of Hank in Me."
Troy's CD is also the highest charted title on the Top Country Albums list with significant African-American artist representation since the multi-artist "Rhythm Country and Blues" project in 1994. That title spent two weeks at No. 1 starting the week of March 26, 1994.
'BABY' STAYS: Sugarland's debut single, "Baby Girl" (Mercury), holds at No. 15 in its 46th week on Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart. That is the longest run for any title since the chart has been compiled using monitored airplay data.
The previous record of 45 weeks was held by two songs: "Beautiful Mess" by Diamond Rio and "Let's Make Love" by Tim McGraw and Faith Hill. The former reached its 45th week in the Feb. 15, 2003 issue of Billboard and the latter saw its 45th frame in the Nov. 4, 2000 edition.
Sugarland has two songs in the top 15 this week. The follow-up to "Baby Girl," "Something More," moves 14-10, giving the Atlanta-based trio its second top 10 hit out of two.
GOLD FOREVER: By coincidence, two songs from the 1970s that are connected to Eddie Holland, Lamont Dozier and Brian Holland are charting on Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.
After Holland-Dozier-Holland left Motown, they started their own labels, HotWax and Invictus. The biggest hit on the Hot Wax imprint was "Want Ads" by the Honey Cone. That single, a No. 1 hit in 1970, was written by General Johnson, Greg Perry and Barney Perkins and published by Holland-Dozier-Holland's company, Gold Forever.
"Want Ads" is sampled on the new Mary Mary song, "Heaven" (My Block/Columbia), which dips 84-88 in its second chart week.
Later in the '70s, Holland-Dozier-Holland wrote and produced an album by Dionne Warwick released on the Warner Brothers label. One of the songs on that 1973 LP was "You're Gonna Need Me," and that Warwick track is sampled on Usher's "Throwback" (LaFace), which moves 68-66 this week.
'HEART' FELT: A Roxette song from 16 years ago returns to Billboard's Hot 100 this week. D.H.T.'s remake of "Listen to Your Heart" bows at No. 87. It's the first cover version of a Roxette song to appear on this chart, and it's the first entry credited to songwriter Per Gessle since Roxette's own "Sleeping in My Car" went to No. 50 in July 1994.
The Swedish duo's original recording of "Listen to Your Heart" peaked at No. 1 the week of Nov. 4, 1989.