IF YOU SEE HER (SHE'S PROBABLY AT NO. 1): Billboard's Country Albums chart first appeared in the magazine issue dated Jan. 11, 1964, and this week, the 45-year-old survey coronates a new queen.
Reba McEntire  claims her 11th No. 1 on Country Albums, "Keep On Loving You" (her first collection credited to her shortened Reba moniker), breaking a tie with Loretta Lynn  for most No. 1s by a solo female in the chart's history. Dolly Parton  ranks third among women with six No. 1s. Lynn accumulated 10 leaders between 1966 and 1976. McEntire began her journey to the all-time mark when "Whoever's in New England" became her first No. 1 on May 24, 1986.
Here is a recap of McEntire's toppers on Country Albums:
1986, "Whoever's In New England" (one week)
1987, "What Am I Gonna Do About You" (three weeks)
1988, "Reba" (eight weeks)
1989, "Sweet Sixteen" (13 weeks)
1993, "It's Your Call" (one week)
1994, "Greatest Hits Volume Two" (one week)
1995, "Starting Over" (two weeks)
1996, "What If It's You" (one week)
2001, "Greatest Hits Volume III - I'm a Survivor" (one week)
2007, "Reba Duets" (one week)
2009, "Keep On Loving You" (one week to date)
Reba's new release, her first on Valory Music after more than two decades recording for MCA Nashville, tops the tally a week after George Strait  solidified his perch as the chart's leader among all artists with 23 No. 1s, as noted in last Thursday's Chart Beat .
Reba's new album also tops the Billboard 200, marking her second champ following "Reba Duets," as did Strait's "Twang" last week and Sugarland 's "LIVE on the Inside" two weeks ago. That trio of albums combines to make chart history: never before in the 53-year history of the Billboard 200 had three country acts reigned consecutively over three weeks. (Earlier this year, three albums featuring country music did lead in a span of three weeks, although they were not credited to three individual artists. On April 18, Keith Urban 's "Defying Gravity" ruled, followed by Rascal Flatts ' "Unstoppable" the next week. On the May 2 chart, the multi-artist soundtrack "Hannah Montana: the Movie" entered at No. 1. The set features country acts including Rascal Flatts and Taylor Swift ).
For more on McEntire, click here  to view Billboard's recent exclusive video interview with the iconic star.
'FEELING' LIKE THE 21ST TIME, AND 22ND: How do you follow a frame in which you set the record for most consecutive weeks atop the Billboard Hot 100? If you're the Black Eyed Peas , you head back to the record books.
The Peas' "I Gotta Feeling" leads the Hot 100 for a ninth week, a reign that directly follows its 12-week stay on top with "Boom Boom Pow." Last week, a 20th straight week at No. 1 lifted the group past Usher  for most weeks in-a-row atop the chart.
One feat tied, but not bested, last week, however, was the record for most consecutive stanzas spent in charge of the Hot 100 for a record label. This week, the Peas parent label, Interscope, claims that milestone mark all to itself. Prior to the Peas' lock on No. 1, the label led for a week with Lady Gaga's "Poker Face." This week, the label leads on a record-setting 22nd consecutive Hot 100.
Only once before had a label led on 21 straight Hot 100 charts, and to find out when, we have to go back to when each of the four Peas had barely sprouted (apl.de.ap was born in 1974; Fergie, Taboo and will.i.am were each born in 1975). From Dec. 24, 1977 through May 13, 1978, Australian music mogul Robert Stigwood's RSO label topped the Hot 100 with six songs in-a-row for a total of 21 consecutive weeks:
"How Deep Is Your Love," Bee Gees  (three weeks)
"Baby Come Back," Player (three weeks)
"Stayin' Alive," Bee Gees (four weeks)
"(Love Is) Thicker Than Water," Andy Gibb (two weeks)
"Night Fever," Bee Gees (eight weeks)
"If I Can't Have You," Yvonne Elliman (one week)
RSO's lock on the lead was broken on May 20, 1978, when Wings' "With a Little Luck," on Capitol, dethroned Elliman's hit. (Despite finally ceding the summit, RSO was not gone from the chart's top spot for long. After two weeks at No. 1 for Wings and a week at No. 1 for Johnny Mathis and Deniece Williams' "Too Much, Too Little, Too Late," on Columbia, RSO led again from June 10 through July 29, 1978, with John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John's "You're the One That I Want" (one week) and Andy Gibb's "Shadow Dancing" (seven weeks)).
Since RSO's 21-week run, two other labels could have overtaken the record had they not been interrupted for a single week each amidst lengthy reigns.
In 1995-96, Columbia led the Hot 100 for 24 of 25 weeks. Between the rules of Mariah Carey 's "Fantasy" (eight weeks) and Carey and Boyz II Men 's "One Sweet Day" (16 weeks, the most any title has led the chart), Arista led on Nov. 25, 1995, when Whitney Houston 's "Exhale (Shoop Shoop)" debuted at No. 1.
In 2003-04, Zomba held the No. 1 spot for 29 of 30 weeks with four singles by two acts on its LaFace imprint: OutKast 's "Hey Ya!" (nine weeks) and "The Way You Move" (one week) and Usher's "Yeah!" (12 weeks) and "Burn" (seven weeks). The command was temporarily halted on the Feb. 21, 2004, chart, when Twista's "Slow Jamz," on Atlantic, led for one week.
(Special thanks to Chart Beat reader Andy Leon of Ruskin, Florida, who first pointed out Interscope's impending record in an e-mail last week).
MORE 'YOURS': In addition to the Black Eyed Peas making Billboard Hot 100 history last week, Jason Mraz  did, as well, when "I'm Yours" logged a chart-best 70th week , passing the 69-week stay of LeAnn Rimes ' "How Do I Live."
Going forward, the record for longest Hot 100 chart life will continue to be re-written as long as "I'm Yours" remains on the list, and that could be for awhile. This week, the song, a lofty No. 2 on Adult Contemporary, ranks at No. 32 on the Hot 100 in its record-extending 71st chart week.
'SURPRISE' PARTY: On the Adult Top 40 radio airplay chart, viewable at billboard.biz, Daughtry  ties for second-most No. 1s in the tally's 13-year history, as "No Surprise" lifts 2-1. The song is the band's fourth No. 1, equaling Matchbox Twenty 's sum. The bands trail only Nickelback , the leader with five chart-toppers.
At No. 36 on Adult Top 40, Madonna  debuts with "Celebration," extending her lead for most entries (17) in the chart's archives. Alanis Morissette  and Sheryl Crow  rank second with 15 charted titles apiece since the list launched in the Billboard issue dated March 16, 1996.
WOW, WHAT A WONDERFUL WEEK FOR KRISTINE W: The 1981 Miss Washington winner wears the crown again on Dance/Club Play Songs.
Kristine W , nee Kristine Weitz, notches her 14th No. 1 on the chart, as "Be Alright" ascends 2-1. The diva possesses an incredible track record on the tally: 14 of her 15 chart entries since her first, "Feel What You Want" in 1994, have hit the top. Only "I'll Be Your Light" fell shy of the apex, having peaked at No. 2 on the chart dated Feb. 25, 2006.
Kristine W is now tied with Mariah Carey for third-most Dance/Club Play Songs No. 1s among women. Madonna leads with 39 (and makes a strong push for her 40th, as "Celebration" soars 16-5), and Janet Jackson  ranks second with 18.
'90S & NOW: When you think of Third Eye Blind  and Sister Hazel , you might think of "Seinfeld," "Titanic" and a certain White House intern - in other words, the late '90s. That's when the former band blanketed the airwaves with "Semi-Charmed Life," "How's It Gonna Be" and "Jumper," all top 10s on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1997-99, and the latter group scored with "All for You," a No. 11 hit in 1997.
This week, however, the bands each register career-best peaks on the Billboard 200. San Francisco's Third Eye Blind enjoys its first top 10, as "Ursa Major" launches at No. 3 (and opens atop Rock Albums). The act had previously peaked as high as No. 12 with "Out of the Vein" in 2003. Its self-titled debut album reached No. 25 during a 104-week run.
Sister Hazel arrives at No. 37 on the Billboard 200 with "Release." The Gainesville, Florida, band's prior highwater mark was a No. 47 peak for its first charted set, "Somewhere More Familiar."
LEDISI, DRAKE ARE 'BEST': Jazz-influenced singer Ledisi  lands her first No. 1 on R&B/Hip-Hop Albums with her second album, "Turn Me Loose." Her first effort, "Lost & Found," peaked at No. 10 in 2007.
On Rap Songs, Drake  establishes the mark for most weeks at No. 1 for a debut single this decade, as "Best I Ever Had" collects a 13th frame at No. 1. The song usurps Terror Squad's introductory track, "Lean Back," which led for 12 weeks in 2004. "Best I Ever Had" is now one week from equaling the decade's longest-tenured No. 1s among all artists. "Always on Time" by Ja Rule featuring Ashanti (2001-02) and "Lollipop" by Lil Wayne featuring Static Major (2008) each ruled Rap Songs for 14 weeks.
CHART BEAT BITS: Nelly Furtado  earns her first No. 1s on Billboard song charts since "Do It" led Dance/Club Play Songs on Nov. 10, 2007, as "Manos Al Aire" jumps to the top of both Tropical Songs and Latin Rhythm Songs. Furtado moves closer to her first No. 1 as a lead artist on Latin Songs, where the track pushes 3-2. She spent five weeks atop Latin Songs as a guest on Juanes' "Fotografia" in 2003 ...
Plumb , who last year achieved dance and adult contemporary crossover success with "In My Arms," claims the Hot Shot Debut on Christian Songs with "God Shaped Hole (2010)" at No. 39. The song first appeared on the singer's 1999 album, "candycoatedwaterdrops" and was featured in the Jim Carrey 2003 comedy "Bruce Almighty." The new version, which Plumb describes as done "Snow Patrol-style," previews her Nov. 3 release, "Beautiful History." The project contains new songs, re-recordings of prior favorites and remixes and radio versions of Plumb songs that had not been commercially available ...
"Joey" returns to the Billboard Hot 100. At No. 98, Sugarland 's new single is not a remake of Concrete Blonde's 1990 alternative classic, but it is the first time since that the name "Joey" appears on the chart in a title. Only five other "Joey" songs have charted: David Geddes' "Run Joey Run" (1975), Kasenetz-Katz Singing Orchestral Circus' "Quick Joey Small (Run Joey Run)" (1968), James Darren's "Pin a Medal on Joey" (1963), Anita & Th' So-and-So's' "Joey Baby" (1962) and Bill Haley and His Comets' "Joey's Song" (1959). The last artist named Joey to grace the Hot 100? Joey McEntire, then on break from New Kids on the Block, with "I Love You Came Too Late" in 1999 ...
The Dave Matthews Band  has placed six songs on the Hot 100 dating to its first, "Crush," in 1999, but this week its frontman makes his first solo appearance. "I'm Alive," by Kenny Chesney  with Matthews, arrives as the Hot Shot Debut at No. 90. The cut from Chesney's album "Lucky Old Sun" rises 23-21 on Country Songs ...
Temperatures might still be in the 80s here in New York City, but a sign of upcoming times showed this week. The first holiday CD of 2009 was dropped on the Chart Beat desk. Before long, we'll see how that album, the Glenn Mohr Chorale's "Looks Like Christmastime Is Here," fares. (That reminds us ... only 128 more days of Christmas shopping).
- Chart Beat