Chart Champs: Athletes-Turned-Musicians
Never mind LeBron James, Dwyane Wade or Chris Bosh. The most popular and productive member of the Miami Heat is Carlos Arroyo.
At least, according to one of Billboard's charts.
Arroyo has taken his talents to the Latin Rhythm Airplay survey, where his new reggaeton single, "Se Va Conmigo," featuring Yomo, charges in at No. 26.
WRTO (Mix 98.3)/Miami played the song once, July 23, though 48 of the song's 51 plays in the current chart's tracking week of Aug. 9-15 were on WVOZ (107.7)/San Juan, Puerto Rico, according to Nielsen BDS. Arroyo was born in nearby Fajardo, Puerto Rico.
The point guard is merely the latest athlete to parlay athletic prowess into applause on a Billboard survey.
Here is a look at five previous instances of sports stars who have won over fans with both their physical and musical abilities.
1985 Chicago Bears
Sports success: winning the NFL's Super Bowl XX in January 1986.
Billboard chart success: Billed as the Chicago Bears Shufflin' Crew, members of the team touched down on the Billboard Hot 100 for nine weeks with "The Super Bowl Shuffle." Contributors to the novelty track included quarterback Jim McMahon, running back Walter Payton and 382-pound dancing defensive lineman William "the Refrigerator" Perry. The team's conquering of the NFL that season outweighed any disappointment over the song just missing the Hot 100's top 40. The rap recording peaked at No. 41 two weeks after the Bears' title-winning victory.
Sports success: four-time NBA champion, three-time NBA Finals MVP, 15-time NBA All-Star.
Billboard chart success: Following his Rookie of the Year-winning season in 1992-93, O'Neal courted success as a rapper, with his debut set "Shaq Diesel" reaching No. 10 on R&B/Hip-Hop Albums. O'Neal collected three more chart entries, inking a career-high No. 8 peak on the chart with 1998's "Respect." His introductory effort remains his best-seller, having shifted 864,000 units, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
Bronson Arroyo / 2004 Boston Red Sox
Sports success: the pitcher (not related to Carlos Arroyo) helped the Red Sox win their first World Series in 86 years in 2004.
Billboard chart success: Boston's Dropkick Murphys enlisted the vocal skills of then-Sox players Arroyo, Johnny Damon and Lenny DiNardo for the track "Tessie." The song spurred a No. 4 peak on Independent Albums for the "Tessie" EP. A year later, Arroyo reached No. 2 on Heatseekers Albums with his own "Covering the Bases." "Here's these two guys (Arroyo and DiNardo) who can come out of the bullpen in front of 35,000 people at Fenway (Park)," recalls Dropkick Murphys bassist/singer Ken Casey. "You got to have nerves of steel to do that. But, they're nervous that they're gonna screw up when it comes to doing music, and I just find that funny."
Sports success: two Pro Bowl selections in five seasons as a defensive tackle with the NFL's Cincinnati Bengals in 1970-74.
Billboard chart success: After injuries forced his retirement from football at age 27, Reid penned the Grammy Award-winning "Stranger in My House," which Ronnie Milsap carried to No. 5 on Country Songs, No. 8 on Adult Contemporary and No. 23 on the Hot 100 in 1983. As an artist, Reid reached No. 2 on Country Songs in 1988 with "Old Folks," with Milsap, and reigned solo in 1991 with "Walk on Faith." The non-painful kind of hits kept coming for Reid in 1991, as Bonnie Raitt's "I Can't Make You Love Me," which he co-wrote, peaked at No. 6 on Adult Contemporary and No. 18 on the Hot 100 that fall.
Sports success: four-time World Series champion with the New York Yankees holds the Major League Baseball record for most postseason runs batted in (80).
Billboard chart success: As a guitarist, Williams is batting a thousand on Jazz Songs, where both of his chart entries have reached No. 1: "Go for It" in 2009 and "Ritmo de Otono," featuring Dave Koz, this year. He's also plated two No. 3-peaking titles on Jazz Albums: "The Journey Within" in 2003 and "Moving Forward" last year. The latter set featured an appearance by Bruce Springsteen on, what else? A cover of the Boss' baseball-centric "Glory Days."