Fred Bronson reports on the chart feats of Fabolous, Ashanti & Tamia, Randy Travis, and TV soundtracks.
'YOU' OR SOMEONE LIKE 'YOU': Curiously, the conjunction "or" has been popping up a lot on the charts. The prime example is "Picture" by Kid Rock featuring Sheryl Crow or Allison Moorer, where the Crow duet garnered pop airplay and the Moorer collaboration was a favorite with country stations.
Another "or" shows up on Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks chart this week, as "Into You" (Elektra) by Fabolous featuring Ashanti or Tamia debuts at No. 74. The song was originally available on Fabolous' "Street Dreams" album with vocals by Ashanti. That version received early airplay. But since Elektra had difficulty getting permission to release the Ashanti version as a single, her vocals were replaced with new ones by Tamia. "Into You" borrows from Tamia's top-10 hit from 1998, "So Into You," so she was an appropriate choice. With both versions getting airplay, both vocalists are due credit and thus the use of "or."
THE WORD IS GIVEN: Randy Travis has his first No. 1 song on Billboard's Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart in nine years. His Word-Curb/Warner Bros. Christian single "Three Wooden Crosses" moves 4-1, becoming the first record released by a religious-based music label to top this survey. The highest-ranked single issued by a Christian label before "Three Wooden Crosses" was Ray Price's "Roses and Love Songs," a No. 3 hit in 1975 on the Myrrh label.
TELEVISION SOUNDTRACKS OF OUR LIVES: Just one week after albums by the American Idol Finalists from season two of the Fox show and 1960s prefab four the Monkees debuted on The Billboard 200, two television soundtracks show up. "American Dreams 1963-1964" (Hip-O/UME) is new at No. 48 and "Nashville Star: The Finalists" (Columbia) opens at No. 174.