Fred Bronson reports on new Ciara topping a new Billboard chart, a change in Hot 100 methodology and Anne Murray.
SO HOT IT POPS: Billboard introduces a new chart this week, the Pop 100. The chart is compiled by combining retail and digital sales with airplay, like The Billboard Hot 100, but on the Pop 100 the only airplay counted is from Mainstream Top 40 radio.
The first No. 1 on the new chart is "1, 2 Step" (Sho-Nuff/MusicLine/LaFace) by Ciara featuring Missy Elliott. Green Day occupies the runner-up spot with "Boulevard of Broken Dreams," the track that tops the Hot Digital Songs survey. In third place is Mario's "Let Me Love You," which is No. 1 on the Pop Airplay chart as well as the Hot 100.
HOTTER THAN HOT: The introduction of the Pop 100 is not the only major change this week. New methodology is introduced to the Hot 100, which now includes sales of digital downloads whether a retail single exists or not. Titles no longer have to appear in the top 75 of the Hot 100 Airplay chart before they can appear on the big chart.
The change in formula shakes up the chart, but not at the top, where Mario's "Let Me Love You" (3rd Street/J) continues at to rule for the seventh week. Beneficiaries of the new methodology include Kelly Clarkson, who becomes the first "American Idol" to have two entries in the top 10 -- "Since U Been Gone" (RCA) at No. 9 and "Breakaway" at No. 10 -- and the Killers, who have the highest new entry of 2005 as "Mr. Brightside" (Island) bows at No. 40.
WE NEEDED HER: Anne Murray has her highest-charting CD on Billboard's Top Country Albums in exactly five years as "All of Me" (StraightWay) opens at No. 66. The week of Feb. 12, 2000, Murray peaked at No. 38 with "What a Wonderful World."
This year will mark Murray's 35th year on the country albums tally. The Canadian thrush made her debut the week of Oct. 3, 1970, with her "Snowbird" LP. The debut of "All of Me" extends her current chart span to 34 years, four months and one week.