Ask Billboard: Before Monica Puig, These Stars From Puerto Rico Won Chart Gold

Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
Monica Puig of Puerto Rico reacts after defeating Angelique Kerber of Germany in the Women's Singles Gold Medal Match on Day 8 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Tennis Centre on Aug. 13, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Puig defeated Kerber 6-4, 4-6, 6-1. 

Plus, Pearl Jam's career album sales, ahead of a double chart anniversary.

Submit questions about Billboard charts, 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. Or, tweet @gthot20


Hi Gary,

After many months of uncertainty in Puerto Rico, due to its precarious economic situation, a 22-year-old female tennis player named Monica Puig made her homeland of nearly 4 million residents forget about this crisis by winning Puerto Rico's first gold medal in Olympic history at the Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro.

On Aug.13, Puig defeated Germany's Angelique Kerber (the No. 2-ranked player in the world and the 2016 Australian Open champion) 6-4, 4-6, 6-1. Puig (No. 32 in the world) won six matches in seven days, including a victory over the 2016 French Open champion, Garbine Muguruza, from Spain (6-1, 6-1).

Hot 100 Chart Moves: Katy Perry's Olympics-Fueled 'Rise'

In honor of this historic feat, let's mention a few Puerto Rican talents (born in Puerto Rico or of Puerto Rican descent) that have also been champions in their field: musicians who have topped the Billboard Hot 100.

First, Jennifer Lopez, with four No. 1s:
"If You Had My Love" (five weeks in 1999)
"I'm Real," featuring Ja Rule (five, 2001)
"Ain't Funny," featuring Ja Rule (six, 2002)
"All I Have," featuring LL Cool J (four, 2003)

Tony Orlando & Dawn:
"Knock Three Times" (three, 1971)
"Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree" (four, 1973; also the year-end Hot 100 No. 1 for 1973)
"He Don't Love You (Like I Love You)" (three, 1975)

Ricky Martin ruled the Hot 100 for five weeks in 1999 with "Livin' La Vida Loca." (The song was then was dethroned by J-Lo's "If You Had My Love.")

And, Irene Cara spent six weeks at No. 1 in 1983 with "Flashdance...What a Feeling."

Thank You, Monica, for give a boost to Puerto Rico. Your courage and tenacity showed in Rio will inspire Puerto Rico to begin to emerge from its difficult situation. And, thanks for your "Pica Power"!

Mackenzie (Mac) Scott
Fajardo, Puerto Rico

Monica Puig Wins Gold at Rio Olympics 2016, Artists Celebrate

Hi Mac,

As you and fellow islanders are celebrating, so are many musicians. Among them, big fan Martin tweeted, "Today without a doubt, Puerto Rico is the happiest island in the world. Thank you Monica!"

Ahead of tonight's (Aug. 21) closing ceremonies, who else, among all nationalities, has won gold on the Hot 100? Specifically, what songs with "gold" in their titles have performed the best in the chart's history?

Here are the top songs with "gold" in their titles in all-time Hot 100 competition (based on actual performance on the weekly Hot 100. Songs are ranked based on an inverse point system, with weeks at No. 1 earning the greatest value and weeks at No. 100 earning the least. Due to changes in chart methodology over the years, certain eras are weighted to account for different chart turnover rates over various periods):

Rank, TITLE, Artist, Peak Position, Year
1, GOLD DIGGER, Kanye West feat. Jamie Foxx, No. 1 (10 weeks), 2005
2, HEART OF GOLD, Neil Young, No. 1 (one week), 1972
3, BAND OF GOLD, Freda Payne, No. 3, 1970
4, SISTER GOLDEN HAIR, America, No. 1 (one week), 1975
5, GOLD, John Stewart, No. 5, 1979
6, GOLDEN YEARS, David Bowie, No. 10, 1976
7, GOLDFINGER, Shirley Bassey, No. 8, 1965
8, SILENCE IS GOLDEN, The Tremeloes, No. 11, 1967
9, AFTER THE GOLDRUSH, Prelude, No. 22, 1974
10, THE POWER OF GOLD, Dan Fogelberg/Tim Weisberg, No. 24, 1978
11, SILVER THREADS AND GOLDEN NEEDLES, The Springfields, No. 20, 1962
12, LITTLE BAND OF GOLD, James Gilreath, No. 21, 1963
13, FIELDS OF GOLD, Sting, No. 23, 1993
14, GOLDMINE, The Pointer Sisters, No. 33, 1986
15, GOLD, Spandau Ballet, No. 29, 1984
16, DUTCHMAN'S GOLD, Walter Brennan with Billy Vaughn and His Orchestra, No. 30, 1960
17, ALL GOLD EVERYTHING, Trinidad James, No. 36, 2013
18, ALL THAT GLITTERS ISN'T GOLD, The Cover Girls, No. 49, 1990
19, DIG THE GOLD, Joyce Cobb, No. 42, 1980
20, PANDORA'S GOLDEN HEEBIE JEEBIES, The Association, No. 35, 1966

So, "Gold Digger" wins the gold among all songs with "gold" in their titles (with "Heart of Gold" winning the silver and "Band of Gold" taking the bronze ... among all "gold"s).

What's Your Favorite Summer Olympics Anthem? Vote!

As for songs whose titles include the word "silver," tops is Bill Black's Combo's "White Silver Sands," a No. 9 Hot 100 hit in 1960. The silver medal-winning "silver" hit all-time? It's also on the list above: The Springfields' "Silver Threads and Golden Needles." (Honorary mentions to artists Silver Convention and Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band.)

Notably, the word "bronze" has never appeared in the title of a Hot 100 hit. It has won chart placement only via the Bronze imprint, as two songs released on Bronze/Island/Atlantic hit the Hot 100 in 1985: Kim Mitchell's "Go for Soda," which bubbled up to a No. 86 peak, and Robin George's "Heartline" (No. 92).

Meanwhile … doo-wop group The Olympics charted 14 songs on the Hot 100 in 1958-66. The act impressed judges (aka, music fans) the most with its first hit, and only top 10, the No. 8-peaking "Western Movies."

In 1965, The Olympics stopped at No. 81 with "Good Lovin'," but the song's flame was yet to be extinguished: the following year, The Young Rascals' cover vaulted to No. 1.


Hi Gary,

Next Saturday, Aug. 27, Pearl Jam's debut album, Ten, turns 25 years old, having been released Aug. 27, 1991. The same day, No Code turns 20, as it was released Aug. 27, 1996.

Could you please tell us Pearl Jam's sales for each of the band's studio albums?

Thanks in advance!

New York City

Hi Angela,

In honor of that double anniversary, here is a recap of Pearl Jam's studio album sales in the U.S. to date, according to Nielsen Music:

10,253,000, Ten (1991)
6,053,000, Vs. (1993)
4,815,000, Vitalogy (1994)
1,421,000, No Code (1996)
1,636,000, Yield (1998)
798,000, Binaural (2000)
540,000, Riot Act (2002)
747,000, Pearl Jam (2006)
654,000, Backspacer (2009)
429,000, Lightning Bolt (2013)

Ten ranks as the 20th-top-selling album since Nielsen began tracking U.S. sales in May 1991. With career sales of 32.6 million, Pearl Jam is also the 20th-best-selling album act in that span.

In 2013, Ten became just the 22nd (and most recent) album to reach the 10 million-sold milestone in the Nielsen era. "I'm happily shocked to hear that. Wow," Pearl Jam guitarist Mike McCready told Billboard upon hearing of the feat. When the album was recorded, "we had no idea that it was going to ever do that well. I just felt like it was a really cool record and that I was in a good band."


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