Fred Bronson reports on chart activities relating to Akon, Rob Thomas, Blaine Larson, Shooter Jennings, Hanna-McEuen, Black Eyed Peas, Kenny Chesney and more.
ISN'T IT LONELY TOGETHER: A couple of "Lonely" guys are inside the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100. Akon has the highest-charting song of his career with his re-working of Bobby Vinton's No. 1 hit from 1964, "Mr. Lonely." "Lonely" (SRC/Universal) makes a 5-4 move, surpassing the No. 8 peak of Akon's only other top 10 title, "Locked Up," from October 2004.
Sharing top 10 space with Akon's "Lonely" is Rob Thomas' anti-lonely song, "Lonely No More" (Melisma/Atlantic). A 13-9 advance gives Thomas his first solo top 10 hit. In October 1999, he began a 12-week run at No. 1 as the featured artist on Santana's "Smooth." As lead vocalist of matchbox twenty, Thomas has had top 10 hits with "Bent" (one week at No. 1 in July 2000), "If You're Gone" (No. 5 in January 2001) and "Unwell" (No. 5 in July 2003).
There's another "Lonely" guy near the bottom of the chart. Blaine Larsen stands pat at No. 91 with "How Do You Get That Lonely" (BNA).
STAR'S TREK - THE NEXT GENERATION: Shooter Jennings debuts at No. 59 on Billboard's Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart with "4th of July" (Universal South), a song that features George Jones. That debut makes Jennings, the son of the legendary Waylon Jennings, the second second-generation act on this week's chart.
The other next-generation act is Hanna-McEuen, holding at No. 43 with "Something Like a Broken Heart" (MCA). Jaime Hanna and Jonathan McEuen are the sons of Jeff Hanna and John McEuen, founding members of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band.
MAY THE FULL FORCE BE WITH YOU: The Black Eyed Peas preview their next album, "Monkey Business," with the single "Don't Phunk With My Heart" (A&M). "Phunk," debuting on the Hot 100 at No. 97, samples the Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam 1985 hit "I Wonder If I Take You Home," resulting in a song credit on "Phunk" for Full Force.
This is the second Full Force song to be sampled in the last 12 months. Earlier this year, Nina Sky's "Move Ya Body" (No. 4 in August 2004) sampled another 1985 Lisa Lisa song, "Can You Feel the Beat."
'ANYTHING' IS EVERYTHING: Kenny Chesney has his first No. 1 hit of 2005 on the Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart, thanks to the 2-1 move of "Anything But Mine" (BNA). Chesney was last on top with "When the Sun Goes Down," recorded with Uncle Kracker. "Sun" was the No. 1 song one year ago this week.
"Anything" is the eighth chart-topper of Chesney's career. His run of No. 1 hits began with "She's Got It All," which reigned for three weeks in August 1997. Chesney's longest-running No. 1s are "The Good Stuff," on top for seven weeks in the summer of 2002, and "There Goes My Life," in pole position for seven weeks at the end of 2003.
YOU CAN'T STOP THE BEAT: I started writing "Chart Beat" in January 1993, taking over the column in Billboard magazine when Paul Grein moved on. In the spring of 1996, I was asked to write an additional column every week that would appear online as "Chart Beat Bonus," featuring fresh chart news that did not repeat what I was writing in the print version.
This marks the final "Chart Beat Bonus" column. Beginning next week, "Chart Beat" will no longer run in Billboard magazine. The column will be featured exclusively at Billboard.com as the one and only "Chart Beat."
As a result of this move, you'll be able to read the column even earlier. "Chart Beat" will normally be posted at 12 midnight Wednesday night/Thursday morning. A new "Chart Beat Chat" will continue to be posted every Friday.
AND THERE'S MORE: In the final "Chart Beat" column that appears in the print edition of Billboard (for the issue dated April 23), read about the return of the Backstreet Boys to the Hot 100 and the highest-charting album on the Sire label since Madonna's "Bedtime Stories" in 1994.