While Beyonce's album 4 has yet to notch a top 10 song on the Billboard Hot 100, the set continues to rack hits on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs.
"Love on Top" ascends 13-9 on the latter list, securing Beyonce her third top 10 from 4 on the tally. Previously, "Best Thing I Never Had" rose to No. 4 and "Party" rocked to No. 2.
Dating to her first week in the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs top 10 the week of Nov. 16, 2002, with "'03 Bonnie & Clyde," Beyonce's 18 top 10s are the most among women. (Ciara places second with 12 top 10s in that span, followed by Keyshia Cole, Alicia Keys and Nicki Minaj, each with 11).
On the Hot 100, however, the No. 16 peak achieved by "Best Thing" marks the highest ranking that Beyonce has achieved with any title from 4.
While "Top" also reached the top 20 (No. 20), the set's lack of a Hot 100 top 10 contrasts with the output of Beyonce's prior set, I Am Sasha...Fierce, which yielded four Hot 100 top 10s in 2008-09: "If I Were a Boy" (No. 3), "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)" (four weeks at No. 1), "Halo" (No. 5) and "Sweet Dreams" (No. 10).
How do the Hot 100 performances of the singles from 4 compare with previous sets of consecutive albums that logged drop-offs from at least four Hot 100 top 10s to none?
In 1985, the Pointer Sisters reached No. 11 with "Dare Me," the first single from their album Contact. The peak marked a high point for any single from the set after 1983's Break Out had produced four top 10s.
More recently, T.I.'s Paper Trail generated four top 10s in 2008-09: "Whatever You Like" (seven weeks at No. 1); "Swagga Like Us," with Jay-Z and featuring Kanye West and Lil Wayne; "Live Your Life," featuring Rihanna (six weeks at No. 1); and, "Dead and Gone," featuring Justin Timberlake (No. 2).
Among the three Hot 100 entries from T.I.'s 2010 follow-up No Mercy, however, "That's All She Wrote," featuring Eminem, climbed as high as No. 18.
Other albums barren of Hot 100 top 10s after predecessor sets had yielded at least four each: Def Leppard's Adrenalize, Wilson Phillips' Shadows and Light and Lionel Richie's Back to Front (all in 1992); Phil Collins' Both Sides (1993); and, Amy Grant's House of Love (1994).
With a pair of top 20 Hot 100 entries, however, as well as a pop culture profile that continues to be top-of-mind, aided, in part, by her marriage to Jay-Z, as well as the recent birth of daughter Blue Ivy (the youngest artist ever to appear on a Billboard chart), Beyonce continues to exude superstar power.
(She's also the subject of a college course: Rutgers University's "Politicizing Beyonce." "While other artists are simply releasing music, she's creating a grand narrative around her life, her career and her persona," says lecturer Kevin Allred).
If anything, Beyonce, without regret, seemed to foretell the possibility of taking a step back commercially upon releasing 4 - which nonetheless topped the Billboard 200 upon its debut in July - as the set spotlights her love of core R&B stylings.
"I have a lot of inspiration from '90s R&B," Beyonce told Billboard last year. "I wanted music, R&B or pop, or whatever you want to call it (on the album), because I feel like good music is good music.
"Add in my hip-hop influences, and you can hear how broad (the album) is. I also gave myself more freedom to really belt out some songs and bring soul singing back."