Fred Bronson reports on the latest chart feats of Cyndi Lauper, R. Kelly and Clay Aiken.

LASTING QUALITY: Cyndi Lauper's return to the Epic Records fold gives her her highest-charting album in 14 years. "At Last" (Daylight/Epic), an album of cover versions, opens at No. 38, just one slot lower than the No. 37 peak of "A Night To Remember" in June 1989. That makes "At Last" Lauper's fourth most successful album, in terms of chart rankings. Here is a summary of her seven chart appearances to date:

"She's So Unusual," No. 4 (1984)
"True Colors," No. 4 (1986)
"A Night To Remember," No. 37 (1989)
"Hat Full of Stars," No. 112 (1993)
"12 Deadly Cyns," No. 81 (1995)
"Sisters of Avalon," No. 188 (1997)
"At Last," No. 38 (2003)

Lauper's new CD is her highest debuting album of all time, besting the No. 42 opening of "True Colors" the week of Oct. 4, 1986.

NO RUSHIN' 'STEP': R. Kelly collects the 11th No. 1 of his career on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks, as "Step in the Name of Love" advances 2-1. "Step" made its debut way back on Oct. 5, 2002, when it first started receiving enough airplay to chart. After a 20-week chart run which saw it peaking at No. 65, "Step" was removed from the chart.

The song started gaining airplay again in June, which led to its return to the R&B chart. In September, Jive Records started promoting the song at radio. As a result, "Step" takes hold of pole position in its 43rd chart week, the longest any song has taken to reach the top of this tally.

Prior to "Step," the song with the longest journey to No. 1 was Mr. Cheeks' "Lights, Camera, Action!" That song reached the summit in its 28th chart week, and still owns the record for the longest trip to No. 1 in a single chart run.

LUCKY 13: Clay Aiken's third chart entry on the Adult Contemporary survey equals the peak position of his second hit. "Invisible" (RCA) jumps 17-13 this week, matching the peak position of "This Is the Night" in August. Aiken made his AC debut with "Bridge Over Troubled Water" in June. That remake of the Simon & Garfunkel hit peaked at No. 29.

"Invisible" is still gaining airplay and should be Aiken's biggest AC hit to date by next week. On the Adult Top 40 chart, "Invisible" marches 39-31. "This Is the Night" did not receive enough airplay on Adult Top 40 stations to appear on this chart.

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboard

Print