"Chart Beat" columnist Fred Bronson's chart-based tidbits on Justin Timberlake, Boston, Eminem, Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliott, Keith Urban, and Westlife.
ADD JUSTIN: Justin Timberlake's name is added to The Billboard 200 as his first solo effort, "Justified" (Jive), opens at No. 2. That might disappoint some of his fans, as many thought he could debut at No. 1. Timberlake came up against a strong second week for the soundtrack to "8 Mile" (Shady/Interscope), which becomes the only soundtrack to remain No. 1 in the first two weeks of its chart life.
The two most recent 'N Sync albums both spent time in pole position. "No Strings Attached" began an eight-week reign the week of April 8, 2000, and "Celebrity" spent a lone frame on top the week of Aug. 11, 2001. "Justified" has peaked higher than 'N Sync's "Home for Christmas," which went to No. 7 the week of Nov. 28, 1998, and has matched the No. 2 peak of the group's eponymous debut, which stopped in the runner-up spot the week of April 11, 1998.
BOSTON'S MASS: One word that couldn't possibly describe the band Boston is "prolific." In the 26 years and two months that they have been charting on The Billboard 200, only six albums have appeared on the tally. The sixth makes its debut this week: "Corporate America" (Artemis) enters at No. 42. That's higher than the No. 47 peak of their fifth chart album, a greatest hits collection from 1997. Before that, "Walk On," their fourth chart entry, reached No. 7 in June 1994. Boston began its chart life the week of Sept. 25, 1976, with a self-titled debut.
'LOSE' NEWS: Eminem doesn't snooze with "Lose Yourself" (Shady/Interscope). That hit from the soundtrack to his box office smash "8 Mile" remains No. 1 on the Hot 100 for the third week. But the bigger news for "Lose" comes from Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks chart, where "Lose Yourself" inches up, 11-10. That makes Eminem's latest song his first top-10 hit on the R&B tally. Previously, his biggest R&B hits were "The Real Slim Shady" (No. 11 in June 2000) and "Cleanin' Out My Closet" (No. 11 in September of this year).
BETTER THAN 'BETTER': Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliott's "Work It" (The Gold Mind/Elektra) supplants LL Cool J's "Luv U Better" (Def Jam) at the top of Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks chart. "Work It" is Elliott's first No. 1 hit on this list since "Hot Boyz" kept her queen of the hill for six weeks, beginning in January 2000.
URBAN'S RENEWAL: Keith Urban's visit to pole position on Billboard's Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart is not over. The option on "Somebody Like You" (Capitol) has been picked up for a sixth week at No. 1, making this hit the second longest-running chart-topper of 2002. The only song with a longer reign this calendar year is Kenny Chesney's "The Good Stuff," which began a seven-week run the week of July 27.
ONE SHORT OF A DOZEN: Irish boy band Westlife debuts at No. 1 on the U.K. singles chart with "Unbreakable" (S/RCA). It's the 11th chart-topper for the group, which puts the quintet in rare company. The only artists to have more No. 1 hits in the U.K. are Elvis Presley (18), the Beatles (17), and Cliff Richard (14).