Chart news on Common, Snoop Dogg, Johnny Cash, and Hayseed Dixie.
EITHER OR: Just as "Picture" (Lava/Atlantic or Universal South) by Kid Rock featuring Sheryl Crow or Allison Moorer reaches the top-10 of Billboard's Hot 100, this chart features a second title that offers a choice of artists.
"Come Close to Me" (MCA) is in its 13th week on the Hot 100. For the first 12 weeks, the artist was listed as Common featuring Mary J. Blige. There are now two versions of the song, and both are receiving airplay. Because they are similar enough to have airplay of both versions combined, the credit on the chart now reads Common featuring Mary J. Blige or Erykah Badu, Pharrell & Q-Tip. The song rebounds 78-74 on the Hot 100, and 32-27 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks tally, thanks to the new remix.
Had the practice of recording a song with different artists been, um, common through the years, chart history could have been so different. Imagine "Get Back" by the Beatles with Billy Preston or Nilsson, or "No More Tears (Enough Is Enough)" by Barbra Streisand & Donna Summer or Gloria Gaynor.
'BEAUTIFUL' BOUNTIFUL: An increase in airplay sends "Beautiful" (Doggystyle/Prority/Capitol) by Snoop Dogg featuring Pharrell & Uncle Charlie Wilson into the top-10 of Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks chart. It's only the second top-10 hit of Snoop's career, counting just songs where he was the lead artist. Snoop first made the top-10 on his own in 1993, when "What's My Name?" peaked at No. 3.
As a featured artist, Snoop has three more top-10 hits, starting with his guest appearances on Dr. Dre's "Nuthin' But a 'G' Thang" (No. 1 in 1993) and "Dre Day" (No. 6, also in 1993). In 1998, Snoop supported Keith Sweat on "Come and Get With Me," which peaked at No. 6.
MODERN SOUNDS IN COUNTRY: Can an artist write a new chapter in his chart history, even 47 years after making his debut on a Billboard survey? If the artist is Johnny Cash, the answer is "yes."
For the first time in his career, Cash has a song on Billboard's Modern Rock Tracks chart. The living legend's version of Nine Inch Nails' "Hurt" (American/Lost Highway) is new at No. 34 on the Modern tally.
"Hurt" had a one-week run on Hot Country Singles & Tracks, entering last week at No. 56, but fell off that chart this week. That one week was good enough to expand Cash's chart span on the country list to 47 years, three months, and two weeks, dating back to the debut of "Cry! Cry! Cry!" the week of Nov. 26, 1955. The only artists to have longer country singles chart spans are Gene Autry (55 years, 11 months, and one week) and Eddy Arnold (54 years and seven months).
NAME THAT GENRE: It's no surprise to find artists like Alison Krauss + Union Station, Dolly Parton, and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band on Billboard's Top Bluegrass Albums chart. But what are the songs of KISS and AC/DC doing on this survey?
You'd have to ask Hayseed Dixie, the trio that has three albums ranked among the top-15 bluegrass albums in the country. Falling 4-6 is "Kiss My Grass: A Hillbilly Tribute to Kiss" (Dualtone/Razor & Tie), while "A Hillbilly Tribute to AC/DC" slips 14-15. Moving up 15-13 is "A Hillbilly Tribute to Mountain Love," featuring the band's versions of songs by artists like Bad Company, Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, and Aerosmith.
Hayseed Dixie isn't the only act with a bluegrass version of a rock song on the chart. Parton remade Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven" on her "Halos and Horns" CD, which bullets 6-4 this week.
Also on the bluegrass chart: "The Legend Lives On: A Tribute to Bill Monroe" (Audium), holding at No. 10. Monroe deserves the tribute -- he is responsible for naming this genre of music. In 1939, Monroe formed the Blue Grass Boys, named for his beloved home state of Kentucky, the Bluegrass State. They played live on WSM's "Grand Ole Opry" and then signed to RCA in 1940.