Fred Bronson reports on the chart feats of Willie Nelson, Trapt, Ricky Martin, 50 Cent & Nate Dogg, and Eros Ramazzotti.
FULL NELSON: Willie Nelson is in the top-40 of Billboard's Hot 100 for the first time since 1984. Nelson's duet with Julio Iglesias, "To All the Girls I've Loved Before," peaked at No. 5 the week of May 19, 1984. This week, another Nelson duet brings the veteran star back into the top-40. "Beer for My Horses" (DreamWorks), recorded with Toby Keith, gallops 41-34.
STATE OF 'INDEPENDENT': There will come a time when Kelly Clarkson will be thought of as just another recording artist, and not the winner of the first season of "American Idol." But that brand will be with her for some time to come, so the strong upward movement of her second single is newsworthy. "Miss Independent" (RCA) jumps 46-30 on Billboard's Hot 100.
If Clarkson's momentum can carry her into the top-10, it's possible that there will be three "American Idol" contestants in that upper echelon less than a month from now. Ruben Studdard's cover of Westlife's "Flying Without Wings" will be released on J Records shortly, as will Clay Aiken's "This Is the Night" by RCA. If Studdard and Aiken experience the same kind of sales rush Clarkson generated after her win, the series could occupy 30% of the top-10.
TRAPTURE: Until this week, the song that took the longest amount of time to reach the top spot on the Billboard's Modern Rock Tracks chart was "The Middle" by Jimmy Eat World. That hit achieved pole position in its 23rd week. There's a new champion in the longest-time-to-reach No. 1 stakes, as "Headstrong" (Warner Bros.) by Trapt takes the lead in its 24th chart week.
RICKY'S RETURN: After topping Billboard's Hot Latin Tracks with his new single, Ricky Martin is back on the Hot 100 with his latest Spanish-language release, "Tal Vez" (Columbia), a new entry at No. 74. It's been almost two years since Martin was represented on this chart. His own single "Loaded" and his duet with Christina Aguilera, "Nobody Wants to Be Lonely,' both fell off the chart in June 2001.
ADD 'EM UP: "Chart Beat" reader David Dana-Bashian of Garden Grove, Calif., points out that "21 Questions" by 50 Cent featuring Nate Dogg is the third No. 1 hit of the rock era to feature numbers in the title and the name of the artist. The other two are "December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night)" by the Four Seasons and "4 Seasons of Loneliness" by Boyz II Men.
In another numeric note, Dana-Bashain adds that there are three adjacent songs in the top-10 by artists with numbers in their name. 3 Doors Down is No. 9, sandwiched between "In Da Club" by 50 Cent at No. 8 and "Magic Stick" by Lil' Kim featuring 50 Cent at No. 10.
Details about 50 Cent's three simultaneous top-10 hits can be found in the print version of Chart Beat, in the May 31 issue of Billboard (and available to subscribers in the Premium Services section of Billboard.com).
EROS RUNS: Frequent "Chart Beat" contributor Jochen Tierbach reports that Italian singer Eros Ramazzotti leaps 69-1 on the singles chart in Switzerland with "Un' Emozione Per Sempre," displacing 50 Cent's "In Da Club" after a three-week reign. It's Ramazzotti's second No. 1 single in Switzerland. His last chart-topper was "Adesso Tu" in April 1986. That gives him the fourth-longest span of No. 1 hits in the history of the Swiss charts.
The leaders are Tom Jones (31 years, 11 months from "Delilah" in April 1968 to "Sex Bomb" in March 2000), Elton John (24 years, 11 months from "Crocodile Rock" in February 1973 to "Candle in the Wind 1997" in January 1998), and the Bee Gees (19 years, nine months from "Words" in March 1968 to "You Win Again" in December 1987).
Ramazzotti's 68-place move is the second-biggest jump to No. 1 in Swiss chart history, topped only by the 85-place leap of Eminem's "Without Me." That single rocketed 86-1 the week of June 2, 2002.