Fred Bronson reports on the chart feats of Lil' Kim, Jewel, Ashanti, Audioslave, Ruben Studdard, and Clay Aiken.
'STICK' UP: Lil' Kim has the biggest hit of her career where she is the lead artist. Her collaboration with Christina Aguilera, Mya, and Pink, a remake of Labelle's "Lady Marmalade" from the "Moulin Rouge" soundtrack, spent five weeks at No. 1 in June 2001. That song aside, Lil' Kim achieves a new personal best as "Magic Stick" (Queen Bee/Atlantic) rises 5-3 on The Billboard Hot 100.
Featuring 50 Cent, "Magic Stick" is a contender for No. 1, although Lil' Kim may have to wait a little longer to reach the top, as "American Idol" contestants Ruben Studdard and Clay Aiken will be aiming for pole position next week.
"Magic Stick" is the third top-10 hit of Lil' Kim's career. "Not Tonight," credited to Lil' Kim featuring Da Brat, Left Eye, Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliott & Angie Martinez, peaked at No. 6 the week of Aug. 9, 1997.
Lil' Kim's first chart appearance was "No More Games," a single credited to Skin Deep featuring Lil' Kim of Junior M.A.F.I.A. That song went to No. 92 in April 1996.
02 4 0304: Jewel's new CD is the highest-debuting and highest-charting album of her career. "0304" (Atlantic) opens at No. 2. It's the fifth Jewel album to reach The Billboard 200.
Here is a summary of her appearances to date on The Billboard 200:
"Pieces of You," No. 4 (1997)
"Spirit," No. 3 (1998)
"Joy: A Holiday Collection," No. 32 (1999)
"This Way," No. 9 (2001)
"0304," No. 2 (2003)
"0304" is fueled by the success of the single "Intuition," which rises 30-27 on the Hot 100 and slips 3-4 on the Hot 100 Singles Sales tally.
'ROCK' ROLLS ON: Ashanti picks up her seventh top-10 hit this week, and she's done it all in less than two years. The vocalist made her debut on Billboard's Hot 100 in November 2001 with "Always on Time," on which she was featured with Ja Rule. That song spent two weeks at No. 1 in February-March 2002.
"What's Luv," a Fat Joe song that featured Ashanti, peaked at No. 2 in April 2002. Ashanti's solo debut, "Foolish," ruled the Hot 100 for 10 weeks, beginning the week of April 20, 2002. The follow-up, "Happy," reached No. 8 in September 2002. "Down 4 U," credited to Irv Gotti Presents The Inc. featuring Ja Rule, Ashanti, Charli Baltimore & Vita, went to No. 6 in August 2002. "Mesmerize," another Ja Rule song that featured Ashanti, hit the No. 2 spot last February.
This week, "Rock Wit You (Awww Baby)" glides 15-10 to become Ashanti's seventh top-10 hit. She is also listed at No. 40, as one of Fabolous' two duet partners on versions of "Into You."
THERE GOES A TENNER: Audioslave's "Like a Stone" (Interscope/Epic) is No. 1 for the 10th week on Billboard's Mainstream Rock Tracks chart. It's the 17th song to spend at least 10 weeks in pole position, and the first since Puddle Of Mudd's "Blurry" had a 10-week reign from February-April in 2002.
IDOLS' EARLY DEBUT: Street date violations, which occur when retail outlets sell records before their release dates, result in "American Idol" runner-up Clay Aiken and winner Ruben Studdard debuting prematurely on Billboard's Hot 100 Singles Sales chart. The amounts sold of Aiken's "This Is the Night" (RCA) and Studdard's "Flying Without Wings" / "Superstar" (J) were too small to bring the songs onto the main Hot 100, but Aiken's single enters the sales chart at No. 19 and Studdard's single opens at No. 22.
Both Idols' singles had official release dates of June 10 and will make their debuts on the Hot 100 next week. Both singles are expected to sell between 200,000 and 300,000 copies each, which would be enough to bring them on to the chart at No. 1 and No. 2, the highest debuts since current chart policies were set in December 1998. It would be the first time that new entries would occupy the top two positions on the Hot 100.
Studdard debuts on two other Billboard charts this week. "Flying Without Wings" is a new entry at No. 30 on the Adult Contemporary tally. That's just one slot below the No. 29 debut of labelmate Luther Vandross' "Dance With My Father." On the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks chart, "Superstar" has more cumulative airplay and opens at No. 61. Sales could push "Superstar" to No. 1 on next week's R&B chart.
Because both of Studdard's songs are charting, on Hot 100 Singles Sales his single is listed as "Flying Without Wings" / "Superstar." While "Bridge Over Troubled Water" also appears on Aiken's single, "This Is the Night" has the most cumulative airplay and is the sole title listed on the sales chart.