Chart-based stories on Def Leppard, Destiny's Child's Kelly Rowland and Beyonce Knowles, Gareth Gates, Darius Danesh, and Beth Orton.
'X' MARKS THE SPOTS: It's been more than three years since a Def Leppard album debuted on The Billboard 200. This week the band from Sheffield, England, repeats the No. 11 debut of 1999's "Euphoria" with its first set issued under the Island label logo, "X."
"X" is, appropriately, the group's 10th album to chart in the U.S. The first Def Leppard LP to appear on the Billboard album chart was "On Through the Night," which debuted the week of May 3, 1980, and peaked at No. 51. The band moved up to superstar status in 1983, when "Pyromania" went nine times platinum. The album spent two weeks at No. 2, unable to dislodge Michael Jackson's "Thriller."
Def Leppard finally had its first No. 1 album in July 1988, when "Hysteria" became the group's best-selling set. That album went platinum 12 times over, and spent six weeks atop The Billboard 200. The follow-up, "Adrenalize," had a five-week run at the top in 1992.
If "X" can move up even one rung, it will be Def Leppard's first top-10 album since "Retro Active," a compilation of older and unreleased tracks, peaked at No. 9 in 1993.
KELLY GIRL: The first member of Destiny's Child to make it to No. 1 on The Billboard Hot 100 under her own name is Kelly Rowland, who is featured on Nelly's "Dilemma" (Fo' Reel/Universal). "Dilemma" takes over the top spot this week, replacing Nelly's "Hot in Herre." That makes Nelly the sixth artist in the rock era to succeed himself at No. 1, following Elvis Presley, the Beatles, Boyz II Men, Puff Daddy, and Ja Rule.
Beyonce Knowles of Destiny's Child has a song on the "Austin Powers in Goldmember" (Maverick/Warner Bros.) soundtrack, which moves to No. 1 on Billboard's Top Soundtracks chart. "Work It Out" was sent as a promotional single to radio, but has not appeared on any Billboard chart. Released as a single in the U.K., "Work It Out" spent one week in the top-10, debuting at No. 7.
GOLDEN 'IDOL': While the Fox-TV series "American Idol" races to its Sept. 4 finale in the U.S., the contestants of the original "Pop Idol" in the U.K. continue to reap rewards. Gareth Gates, who finished second in the televised competition, collected a gold single and spent three weeks at No. 1 with his second release, "Anyone of Us (Stupid Mistake)." Now, Gates has been replaced at the top by the first single from the third-place contestant, Darius Danesh, who is billed as Darius on "Colourblind" (Mercury). One difference between Darius' success and the hit singles by Gates and "Pop Idol" winner Will Young: Danesh is a co-writer on his No. 1 song.
BETH RETURNS: British singer/songwriter Beth Orton can no longer be classified a one-hit wonder on The Billboard 200. Her 1996 album "Trailer Park" never charted, nor did a 1997 EP. Until this week, her lone album to chart was "Central Reservation," which peaked at No. 110. She surpasses that mark with the No. 40 debut of "Daybreaker" (Heavenly/Astralwerks).