Fred Bronson reports on the latest chart feats of OutKast, "American Idol" finalists and newly married couple Elvis Costello and Diana Krall.
TWICE AS NICE: OutKast doesn't budge from the top of Billboard's Hot 100, but the rap duo from Atlanta also moves up from 3-2. With "Hey Ya!" (Arista) in pole position for the second week, and "The Way You Move" sliding into second, this is the third time in Hot 100 history that the same duo or group is occupying the top two slots.
OutKast follows the Beatles and the Bee Gees into the history books, with a couple of important differences. The Beatles were No. 1 and No. 2 in February 1964 with "I Want to Hold Your Hand" and "She Loves You," respectively. The former was the Fab Four's first single to be released in the U.S. on Capitol, while "She Loves You" was an older song that the label had declined to issue, thus allowing it to pass to the Swan label.
The week the Bee Gees went to No. 1 in March 1978 with "Night Fever," the trio's previous single, "Stayin' Alive," rebounded to No. 2. In the case of OutKast, "Hey Ya!" and "The Way You Love Me" are concurrent hits, and appear on the same commercial single.
Four solo artists have also taken the top two spots in the same week, though only one did it as the lead artist. That would be Nelly, who was No. 1 in August 2002 with "Hot in Herre" while the follow-up, "Dilemma" (recorded with Kelly Rowland) climbed to No. 2. The following week, "Dilemma" took the lead and "Hot in Herre" became the runner-up. The other three solo artists to capture the top two positions in the same week are P. Diddy, Ja Rule and Ashanti, though all were in a supporting role on one of the charted songs.
If "The Way You Move" has the juice to replace "Hey Ya!" at No. 1, OutKast will become the seventh act in the rock era to replace itself at the summit. Elvis Presley did it first, with "Don't Be Cruel" / "Hound Dog" and "Love Me Tender" in 1956. The Beatles had three consecutive No. 1 hits in 1964, with "Can't Buy Me Love" following "I Want To Hold Your Hand" and "She Loves You." The other acts who have replaced themselves at No. 1 are Boyz II Men, Puff Daddy, Ja Rule and Nelly.
COUNT THE IDOLS: Establishing a new record for any one Billboard chart, the "American Idol" franchise reaches new heights on the Adult Contemporary tally, with five different singers who have competed on the show charting at the same time.
Clay Aiken holds at No. 12 with "Invisible" (RCA), while moving 19-16 with "The First Noel" and standing pat at No. 22 with "Silver Bells," a duet with Kimberley Locke. First season winner Kelly Clarkson advances 25-19 with her version of "My Grown-Up Christmas List," while second-season winner Ruben Studdard is teamed with first season contestant Tamyra Gray on "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas," a new entry at No. 29.
A total of six Idols have appeared on various Billboard charts, as first season runner-up Justin Guarini went to No. 20 on The Billboard 200 with his first, self-titled release. Second season contestant Vanessa Olivarez hasn't charted in the U.S. yet, but did peak at No. 10 in Canada with "The One."
There's "Idol" activity on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks chart as well, where Studdard's second single, "Sorry 2004" (J), is the highest new entry at No. 43. His first R&B chart single, "Superstar," debuted at No. 61 the week of June 21. "Superstar" was the second-highest new entry that week, while "Shake Ya Tailfeather" by Nelly, P. Diddy & Murphy Lee took Hot Shot Debut honors at No. 57.
JAZZY COUPLE: When their albums shared berths in the top-10 of Billboard's Top Jazz Albums last week, Diana Krall and Elvis Costello were labelmates. Now, the couple is... a couple, as in married.
Krall's "Live in Paris," on Universal's Verve imprint, holds at No. 2 on the tally, while Costello's "North," on Universal Classics' Deutsche Grammophon imprint, heads south, falling 5-7. Both sets previously held the No. 1 spot on the chart.
Costello and Krall were married Dec. 6 at Elton John's mansion in Surrey, England.