Fred Bronson reports on chart activities relating to Billy Dean, Neal McCoy, 112, Beck, 50 Cent and Stevie Wonder.
DEAN'S LIST: Country singer Billy Dean makes his label debut on Curb and comes up with the highest-charting album of his career on The Billboard 200 and the Top Country Albums list. "Let Them Be Little" enters The Billboard 200 at No. 50 and the country chart at No. 8.
The Florida-born artist first appeared on The Billboard 200 in May 1991 with "Young Man" on EMI's SBK imprint, peaking at No. 99. Until this week, Dean's highest-charting title was "Fire in the Dark," No. 83 in February 1993. His last album to chart was "It's What I Do," which stalled at No. 143 nine years ago this month.
On the Top Country Albums chart, "Young Man" was Dean's most successful chart entry until this week. That debut album peaked at No. 12. Dean's gap between hits on the country chart is a little shorter than his Billboard 200 break. In September 1998, an album titled "Real Man" went to No. 41.
The title track from the new CD performed well on the Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart, where it peaked at No. 8 in March. While Dean went to No. 1 as a guest artist on Kenny Rogers' "Buy Me a Rose" in May 2000, "Little" is his biggest hit on his own since "That Girl's Been Spyin' on Me" reached No. 4 in October 1996.
REAL McCOY: Billy Dean isn't the only country artist who returned to the charts this week after a change of labels. Neal McCoy had a long run of hits on Atlantic from 1991 to 1999, followed by releases on Giant and Warner Bros. His biggest hit was "Wink," No. 1 for four weeks in June/July 1994.
He last appeared on Billboard's Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart in 2002 with "The Luckiest Man in the World," which peaked at No. 46. This week he returns on the 903 logo with "Billy's Got His Beer Goggles On," a new entry at No. 60.
GOOD NUMBERS FOR 112: A change of labels also pays off for 112 as the group's "Pleasure & Pain" debuts on The Billboard 200 at No. 4. The quartet's fifth album to chart is its first set for Def Soul after a run on Bad Boy. The album is also the group's second-highest charting title, surpassed only by "Part III," No. 2 in April 2001.
BECK ON CALL: Beck can't be very happy with 50 Cent. The rapper is No. 1 on The Billboard 200 for the fifth week with "The Massacre" (Shady/Aftermath), preventing Beck from collecting the first No. 1 album of his career.
Instead, Beck's "Guerro" (Interscope) opens at No. 2. It's still the highest-charting Beck album, besting the No. 8 peak of "Sea Change" in 2002.
DOUBLED: 50 Cent has the top two songs on Billboard's Hot 100, as "Candy Shop" remains No,. 1 for the seventh week and "Hate It or Love It" (Aftermath/G-Unit) moves 3-2.
It's the first time one artist has held down the top two positions since the week of July 17, 2004, when Usher was No. 1 with "Burn" and No. 2 with "Confessions Part II."
WONDERING: Stevie Wonder made chart news recently when he returned to Billboard's Hot 100 and Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks charts after long absences. This week, Stevie is back on the Adult Contemporary survey as a solo artist after a gap of 10 years.
"So What the Fuss" (Motown) is a new entry at No. 40 on the AC tally. It's the first solo Wonder song to chart there since "For Your Love" peaked at No. 30 in April 1995.
"Fuss" is one of two Wonder songs on the AC list as he is a featured artist on Rod Stewart's "What a Wonderful World (J), No. 25 in its 25th chart week.
AND THERE'S MORE: In the "Chart Beat" column that appears in the print edition of Billboard (for the issue dated April 16), read about Gretchen Wilson's first four singles all reaching the top 10 of the country chart, Weezer erasing its one-hit wonder status on the Hot 100 thanks to the No. 25 debut of "Beverly Hills," Bruce Springsteen's second Hot 100 hit of this millennium, Bobby Vinton returning to the top five of the Hot 100 and 50 Cent owning the top two spots on the Hot 100.
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