Chart Beat Podcast: Is Bruno Mars Having the Best Decade for a Male Soloist Since Michael Jackson in the '80s?

Getty Images
Bruno Mars & Michael Jackson

Plus, Pandora's Rachel Whitney chats with Billboard's Jim Asker about the service's country programming.

Welcome to the Billboard Chart Beat Podcast, where each week co-hosts Gary Trust and Trevor Anderson, from the Billboard charts department, discuss why what's on the charts … is on the charts.

This week, Gary and Trevor recount Bruno Mars' coronation on the latest Billboard Hot 100, with "That's What I Like." The song is Mars' seventh No. 1, all since his first in 2010, extending his lead for the most among male soloists this decade. In fact, the sum ties for the second-best total in any decade for a solo male: Usher also notched seven in the 2000s, as did Phil Collins in the '80s. The three stars trail only Michael Jackson's male-best of nine Hot 100 leaders in the '80s. With two-and-a-half years left in the '10s, Gary and Trevor discuss whether Mars can match, or surpass, the King of Pop's single-decade record among men.

Also covered: The Chainsmokers' newly-minted year-long streak in the Hot 100's top 10 – Can they challenge Katy Perry's mark of 69 consecutive weeks in 2010-11? – and Ja Rule's history of Hot 100 hits, to offset his involvement in the ill-fated Fyre Festival, of which he served as co-organizer.

In our industry insider interview, Pandora head of country music programming Rachel Whitney chats with Billboard senior chart manager Jim Asker (who oversees Billboard's country charts) about the radio streaming service's numerous country-formatted stations. "It's kind of like a museum. I'm making sure that we have all the art," says Whitney about curating music for Pandora, which boasts more than 80 million monthly active users. "The cool thing about Pandora is there's so much room for great music. I'm not limited to one specific kind of country music. I get to dig in to everything from mainstream pop-country that you might hear on terrestrial radio to Texas country to outlaw, classic, and '70s country-rock."

Wrapping up the podcast, Gary and Trevor flash all the way back to this week in 1964, when Louis Armstrong and the All Stars led the Hot 100 with "Hello, Dolly!," as well as 1989, when Bette Midler was on her way to No. 1 with "Wind Beneath My Wings," all in celebration of the nominees for this year's Tony Awards, including Midler for her role in the Hello, Dolly! revival.

Enjoy the entire latest Chart Beat Podcast and check back for more upcoming episodes with artists, label executives, radio programmers and personalities, songwriters, producers and more. And, to receive every episode automatically in your inbox, subscribe to (and rate) the Billboard Chart Beat Podcast on iTunes!