Chart Beat Thursday: A Whole New 'World'
AS 'THE WORLD' RETURNS: Cue Bowling for Soup's "1985." (Literally, you can, to the left).
25 years after the original version by USA for Africa spent four weeks at No. 1, "We Are the World 25: For Haiti," credited to Artists for Haiti, blasts onto the Billboard Hot 100 at No. 2. The new recording starts at No. 1 on Digital Songs.
Four artists who take turns on lead vocals on the remake - Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus, Nick Jonas and T-Pain - were not yet born when the first "We Are the World" was released. Orianthi, who demonstrates her guitar virtuosity on the new version, was six days old when the stars of USA for Africa gathered to bring the song to life on Jan. 28, 1985.
"We Are the World 25: For Haiti" marks the fourth 1985 Hot 100 No. 1 to revisit the chart as a cover. Three have reappeared in the last year:
"We Are the World"
USA for Africa (No. 1, four weeks)
Artists for Haiti (No. 2 peak to date, Feb. 27, 2010)
"I Want to Know What Love Is"
Foreigner (No. 1, two weeks)
Mariah Carey (No. 60 peak, Oct. 17, 2009)
Wham! featuring George Michael (No. 1, three weeks)
Seether (No. 63 peak, May 30, 2009)
Bryan Adams (No. 1, two weeks)
DJ Sammy & Yanou featuring Do (No. 8 peak, Aug. 10, 2002) (Brandi Carlile offers an acoustic take of "Heaven" on her Valentine's Day-themed EP "XOBC," which begins this week atop Folk Albums).
While the original "We Are the World" reached No. 1 on the chart's airplay and sales component charts, 96 percent of the Hot 100 chart points for "We Are the World 25: For Haiti" stem from digital sales. Still, 246 stations sampled the new interpretation following its Feb. 12 release, with Adult Pop Songs reporter KRUZ (97.5)/Santa Barbara leading with 29 plays through Tuesday (Feb. 16).
(As previously reported, Emilio Estefan and Quincy Jones are in the process of recording a Spanish-language version of "We Are the World," entitled "Somos el Mundo.")
HEAL THE WORLD: Upon its debut, "We Are the World 25: For Haiti" joins the list of the highest-charting multi-artist charity singles in the Hot 100's history.
It's the first such charting track since another song featuring Miley Cyrus, "Just Stand Up!," by Stand Up to Cancer, peaked at No. 11 on the Hot 100 dated Sept. 20, 2008. Mary J. Blige and Fergie also claim vocal credit on both tracks.
Here is a look at the Hot 100's top-performing all-star songs whose ultimate greatest legacies have been aiding charitable causes:
Peak Pos., Title, Artist, Year
No. 1 (four weeks), "We Are the World," USA for Africa, 1985
No. 1 (four weeks), "That's What Friends Are For," Dionne & Friends (Elton John, Gladys Knight and Stevie Wonder), 1985
No. 1 (one week), "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me," George Michael/Elton John, 1991
No. 2 (to date), "We Are the World 25: For Haiti," Artists for Haiti, 2010
No. 4, "God Bless the U.S.A.," American Idol Finalists, 2003
No. 11, "Voices That Care," Voices That Care, 1991
No. 11, "Just Stand Up!," Stand Up to Cancer, 2008
No. 13, "Do They Know It's Christmas?," Band-Aid, 1985
No. 20, "Send It On," Disney's Friends for Change, 2009
No. 27, "What's Going On," Artists Against Aids, 2001
No. 35, "We're All in the Same Gang," the West Coast Rap All-Stars, 1990
Another newly-released benefit remake bubbles under the Hot 100 and Digital Songs: Helping Haiti's cover of R.E.M.'s "Everybody Hurts," whose lineup includes Jon Bon Jovi, Mariah Carey, Cyrus, Leona Lewis and Rod Stewart.
JACKSON 2: The bow of "We Are the World 25: For Haiti" grants writers Lionel Richie and Michael Jackson their highest Hot 100 chart ranks since 1994 and 1995, respectively.
Richie last placed as high as No. 2 as a writer when Mariah Carey and Luther Vandross' cover of "Endless Love" peaked at No. 2 on the Oct. 1, 1994, chart. Jackson most recently logged time at such Hot 100 heights when "You Are Not Alone," which he performed and co-produced (with the ballad's writer, R. Kelly), topped the Sept. 2, 1995, survey and spent three subsequent weeks at No. 2.
This week, Janet Jackson joins her late brother with an entrance on the Hot 100 as a writer. Iyaz debuts at No. 43 with "Solo," whose melody samples her 1993 two-week No. 1, "Again."
'SOLDIER' ON: Parallels to 1985 extend to the Billboard 200, where an act that first appeared on the chart 25 years ago this week launches at the summit.
Eight years after its last debut, Sade returns to the chart, as "Soldier of Love" marches in at No. 1. The group, led by vocalist Helen Folsade Adu, last appeared with "Lovers Live," which debuted and peaked at No. 10 on the Feb. 23, 2002, tally. Sade's last studio set, "Lovers Rock," reached No. 3 in December 2000.
"Soldier of Love" is Sade's second No. 1. Its second album, "Promise," spent two weeks on top in February 1986. Sade arrived with the No. 5-peaking "Diamond Life" on the chart dated Feb. 23, 1985.
Billboard 200 chart manager Keith Caulfield notes that Sade is the first group to send its first eight charted albums into the top 10 since Led Zeppelin, which scored with its first 10 Billboard 200 entries from 1969 to 1983.
CAR TUNES: From "Little Deuce Coupe," "Mustang Sally" and "Hot Rod Lincoln" to "Ventura Higway, "Little Red Corvette" and "Pink Cadillac," automobile companies have received free advertising via hit songs for decades.
This week, Lloyd Banks can't make up his mind about which wheels to endorse. "Beamer, Benz or Bentley," featuring Juelz Santana, motors onto the Hot 100 at No. 76. The track paves the way for the rapper's first studio set in four years, due this summer.
"'Beamer, Benz or Bentley,' (is) a club record, party record, car record," says Banks. "It's a lot of energy. I want everybody to look forward to my third album. It's definitely gonna be worth the wait."
CHART BEAT BITS: Following Valentine's Day, several sets released in conjunction with the holiday snuggle up to Billboard charts. In addition to Brandi Carlile's "XOBC" EP opening at No. 1 on Folk Albums, the "Valentine's Day" soundtrack starts at No. 20 on the Billboard 200, Michael Buble's "Special Delivery" EP arrives at No. 26 on the list and Rascal Flatts' "Fourteen Love Songs for the Fourteenth" debuts at No. 41 on Country Albums ...
Hot 100 chart manager Silvio Pietroluongo notices a coincidence behind the 65-38 jump on the chart for B.o.B's "Nothin' On You," featuring Bruno Mars. The song enters the top 40 thanks to identical 67-42 vaults on Digital Songs and Radio Songs/Hot 100 Airplay ...
There's a No. 1 for that: "Telephone" lifts 2-1 on Dance/Club Play Songs, granting Lady Gaga and Beyonce their fifth consecutive No. 1s apiece on the survey. The cut becomes Lady Gaga's sixth top 10 (11-9) in six tries on Radio Songs, where her first five entries reached the top five ...
With two debuts this week, Ludacris ties Snoop Dogg for third-most entries (58) among rappers on R&B/Hip-Hop Songs. In the chart's history, Jay-Z (94) and Lil Wayne (66) are the only rappers that have made more visits. Ludacris bows with his own "My Chick Bad" at No. 70 and as a guest on Justin Bieber's "Baby" at No. 96 ...
The name Jimi Hendrix appears atop a Billboard chart for the first time since Nov. 23, 1968, when his landmark "Electric Ladyland" spent its second of two weeks atop the Billboard 200. "Valleys of Neptune" shoots 20-1 on Hot Singles Sales, viewable at billboard.biz. The song is the title cut to the late legend's March 9 album featuring 12 previously-unreleased studio recordings.