Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 Debuts, a Guide
3. Whitney Houston
"Exhale (Shoop Shoop)"
Chart Debut Date: November 25, 1995

Plus, Richard Marx stops by to discuss a song of his that might've been a huge hit ... if only it had been released as a single.

Ask Billboard is updated every week. As always, submit your questions about Billboard charts, sales and airplay, as well as general music musings, to Please include your first and last name, as well as your city, state and country, if outside the U.S.


Hi Gary,

Madonna, what a performance she put on at the Super Bowl half-time show!

Per the recent "Ask Billboard" discussion of songs we think should've been radio singles, I believe the following tracks should've been picked out and promoted as singles: "Forbidden Love," from "Bedtime Stories"; and, I agree with your choice of selecting "Love Tried to Welcome Me," from "Bedtime Stories."

"Why It's So Hard," from "Erotica," and "Sky Fits Heaven" from "Ray of Light" would (and should) have been smashes!

You've already pointed out "Amazing," from "Music," and I couldn't agree more! "Easy Ride" and "Intervention," from "American Life," also could've been killer singles!

Been a fan of Billboard since my early teens and of all you (columnists) guys too! Keep up the great work!


Carlos Chavez-Ivar
Olathe, Kansas

Hi Gary,

If it's not too late, I'd like to add a few more songs to the "should've been released as singles" conversation.

Okay, first ... Madonna's "Don't Stop" is a good song, but what about "I'd Rather Be Your Lover," also from "Bedtime Stories"? It's got that scorching rap from Me'Shell N'Degeocello and a New Jill Swing-ish vibe that would've made perfect sense alongside the Montell Jordan and BLACKstreet sounds of the era. That's one of my all-time favorite Madonna album tracks.

To my ears, Madonna's other great, lost hit is "Push," from "Confessions on a Dance Floor." It's both catchy and progressive, since it sounds like the ear candy Kanye West and Timbaland made two years later.

As for Roxette ... I've never understood why