CHART BEAT CHAT

Fred Bronson answers readers' questions about Madonna's Bond theme and it's award chances, the best new artists of 2002, and Melanie.

'DAY' TIME?

Dear Fred,

Why no mention of Madonna's "Die Another Day" in "Chart Beat?" I think she may have a chance of being nominated, but then again the song may be too "techno" for the Academy!

Joe Frisella

Dear Joe,

For those readers who missed last week's "Chart Beat" (and how could that happen?), we should let people know you're referring to a letter asking about Eminem's chances to be nominated for an Academy Award for best new song for "Lose Yourself" from "8 Mile." In my reply, I mentioned several new songs that were being pushed for consideration. It's true that I made reference to "Hero" from "Spider-Man," but I made no attempt to cover all of the movie songs from 2002 that would be eligible, thus no mention of "Die Another Day."

Bond themes have been nominated before, so it's possible that "Die" will make the cut, but it may not hit the right note with more conservative members of the Academy's Music Branch.

The good news is that the Hollywood Foreign Press Association has given the nod to "Die Another Day," giving the Madonna song a berth among the five best original song nominees for a Golden Globe award. That doesn't guarantee "Die" will be an Oscar nominee, but it's a positive sign.



SPEAKING OF NOMINEES...

Hello Fred,

I am curious about who you think might be nominated for best new artist this year. There are so many to choose from this year and at least one or two artists are going to be left out.

Just this year alone we have had Michelle Branch, Avril Lavigne, Norah Jones, John Mayer, Vanessa Carlton, and Ashanti. I know I am leaving some names out as well. I would like to know your opinion on this.

Sincerely,

Keith Ackerson
Hilliard, Ohio

Dear Keith,

This should be one of the most hotly contested years for the best new artist award at the Grammys. I think all of the artists you named are contenders, along with Josh Groban. That means at least two artists who are worthy of being nominated will be excluded, and we haven't even mentioned other possibilities, like Daniel Bedingfield, the Calling, and B2K. Given the Academy's voting tendencies, I think the leading contenders are Avril Lavigne and Norah Jones.

Just to remind you, last year's nominees were Linkin Park, Nelly Furtado, India.Arie, David Gray, and the ultimate winner, Alicia Keys. Also, please note the last six winners of this award were all solo female artists. Before Keys, the most recent winners were Shelby Lynne, Christina Aguilera, Lauryn Hill, Paula Cole, and LeAnn Rimes.

The nominees for the 45th annual Grammy Awards will be unveiled Jan. 7 by the Recording Academy at a ceremony in New York. The Feb. 23 awards show will be broadcast live on CBS from the city's Madison Square Garden.



DATING BONNIE AND CLYDE

Dear Fred,

In the Dec. 6 edition of "Chart Beat Bonus," you stated:

"In 1967, the year that Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway starred in the film 'Bonnie and Clyde,' British musician Georgie Fame went to No. 7 with 'The Ballad of Bonnie and Clyde,' a song that had nothing to do with the movie."

This statement is incorrect. Georgie Fame's "The Ballad of Bonnie and Clyde" debuted on the Hot 100 on Feb. 17, 1968, and first attained its No. 7 peak on April 13, 1968.

David Dana-Bashian
Garden Grove, Calif.

David,

Consider the statement corrected.



IF I HAD A NICKEL FOR EVERY TIME SOMEONE MENTIONED MELANIE...

Dear Fred,

Interesting question-and-answer session about females with three songs in the top-40 [of The Billboard Hot 100] at the same time. I believe the first time this happened was in early 1972, when Melanie's No. 1 smash, "Brand New Key," was dropping down the chart, while two separate follow-ups were also in the top-40.

One was "Ring the Living Bell," and I have no idea what the other was. Perhaps you can shed some light. I'd be curious to know if any other readers are old enough to remember Melanie's feat.

Andy Ray
Indianapolis

Dear Andy,

First, this is not an invitation for everyone to tell me how old they are. Second, just kidding about the "If I had nickel..." headline, because the song you can't remember is "The Nickel Song." In spite of this one lapse, you do have a good memory, because Melanie did indeed have three songs in the top-40 of the Hot 100 at the same time.

"Brand New Key" fell 14-24 in its final week on the Hot 100. That was the week of Feb. 26, 1972. The official follow-up was "Ring the Living Bell," which moved 39-34 that week. "Key" and "Bell" were both on Melanie's Neighborhood label. She had previously been signed to Buddah, and that imprint had released "The Nickel Song" to take advantage of Melanie's success with "Brand New Key." "Nickel" jumped 43-36 during that final week in February.