Fred reports on a large batch of Hot 100 debuts and the latest chart feats of Tina Arena, Tyrone Davis, Madonna, Clay Aiken and Dobie Gray.
ARENA ROC: Australian singer Tina Arena loses her one-hit wonder status on Billboard's Hot 100, although it took her a while to collect her second hit. "Chains" peaked at No. 38 the week of May 4, 1996, and spent its final frame on the chart the week of July 6, 1996. A little more than seven years later, Arena returns to the Hot 100 with "Never (Past Tense)" (Tommy Boy Silver Label). The single by the Roc Project featuring Tina Arena debuts at No. 98. The song crosses over from the magazine's dance charts, where it peaked at No. 4 on the Club Play tally in June and No. 7 on Dance Singles Sales in July.
Arena was not a one-hit wonder in other parts of the world. She has made regular appearances on the U.K. singles chart, where "Chains" remains her biggest hit, peaking at No. 6 in 1995. One of her eight chart hits in the U.K. is the title song from the Andrew Lloyd Webber/Jim Steinman musical, "Whistle Down the Wind."
12 x 12: The single by the Roc Project featuring Tina Arena is one of a dozen new entries on the Hot 100 this week. That's the highest number of debuts in a single week since the chart dated March 13, 1999. There were also 12 debuts that week, led by Silk's "If You (Lovin' Me)" at No. 30.
One difference between the 1999 chart and the current tally: four of the debuts in March 1999 were in the top-50. Keith Sweat's "I'm Not Ready" entered at No. 32, Elton John and LeAnn Rimes' "Written in the Stars" opened at No. 37, and Savage Garden's "The Animal Song" was new at No. 50. This week's highest new entry is the No. 68 debut of "Step in the Name of Love" (Jive) by R. Kelly.
There is one odd similarity between the two charts. While this week's lowest new entry is the No. 98 debut by the Roc Project featuring Tina Arena, the lowest debut the week of March 13, 1999 was the No. 99 entry of "Nann" by Trick Daddy featuring Trina.
RECALLING DAVIS: Veteran artist Tyrone Davis returns to Billboard's Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart with "Come to Daddy" (Future), his highest-charting set in almost 11 years. "Daddy" debuts at No. 63, which is Davis' highest ranking since "Something's Mighty Wrong" peaked at No. 53 in October 1992.
Davis, best known for the crossover hits "Can I Change My Mind" and "Turn Back the Hands of Time," has an R&B album chart span of 34 years, five months and one week, dating back to the debut of the "Can I Change My Mind" album in March 1969.
ACCESS FOR 'HOLLYWOOD': Madonna's "Hollywood" looks like it's going to be her first single since she began her chart career on Billboard's Hot 100 to miss the survey. The Maverick single is having a better time on the magazine's dance charts, where the remixes remain No. 1 for a fifth week on the Dance Singles Sales tally and become Madonna's 30th No. 1 on the Club Play chart.
THE LONGEST 'NIGHT': Clay Aiken's "This Is the Night" / "Bridge Over Troubled Water" (RCA) becomes the longest-running No. 1 single from the "American Idol" franchise on Billboard's Hot 100 Singles Sales chart, as it remains in pole position for the ninth consecutive week. The previous record-holder was the single "This Is the Night" succeeded, "God Bless the U.S.A." That song by the American Idol Finalists was on top for eight weeks in a row. The first "American Idol" single, "A Moment Like This" by Kelly Clarkson, ruled for five consecutive weeks in October-November 2002.
"This Is the Night" -- which has managed to retain its crown despite some extremely close competition from Korn's "Did My Time" and Hilary Duff's "So Yesterday" -- has the longest consecutive run at No. 1 since Madonna's "Die Another Day" led the list for 11 weeks in a row from November 2002 through January 2003.
Aiken's tenure at No. 1 on Hot 100 Singles Sales faces a new threat, from another "American Idol" single. The spin-off series "American Juniors" comes to a conclusion Aug. 19, and the single "One Step Closer" (Jive) will debut next week. If the American Juniors debut at No. 1, it will be the third consecutive single from the Simon Fuller-created franchise to be No. 1 on the sales chart. The last time a non-"Idol" single was the best-selling single in the U.S. was the week of April 26, when "Picture" by Kid Rock featuring Sheryl Crow was in its 12th non-consecutive week at No. 1.
Meanwhile, on Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles Sales chart, Ruben Studdard's "Superstar" / "Flying Without Wings" (J) slips to No. 2 after an eight-week run at No. 1. Studdard's single is replaced by "Love at 1st Sight" (Geffen) by Mary J. Blige featuring Method Man.
FINE ADDITION: "Chart Beat" reader David Dana-Bashian of Garden Grove, Calif., notes that "Drift Away" by Uncle Kracker featuring Dobie Gray is in its 22nd chart week on Billboard's Hot 100. Gray's original "Drift Away" single had a 21-week run on the chart in 1973 and was Gray's longest-running chart song until now.
Dana-Bashian asks how many songs have had two chart runs of 20 weeks or more. One that comes to mind is the Four Seasons' "December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night)," which had two separate chart runs of 27 weeks each. Those two chart runs were added together for a total of 54 weeks, though, while the two "Drift Away" recordings are considered separate and will not have their chart runs added together.
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