Fred Bronson reports on chart activities relating to the O'Jays, Tina Turner, Mario, Buddy Jewell, 'Kidz Bop,' Tori Amos, Omarion, Elvis Presley and more.
SENIOR CITIZENS: It's hard to find an artist on Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks chart with a career that stretches back any earlier than the 1990s. The rare exceptions on this week's list include Tony! Toni! Tone!, Anita Baker, Gerald Levert and Janet Jackson. All first charted in the '80s. There are, however, two acts that can trace their careers back to the '60s.
The O'Jays are at No. 82 with "Make Up" (Music World/Sanctuary Urban). The group, which includes Gerald Levert's father, Eddie, made its debut on the R&B chart in 1965 with "Lipstick Traces (On a Cigarette)."
Five years earlier, a single titled "A Fool in Love" debuted on the chart dated Aug. 1, 1960. That was the first appearance on the R&B singles chart for Ike and Tina Turner.
The distaff half of that duo celebrates her 45th anniversary on the chart by making her first appearance in just over eight years. "Open Arms" (Capitol), a new recording from Turner's "All the Best" CD, opens at No. 70. Turner was last on the chart with "In Your Wildest Dreams," which peaked at No. 34 in 1997.
DON'T STOP IN THE NAME OF 'LOVE': Mario's "Let Me Love You" gave up its perch atop Billboard's Hot 100 two weeks ago, but the song still rules the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks chart. In its 11th week at No. 1, "Let Me Love You" is the list's longest-running chart-topper of this millennium. You'd have to go back to the beginning of 1999 to find a longer-running No. 1 title. "Nobody's Supposed to Be Here" by Deborah Cox began a 14-week reign on the chart dated Nov. 7, 1998.
Going back to Billboard's re-introduction of the R&B singles chart in 1965, only five songs have been No. 1 for 11 weeks or longer. They are:
14 weeks: "Nobody's Supposed to Be Here," Deborah Cox (1998)
12 weeks: "Bump N' Grind," R. Kelly (1994)
11 weeks: "I Will Always Love You," Whitney Houston (1992)
11 weeks: You Make Me Wanna...," Usher (1997)
11 weeks: "Let Me Love You," Mario (2005)
BE JEWELLED 2: The winner of the first season of the talent competition TV series "Nashville Star," Buddy Jewell, is batting .1000 on Billboard's Hot Country Singles Sales chart.
His debut effort, "Help Pour out the Rain (Lacey's Song)," spent two weeks at No. 1 in July 2003. His second chart entry, "If She Were Any Other Woman" (Columbia), moves 2-1 this week.
Coincidentally, both songs have made the same exact chart moves. "Help" debuted at No. 2, spent two weeks in the runner-up slot and moved to No. 1 in its third chart week. "If" has followed the same trajectory.
KIDZ IN AMERICA: The ninth album in Razor & Tie's "Kidz Bop" series is the highest-charting in the four-year history of the franchise as "Kidz Bop 7" makes a coincidental debut at No. 7 on The Billboard 200.
"7" is thus the first CD in the series to reach the top 10. There is an explanation for the high debut: the label increased its direct marketing for the latest edition, meaning there was more TV advertising for "7" than the eight previous Kidz Bop albums.
Here is a summary of the peak positions for each release in the series:
"Kidz Bop," No. 76 (2001)
"Kidz Bop 2," No. 37 (2002)
"Kidz Bop Christmas," No. 66 (2002)
"Kidz Bop 3," No. 17 (2003)
"Kidz Bop 4," No. 14 (2003)
"Kidz Bop 5," No. 34 (2004)
"Kidz Bop 6," No. 23 (2004)
"Kidz Bop Halloween," No. 132 (2004)
"Kidz Bop 7," No. 7 (2005)
DON'T WORRY, 'BEE' CHARTING: The new Tori Amos album, "The Beekeeper" (Epic), is her highest-charting set in almost four years. The CD enters The Billboard 200 at No. 5, Amos' best performance since "Strangelittlegirls" went to No. 4 in October 2001.
"The Beekeeper" is the fifth Amos album to reach the top 10. "Boys for Pele" remains the highest-charting album of her career, with a No. 2 peak in February 1996. Her other albums to achieve top 10 status are "From the Choirgirl Hotel" (No. 5 in May 1998) and "Scarlet's Walk" (No. 7 in November 2002).
'O' HAPPY DAY: When he was a member of B2K, Omarion never had the experience of topping the Billboard album chart, but that's all in his past. His first solo CD, "O" (T.U.G./Epic) debuts this week in pole position on The Billboard 200.
B2K's highest charting album was its self-titled debut, which reached No. 2 in March 2002. Nine months later, "Pandemonium!" peaked at No. 10.
'ACROSS' DOWN: The multi-artist charity track "Across the Universe" which debuted at No. 22 last week on Billboard's Hot 100 disappears from the chart this week. Only available as a paid digital download through iTunes, the track was an immediate sensation after it was performed on the Grammys. Interest fell in the second week, however, as evidenced by the song's 4-44 plummet on the Hot Digital Songs chart.
ELVIS' EUROPEAN TOUR: Elvis Presley never performed live in Europe, but his reissued singles continue to take the continent by storm. Jochen Tierbach, a sharp chart observer from Germany, notes that Presley's "(Marie's the Name) His Latest Flame" is the lowest-debuting reissue in the United Kingdom so far, "only" coming in at No. 3. The previous reissues have all debuted at No. 1 or No. 2.
Tierbach points out that the reissues have also been charting in the Netherlands, and now France has climbed on board, with seven Elvis singles entering the French singles chart this week:
No. 85: "(Now and Then There's) A Fool Such as I"
No. 86: "It's Now or Never"
No. 87: "Jailhouse Rock"
No. 90: "One Night"
No. 91: "Are You Lonesome Tonight"
No. 92: "Surrender"
No. 94: "Wooden Heart"
AND THERE'S MORE: The "Chart Beat" column in this week's print edition (issue date March 12) of Billboard covers the return of Bobby Vinton to the Hot 100; Kelly Clarkson becoming the first female artist to top the Adult Contemporary chart in six months; Josh Gracin challenging for the No. 1 spot on
the Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart; 50 Cent becoming the first artist to score three hits in the top five of the Hot 100 since the Beatles; and the bloodlines of country newcomer duo Hanna-McEuen.