Fred Bronson reports on the latest chart feats of Missy Elliott, Josh Groban and the latest Swedish "Idol."
WORKING IT: If the song that ranks No. 2 on this week's Billboard Hot 100 moves up one place next week, Missy Elliott will have her first No. 1 hit on this chart. "1, 2 Step" (Sho'nuff-MusicLine/LaFace) by Ciara featuring Elliott is the song most likely to succeed Mario's "Let Me Love You" (3rd Street/J), which rules the tally for a second week.
"1, 2 Step" would be the second chart-topper for Ciara, who reigned for seven weeks in 2004 with her first chart entry, "Goodies."
Elliott's chart career began in July 1997 when she was featured on Lil' Kim's "Not Tonight." Elliott may not have reached the top yet, but her 2002 hit "Work It" is tied with Foreigner's "Waiting for a Girl Like You" as the longest-running No. 2 song of the rock era, with 10 weeks in the runner-up position, the record for a song that has not spent any time in first place.
As of this week, "1, 2 Step" is tied with Len Barry's 1965 hit "1-2-3" as the highest-ranked rock-era hit with a title that begins with the digit "1." If "1, 2 Step" manages to move up, it will be the first No. 1 title on the Hot 100 to begin with the digit "1." Eight No. 1 songs have titles that begin with the word "One." In alphabetical order, they are:
"One Bad Apple," the Osmonds (1971)
"One More Night," Phil Collins (1985)
"One More Try," George Michael (1988)
"One More Try," Timmy T (1991)
"One of These Nights," Eagles (1975)
"One Sweet Day," Mariah Carey & Boyz II Men (1995)
"The One That You Love," Air Supply (1981)
"One Week," Barenaked Ladies (1998)
BETTER 'BELIEVE': Josh Groban's "Believe" (Warner Sunset/Reprise) from the soundtrack to "The Polar Express" remains No. 1 on Billboard's Adult Contemporary chart for a fifth week. If the track collects another week at the top, it will tie "You Raise Me Up" as Groban's longest-running No. 1 on this survey.
Groban has four AC chart-toppers to his credit. His first two chart entries, "To Where You Are" and "O Holy Night" both spent two weeks in pole position. "You Raise Me Up," a remake of a song by the Norwegian/Irish new-age duo Secret Garden, had a six-week reign that began in March 2004.
WORLD IDOL: The "Pop Idol" franchise has spread all over the globe, with contestants from the various national versions, including "American Idol" in the United States, consistently earning No. 1 hits in their home countries.
The formula continues to work, as the winner of the first season of the Swedish "Idol" series has the No. 1 single and album in Sweden. Daniel Lindstrom's "Coming True" (RCA) is on top of the singles chart for a third frame, while his debut self-titled album debuts in pole position this week.
As Swedish chart expert Fredrik Gustafsson of Stockholm reports, "Coming True" is written by Jorgen Elofsson. The Swedish songwriter has composed songs for "Idol" contestants from all over the world, including Kelly Clarkson ("A Moment Like This"), Will Young ("Evergreen," originally recorded by Westlife), Gareth Gates ("With You All the Time") and Guy Sebastian ("Angels Brought Me Here").
'ANGELS' CHART ON HIGH: A 20-18 move on Billboard's Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart sends Jimmy Wayne's "Paper Angels" (DreamWorks) into the chart history books. The song, inspired by Jimmy's own experience of having some lean Christmases while he and his sister grew up in foster homes, is now tied with Jeff Foxworthy's 1996 hit "Redneck 12 Days of Christmas" as the highest-charting holiday-themed titles on this chart since 1990, when Nielsen Broadcast Data Systems airplay info was first used to compile the survey.
To find a higher-charting Christmas-related song, one would have to go back to the chart dated Dec. 25, 1982, when Dolly Parton's "Hard Candy Christmas" from the soundtrack to "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas" peaked at No. 8.