Ask Billboard: Madonna's Biggest Radio Hits

Ask Billboard: Madonna's Biggest Radio Hits

Ask Billboard: Madonna's Biggest Radio Hits

A look at Her Madgesty's most-played songs, Carly Rae Jepsen's new No. 1 and more reader-voted songs that should've been singles

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

MADONNA'S BIGGEST RADIO HITS

Hi Gary,

With

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

'21,' '21,' '21' ...

Dear Gary,

Usually, when a song slips from No. 19 to No. 21 on the Hot 100, it is hardly an event worthy of mention in Chart Beat. However, when it comes to

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

JEPSEN'S 'MAYBE' DEFINITELY A HIT

Hi Gary,

There's rarely any coverage of the Billboard Canadian Hot 100 on billboard.com. So, being a Canadian chart geek, I'm wondering about the most successful Canadian singles of recent years.

This week, Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe" marks the return of a Canadian artist to the chart's summit. Considering that approximately 40% of songs played on Canadian pop radio must be Canadian content, I find it quite interesting that more titles by Canadian artists don't often reach No. 1 on the chart.

My question is, how many singles by Canadian acts have risen to No. 1 since the establishment of the chart almost five years ago?

Thank you very much,

Mitchell Mervyn
Kitchener, Ontario, Canada

Hi Mitchell,

Jepsen's "Maybe" marks the fifth Billboard Canadian Hot 100 No. 1 by a Canadian act since the chart launched the week of March 31, 2007.

Fittingly, two of the country's own artists ruled the inaugural six rankings. Here is a look at the five Canadian acts that have reigned:

March 31, 2007, "Girlfriend," Avril Lavigne (four weeks)
April 28, 2007, "Give It to Me," Timbaland featuring Nelly Furtado and Justin Timberlake (two)
Feb. 27, 2010, "I Believe," Nikki Yanofsky (four)
March 27, 2010, "Wavin' Flag," Young Artists for Haiti (six)
Feb. 11, 2012, "Call Me Maybe," Carly Rae Jepsen (one to-date)

With the previous two No. 1s by Canadian acts tied to promotion for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Jepsen's new leader impressively marks the first song by a Canadian devoid of such support to top the tally in almost five years.

Jepsen, who first reached a Billboard chart when her fresh take on John Denver's "Sunshine on My Shoulders" rose to No. 15 on the Canada AC chart in December 2008, tells Billboard that representing her homeland atop the Canadian Hot 100 invokes pride not just for a personal achievement but as a Canadian.

"There are no words," says the Mission, B.C. native. "I feel so blessed, so honoured.

"Thank you from the bottom of my heart."

NEXT

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

SONGS THAT SHOULD'VE BEEN SINGLES, CONTINUED

Hi Gary,

I wanted to respond to your inquiry about one of my favorite subjects - songs that should've been singles - via my very favorite artist, and someone who isn't really on the radar too much these days, Tori Amos. Maybe she would've been if any of these songs had been promoted to radio:

"Tear in Your Hand"
From "Little Earthquakes," this is, to me, one of the most accessible songs on a very quirky record that was a huge success.

"Precious Things"
This was supposed to be a single but was scrapped; it still ended up being one of her most iconic songs and is a live staple. If there were a song that might've had a chance to be her modern rock staple (no one plays even "God" anymore, it seems), this may have been it.

"Sugar"
This was originally a b-side but was going to be re-recorded for the "Under the Pink" album. It's beautiful and haunting and is actually my favorite song of all-time. I believe even Tori herself has commented that this could've been her big smash. The original version wasn't even released in the U.S. until her box set arrived in 2005.

"Northern Lad"
This ballad could've easily been played on stations that were playing similar alt-lite fare like Counting Crows' "A Long December" or Sarah McLachlan's "Adia."

"Angels"
A newly recorded song for the "Tales of a Librarian" compilation, it has the same melodic and hook-filled elements that made "A Sorta Fairytale" successful on adult pop radio. I'd say it's one of the more sorely overlooked songs in Amos' catalog.

Thank you for indulging me,

Patrick Boothe
Austin, Texas

Hi Gary,

As for Madonna? Don't even get me started. But, I will say this: as much as I love the haunting "Oh Father," which peaked at No. 20 on the Hot 100 (from "Like a Prayer"), the more radio-friendly ballad "Spanish Eyes" might've been a wiser choice as the fourth single from the album. Who knows, it might've kept her string of 17 consecutive top 10s going a little bit longer.

Thanks,

J.D. Wine
Hagerstown, Maryland

"Kiss N Tell" by

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

SONGS THAT SHOULD'VE BEEN SINGLES, CONTINUED

Gary,

Hello and thanks very much for putting out the call for songs that should've been radio singles but weren't.

Appropriately going "Back in Time," the Huey Lewis & the News song from the 1985 film "Back to the Future" was never released as a single. It did, however, manage a No.3 peak on Billboard's Mainstream Rock chart.

This one has always puzzled me. Could've been another big hit for the band, I think.

Kindest regards,

Ron Raymond, Jr.
Host/producer, "stuck in the 80s"
WMPG-FM, Portland, Maine

Hi Ron,

I agree about "Back in Time." I'd add Lewis & the News' "Better Be True" from 1988's "Small World." I never quite got the release of the set's title track, a No. 25 Hot 100 hit, as a logical follow-up to the No. 3-peaking "Perfect World." By the time the catchy "Give Me the Keys (And I'll Drive You Crazy)" was released as the third single, momentum for the album had slowed and the song stopped at No. 47.

Hi Gary,

I have two examples which are somewhat different in that they weren't album tracks at all, but rather only appeared (as far as I know) as b-sides: "Do You Think of Me?" by

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

SONGS THAT SHOULD'VE BEEN SINGLES, CONTINUED

Hi Gary,

I agree with many of your Mariah Carey picks and I agree they all could've been hits. Another is "Alone in Love" from her debut album. She sang the song on "Saturday Night Live" but Columbia never released it as a single. Great song!

I also think that Rihanna's "Fire Bomb" from "Rated R" could've been a huge radio hit. It has a catchy chorus and a pop-worthy sound. I'm hoping future "Talk That Talk" singles include "Drunk on Love," "Farewell" and "Where Have You Been." As far as Madonna, I think she should've released "I Deserve It" from "Music." I love that song!

Jeff Turnbough
Kansas City, Kansas

Hi Jeff,

An Island Def Jam executive told me this week that "Where Have You Been" is being considered as a future pop single. I agree that it would make a great sonic follow-up to "We Found Love." For now, "Where" is working its way up Dance/Club Play Songs, where it lifts 47-36 in its second week on the chart.

Hey Gary,

I think that 'N Sync's "Just Don't Tell Me That," Britney Spears' "Lace and Leather," Lady Gaga's "Dance in the Dark" and Adam Lambert's "Pick U Up" all would've been fantastic single choices.

Chaz McKinney
Elizabethtown, Kentucky

Hi Gary,

From Bruno Mars, "Marry You" is so catchy and, of course, was even covered in a "Glee" episode.

"Hair" by Lady Gaga should also definitely be a single (and a hit).

I picture an animated video of Gaga resembling Rapunzel.

Gustavo Lacuesta
Montevideo, Uruguay