Fred Bronson reports on chart activities relating to 50 Cent, Olivia, the Game, Los Lonely Boys, Green Day and Josh Gracin.
'CANDY' MAN: 50 Cent earns his third No. 1 on Billboard's Hot 100 this week with "Candy Shop" (Shady/Aftermath). It's the first chart-topper for featured artist Olivia, who returns to the chart after a four-year gap. Formerly an artist on the J label, Olivia was a one-hit wonder until she joined 50 Cent on "Candy Shop." In April 2001, she peaked at No. 15 with "Bizounce."
50 Cent's first two No. 1 hits were "In Da Club" and "21 Questions." The former ruled for nine weeks and the latter for four weeks, both in 2003.
"Candy Shop" goes to the head of the class in its fifth chart week. With the exception of singles by "American Idol" finalists, that's the fastest rise to No. 1 since Usher took four weeks to reach the top in July 2001 with "U Remind Me."
On the lighter side, "Candy Shop" is the second No. 1 song in Hot 100 history to have a title beginning with the word "Candy." The other sweet chart-topper occurred almost 33 years ago. In June 1972, Sammy Davis Jr. held the top spot for three weeks with his version of "Candy Man," a song written for the film "Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" (now that was a candy shop!).
Also on the lighter side, Olivia is only the second Olivia in Hot 100 history to receive artist's credit on a No. 1 hit. The first Olivia, of course, had the last name Newton-John.
CALENDAR GUY: The rise of "Candy Shop" means that the reign of "Let Me Love You" (3rd Street/J) by Mario ends at nine weeks. "Let Me Love You" reached the summit the week of Jan. 1 and spent its last week at No. 1 on the chart dated Feb. 26.
Chart Beat reader Larry Cohen of Trumbull, CT points out that "Let Me Love You" is thus only the third song in Hot 100 history to occupy the No. 1 spot during every week of January and February.
The other two are "I Will Always Love You" by Whitney Houston, which reached its peak on Nov. 28, 1992 and remained there through Feb. 27, 1993, and "One Sweet Day" by Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men, which moved to the zenith on Dec. 2, 1995 and continued there through March 16, 1996.
GAME OVER THE TOP: The Game earns his first No. 1 on Billboard's Rhythmic Top 40 chart as "This Is How We Do," featuring 50 Cent, moves 3-1. Meanwhile the Game's follow-up track, "Hate It Or Love It," which also includes an appearance by 50 Cent, bows on the list at No. 32.
With 50 Cent's own track "Candy Shop" earning Greatest Gainer honors and moving 7-2 and his "Disco Inferno" slipping 2-4, he becomes the first artist since Ashanti in March of 2002 to appear on three of the top four songs on the Rhythmic list.
NO ONE FLIES HIGHER THAN 'HEAVEN': For the 18th week, Los Lonely Boys are kings of the Adult Contemporary hill with "Heaven" (Or/Epic). Only four titles have spent more time in the pole position on this Billboard chart.
The AC songs with longer runs at No. 1 are "Drift Away" by Uncle Kracker featuring Dobie Gray (28 weeks), "A New Day Has Come" by Celine Dion (21 weeks), "Because You Loved Me" by Celine Dion (19 weeks) and "You'll Be in My Heart" by Phil Collins (19 weeks).
None of the songs with longer runs at No. 1 were first chart entries for their respective artists, which makes "Heaven" the most successful debut single in the history of the AC chart.
"Heaven" ascended to the throne the week of Oct. 2, 2004, and remained No. 1 for 10 consecutive weeks. Its run was then interrupted for five weeks, while Josh Groban's "Believe" took over during the Christmas season. Groban's Academy Award-nominated song from "The Polar Express" soundtrack (Warner Sunset/Reprise) took a big drop the week of Jan. 15, and "Heaven" reclaimed its place atop the list.
VARIOUS AND SUNDRY: It's rare for a song to appear on Billboard's Hot 100 and be credited to "Various Artists" -- so rare, that it's only happened four times in the 47-year history of the chart.
The fourth song to be credited to "Various Artists" is this week's highest debut. The recording of "Across the Universe" performed on the Grammys by the likes of Bono, Alicia Keys, Stevie Wonder and many others enters the chart at No. 22, making it the highest debut of 2005.
This is the first chart appearance for "Across the Universe," the Beatles' song that was included first on the 1969 multi-artist charity LP "Nothing's Gonna Change My World" and then on the Fab Four's own "Let It Be" in 1970.
For those who are curious, the other three chart entries credited to "Various Artists" are:
"Freedom," 1995 (peaked at No. 45)
"ESPN Presents the Jock Jam," 1997 (No. 31)
"One Heart at a Time," 1998 (No. 56)
'LOSE' WINS: Josh Gracin, a second season contestant on "American Idol," has outdone the chart performance of his first hit, "I Want to Live," with the follow-up, "Nothin' to Lose" (Lyric Street).
"I Want to Live" peaked at No. 4 on Billboard's Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart the week of Aug. 21, 2004. A little over six months later, "Nothin' to Lose" has reached the No. 3 spot.
On the Hot 100, it's a tie -- so far. "I Want to Live" peaked at No. 45 in its ninth chart week. "Nothin' to Lose" climbs to No. 45 in its seventh week on the list, and could surpass the peak of "Live" next week.
GOOD DAY FOR ROCK: "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" (Reprise) moves up one place on Billboard's Hot 100 to land at No. 2. That gives the band the first rock song to peak in second place since Hoobastank's "The Reason" occupied the runner-up spot in June 2004 with "The Reason."
AND THERE'S MORE: The "Chart Beat" column in this week's print edition (issue date March 5) of Billboard covers the songwriting chart span of John Lennon and Paul McCartney, which now stretches from 1963 to 2005 and "Across the Universe"; the 15-1 jump of Ray Charles' "Genius Loves Company" on The Billboard 200; and Usher being the first artist in 10 years to pull five top 10 singles from one album.