Ask Billboard: Who Could Break "Glee"'s Record?

Ask Billboard is updated every Friday. 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!

Not to diminish this week's history-making chart accomplishments from theamong the now 1,000 total:

104, "I Want To Hold Your Hand," the Beatles (1964)
105, "She Loves You," the Beatles (1964)
106, "Can't Buy Me Love," the Beatles (1964)
The Fab Four was the first act to earn more than one No. 1 song back-to-back (or, in the Beatles' case, back-to-back-to-back). Also the first act to stay at No. 1 for double-digit consecutive weeks (12).

436, "You Light Up My Life," Debby Boone (1977)
The first No. 1 since the inception of the Hot 100 to spend 10 weeks at No. 1. This single is Debby Boone's only top 40 hit, making her one of a select group of artists to reach No. 1 but never again the top 40.

456, "Le Freak," Chic (1978)
The first song to hit No. 1 three different times in the same run. "Le Freak" spent a week at No. 1, relinquished the top spot for a week, moved back up for another two weeks, dropped back out for another two weeks and moved back into the No. 1 position for three more weeks, for a total of six weeks on top.

463, "Heart of Glass," Blondie (1979)
A worldwide No. 1 hit that united punk and disco lovers alike - no easy trick.

470, "My Sharona," the Knack (1979)
The No. 1 single of 1979 bridged the gap between '70s classic rock and the more pop-leaning '80s area rock.

473, "Rise," Herb Alpert (1979)
The last Hot 100 No. 1 instrumental not tied to a film or TV show.

474, "Pop Muzik," M (1979)
M (aka, Robin Scott) is in that elite group with Debby Boone and others who never reached the top 40 again after reigning. In fact, M, was a one-hit wonder in the U.S. It's always been my contention that "Pop Muzik" epitomized the music of a decade - not the one it came from, but the next one.

487, "Coming Up (Live At Glasgow)," Paul McCartney & Wings (1980)
The song that John Lennon reportedly liked so much that it spurred him to unretire, it would have never reached No. 1 had it not been for radio stations who switched the original studio A-side for the live B-side.

501, "Rapture," Blondie (1981)
The first (of many, eventually) rap-infused Hot 100 No. 1.

505, "Medley: Intro Venus / Sugar, Sugar / No Reply / I'll Be Back / Drive My Car / Do You Want to Know a Secret / We Can Work It Out / I Should Have Known Better / Nowhere Man / You're Going to Lose That Girl / Stars on 45," Stars on 45 (1981)
"Medley" not only holds the record for longest title to reach the Hot 100, but it also inspired other medleys of its era, including "Hooked on Classics" and "Hooked on Swing" and medleys by the Beach Boys and the Beatles themselves (each reached No. 12).

512, "I Can't Go For That (No Can Do)," Daryl Hall John Oates (1982)
After "Private Eyes" ceded the No. 1 spot to "Physical" by Olivia Newton-John, the duo reclaimed it 11 weeks later with a 4-1 jump (after five weeks at No. 4), much to the dismay of Foreigner, who spent its last of 10 weeks stuck at No. 2 with "Waiting for a Girl Like You."

642, "I Think We're Alone Now," Tiffany (1987)
643, "Mony Mony," Billy Idol (1987)
A rare occurrence of two Tommy James cover songs leading consecutively.

662, "Foolish Beat," Debbie Gibson (1988)
The fourth track from her debut album, "Out of the Blue," made Gibson the youngest recording artist to write, produce and sing a No. 1 hit.

663, "Dirty Diana," Michael Jackson (1988)
The record-establishing fifth No. 1 song from one album ("Bad").

790, "Stay (I Missed You)" (from "Reality Bites"), Lisa Loeb & Nine Stories (1994)
The only recording artist to hit No. 1 on the Hot 100 without being signed to a record label.

821, "Candle in the Wind 1997"/"Something About the Way You Look Tonight," Elton John (1997)
The biggest-selling single of all time in the U.S. (11-times Platinum, per the RIAA) and the world (in Canada, the song spent three years in the top 20, with 46 weeks at No. 1).

833, "One Week," Barenaked Ladies (1998)
One of those funky chart quirks you love to have happen, like Prince's "7" hitting No. 7, or this hit, which spent, um, "one week" at No. 1.

This is way too much fun.

Thanks so much, Gary, for inspiring us to contribute to your column!

Ron Raymond, Jr.
Music Director, WMPG-FM
Portland, Maine

Ask Billboard is updated every Friday. 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.


Dear Gary,

Before I get to sharing my picks for some of the most historic Hot 100 No. 1s, Lady Gaga's "Born This Way" becomes the first song with the word "Born" in its title to lead the list.

By peak, the biggest such Hot 100 hits are:

No. 1, "Born This Way," Lady Gaga (2011)
No. 2, "Born to Be Wild," Steppenwolf (1968)
No. 3, "Born to Be My Baby," Bon Jovi (1989)

No. 4, "With You I'm Born Again," Billy Preston & Syreeta (1980)
No. 7, "Born Too Late," Poni-Tails (1958)
No. 7, "Born Free," Roger Williams (1966)
No. 9, "Born in the U.S.A.," Bruce Springsteen (1985)

Also, this week's Hot 100 sports some of the most explicit song titles ever in the top 10.

P!nk slips to No. 5 with "F**kin' Perfect", while Cee-Lo Green re-enters at No. 7 with "F**k You (Forget You)." (The songs sandwich Enrique Iglesias' "Tonight (I'm Lovin' You)," listed under its PG title ...)

At No. 8, Rihanna whips up her third top 10 from "Loud" with "S&M" and, if the top 10 wasn't dirty enough, the Black Eyed Peas re-enter the region at No. 9 with "The Time (Dirty Bit)."

Now, some more essential No. 1s to add to your list:

83, "Go Away Little Girl," Steve Lawrence (1963)
260, "Go Away Little Girl," Donny Osmond (1971)
The Carole King/Gerry Goffin composition was the first song to hit No. 1 for multiple artists. The feat would be duplicated with another King/Goffin song, "The Locomotion" (Little Eva, 1962; Grand Funk, 1974)

266, "American Pie (Parts I & II)," Don McLean (1972)
The longest song in length to hit No. 1 - more than eight minutes - comprised both the A-side and B-side of a 45. (I can hear the younger readers asking, "What's a 45?")

429, "Gonna Fly Now (Theme from "Rocky")," Bill Conti (1976)
The familiar fanfare accompanying Sly Stallone's run through Philadelphia and up the steps of the Museum of Art was the first song to climb one step at a time from No. 7 (7-6-5-4-3-2-1).

810, "Macarena (Bayside Boys Mix)," Los Del Rio (1996)
The song that took the longest time - 33 weeks - to reach the summit. Did it lose steam after such a journey? No way! It stayed at No. 1 for 14 weeks.

840, "Believe," Cher (1999)
The singer and Oscar-winning actress ended a 25-year absence from the No. 1 spot with her first No. 1 since 1974's "Dark Lady". Cher also logged the longest span between her first and last No. 1s, 33 years and seven months after her 1965 Sonny & Cher No. 1 "I Got You Babe."

969, "My Life Would Suck Without You," Kelly Clarkson (2009)
When Clarkson notched her first No. 1 with "A Moment Like This," her climb from No. 52 to 1 shattered the 38-year-old record of the Beatles' "Can't Buy Me Love" for biggest jump to No. 1. After a few artists bested Clarkson's feat, she reclaimed the honor when this song blasted 97-1.


Jeff Lerner
Long Island, New York

Ask Billboard is updated every Friday. 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.


Hollywood highlights from this week's "American Idol" episodes:

John Wayne Schulz's intimate acoustic performance of "Landslide," reinforcing that volume doesn't have to equate to vocal prowess.

Steve Tyler's musical interjections during a performance that moves him, especially his "Yes I am!" shouts when potential favorite Lauren Alaina performed yet another duet (following her audition with "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing") with the new judge, who Alaina serenaded on stage with "Some Kind of Wonderful."

And, Jennifer Lopez's first (more subtle than Tyler's) singing on the show, during Schulz's performance.

Per my goal of hoping to identify this year's eventual champion early in the season, I've pinpointed 41 hopefuls as potential victors.

After last night, 11 are confirmed as welcomed back next week, 15 have been cut and the fate of 15 has yet to be revealed:

Here are my choices we're certain to see again:
Casey Abrams
Naima Adedapo
Lauren Alaina
Jacee Badeaux
Jovany Barreto
James Durbin
Caleb Hawley
Brett Loewenstern
Scott McCreery
Ashley Sullivan
Lauren Turner

(As noted last week, my girlfriend, Michelle, and I are amid our own "'Idol" competition. While my 11 confirmed potential winners bests her 10, she chose only 25 possible champions.

Thus, her percentage - 40% (10 of 25) - of singers confirmed as still eligible for the "Idol" title bests mine: 27% (11 of 41).

Adding those whose status "Idol" cameras haven't shown, I also lose in those who are, and still might be, in the running: 68% to 63%.

By publishing my second-place standing, the Valentine's Day presents clearly continue ...)

Which singers are impressing you as the series closes in on its top 12?

Follow's complete coverage of the 10th season of "American Idol" and, as always, please feel free to share your opinions in the comments section below or by e-mailing