Chart-based stories on Ashanti, debut chart-topping singles, LeAnn Rimes, and Gordon Lightfoot.
TWO FOR TWO: After a six-week reign, "Ain't It Funny" (Epic) by Jennifer Lopez and Ja Rule falls out of pole position on Billboard's Hot 100, making way for Ashanti to have her second No. 1 hit. Ah, but which Ashanti song is top of the pops? The newcomer makes more chart history as she holds at No. 2 with "What's Luv?" (Terror Squad), the Fat Joe song that features Ashanti, while advancing to No. 1 with her first solo effort, "Foolish" (Murder Inc./Def Jam).
That makes Ashanti the first female artist in the history of the Hot 100 to occupy the top two positions. The only other acts to accomplish this are the Beatles, the Bee Gees, Puff Daddy, and Ja Rule.
Ashanti is the only act aside from the Beatles to come in first and second in the same week with her first two chart entries. Ashanti also joins a list of 16 artists who have scored No. 1 hits with their first two releases.
Here are the artists who topped the Hot 100 with their first two chart entries:
The Four Seasons - "Sherry" and "Big Girls Don't Cry" (1962)+
The Beatles - "I Want To Hold Your Hand" and "She Loves You" (1964)
The Monkees - "Last Train to Clarksville" and "I'm a Believer" (1966)
The Jackson 5 - "I Want You Back" and "ABC" (1970)++
KC and the Sunshine Band - "Get Down Tonight" and "That's the Way (I Like It)" (1975)+++
Andy Gibb - "I Just Want To Be Your Everything" and "(Love Is) Thicker Than Water" (1977-78)++++
Lionel Richie - "Endless Love" and "Truly" (1981-82)+++++
Men at Work - "Who Can It Be Now" and "Down Under" (1982-83)
Peter Cetera - "Glory of Love" and "The Next Time I Fall" (1986)++++++
Tiffany - "I Think We're Alone Now" and "Could've Been" (1987-88)
Rick Astley - "Never Gonna Give You Up" and "Together Forever" (1988)
Wilson Phillips - "Hold On" and "Release Me" (1990)
Mariah Carey - "Vision of Love" and "Love Takes Time" (1990)+++++++
Mase - "Can't Nobody Hold Me Down" and "Mo Money Mo Problems" (1997)
Christina Aguilera - "Genie in a Bottle" and "What a Girl Wants" (1999-2000)
Ashanti - "Always on Time" and "Foolish" (2002)
+The Four Seasons first charted in 1956 as the Four Lovers.
++The Jackson 5's first four chart entries all went to No. 1.
+++The Sunshine Band charted without KC between "Get Down Tonight" and "That's the Way (I Like It)."
++++Andy Gibb's third single, "Shadow Dancing," also went to No. 1.
+++++Lionel Richie had already charted with the Commodores, but his first two songs away from the group both went to No. 1.
++++++Cetera has already charted as a member of Chicago; these two songs represent his first chart entries as a solo artist.
+++++++Carey's first five chart entries all went to No. 1.
'FOOLISH' AND ALONE: Ashanti's "Foolish" is the first song to advance to No. 1 on the Hot 100 in 2002 by a solo artist. It follows "Always on Time" by Ja Rule featuring Ashanti and "Ain't It Funny" by Jennifer Lopez and Ja Rule. "Foolish" is the first No. 1 hit by a solo female artist since Mary J. Blige ruled for six weeks with "Family Affair" in November-December 2001.
RIMES WITH LONGEVITY: The longest-running single in the history of the Hot 100 is "How Do I Live," the LeAnn Rimes song that remained on the chart for 69 weeks. Rimes also holds the record on Hot 100 Singles Sales, where "Can't Fight the Moonlight" (Curb) slides 6-7 in its 85th chart week. The runner-up is Los Del Rio's "Macarena" (Bayside Boys Mix), which was on the sales chart for 81 weeks.
Rimes completes her hat trick with the longest-running single in the history of the Top Country Singles Sales chart. "How Do I Live" moves up 11-9 in its 252nd chart week.
Rimes came close to setting a fourth longevity record with another song. Her recording of "I Need You" recently fell off the Adult Contemporary chart after a run of 104 weeks. That's only good enough for third place, behind two Savage Garden songs: "Truly Madly Deeply" (123 weeks) and "I Knew I Loved You" (124 weeks).
NUMEROLOGY: Thane Tierney, senior director of catalogue development for WEA, notes that Gordon Lightfoot's new "Complete Greatest Hits" collection on Rhino enters The Billboard 200 at No. 165, the same exact position his last album to appear on this chart peaked at -- 15 years ago. The "East of Midnight" album peaked at No. 165 in 1987.