News on top songs of the year, Lee Ann Womack, No Doubt, Gwen Stefani

THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN: With the first half of the calendar year coming to a close, it's a good time to review which songs have advanced to No. 1 on The Billboard Hot 100 during 2001. Seven different titles have moved into pole position in the first six months of the year. That's just one less than the number of chart-topping titles that had accumulated by this same week in 2000, and tied with the number of singles that had reached the summit by this week in 1999.

The seven No. 1 hits of 2001 fall into an odd pattern: the first five were all by men, and the latter two are by women. That may seem like the male gender has it all over the female gender this year, but a different method of measuring reveals a different result. Counting weeks at No. 1, the women lead, with 11 weeks on top compared to 10 for the men.

Here are the songs that have moved into the top spot so far this year:
"It Wasn't Me," Shaggy featuring Ricardo "Rikrok" Ducent (2 weeks)
"Ms. Jackson," Outkast (1 week)
"Stutter," Joe (4 weeks)
"Butterfly," Crazy Town (2 weeks)
"Angel," Shaggy featuring Rayvon (1 week)
"All for You," Janet Jackson (7 weeks)
"Lady Marmalade," Christina Aguilera, Lil' Kim, Mya, and Pink (4 weeks to date)

If "Lady Marmalade" is still No. 1 next week, it will tie "Genie in a Bottle" as Christina Aguilera's longest-running chart-topper. "Genie," Aguilera's first No. 1, spent five weeks in pole position during the summer of 1999. "What a Girl Wants" had a two-week reign in January 2000. "Come On Over Baby (All I Want Is You)" managed a four-week run in October 2000.

DANCING QUEEN: With 42 weeks under her belt, Lee Ann Womack has the longest-running song on the Hot 100. "I Hope You Dance" (MCA), which falls 27-33, claims the honor even though its run is non-consecutive, having fallen off the chart and then re-entered.

When the Womack single finally has its last dance on the chart, the two titles that have a chance to be the longest-running chart song are "If You're Gone" (Lava/Atlantic) by matchbox twenty (currently at 36 weeks) and "South Side" (V2) by Moby featuring Gwen Stefani (now at 30 weeks).

NO DOUBT ABOUT IT: It looked like Gwen Stefani was going to have to settle for peaking at No. 14 on The Billboard Hot 100. Just a few weeks ago, that was her new peak position on the chart, when she stopped at No. 14 with "South Side" (V2), the song that features her as a guest star with Moby. And for the last two weeks, Stefani was stuck at No. 14 with the song she recorded with Eve, "Let Me Blow Ya Mind" (Ruff Ryders/Interscope).

But this week Stefani achieves a new personal best, as the Eve single marches to No. 12. If "Let Me Blow Ya Mind" move up two notches, Stefani will collect her first top-10 single.