Chart Beat Chat: The Hot 100, Hot Country Songs, AC/DC

Fred and his readers discuss songs that return to No. 1 on the Hot 100, African-American artists on the country chart, AC/DC and more!


Dear Fred,

T.I.'s "Whatever You Like" is the third song this calendar year to return to the top of The Billboard Hot 100 following "Bleeding Love" by Leona Lewis and "Lollipop" by Lil Wayne featuring Static Major. If I'm not mistaken, the last time three songs returned to No. 1 was in 1966 when "We Can Work It Out" by the Beatles, "Paperback Writer" by the Beatles and "Winchester Cathedral" by the New Vaudeville Band all returned to No. 1 after falling from the top spot.

Of course, the most common occurrence has been two songs returning to No. 1 in the same calendar year. This happened in:

1958: "Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu (Volare)," Domenico Modugno and "It's Only Make Believe," Conway Twitty
1973: "Killing Me Softly With His Song," Roberta Flack_and "Let's Get It On," Marvin Gaye
1977: "I Just Want to Be Your Everything," Andy Gibb and "Best of My Love," the Emotions
1978: "You Don't Bring Me Flowers," Barbra Streisand and Neil Diamond and "Le Freak," Chic
1994: "The Sign," Ace of Base and "On Bended Knee," Boyz II Men
1998: "Too Close," Next and "The First Night," Monica
2001: "Butterfly," Crazy Town and "I'm Real," Jennifer Lopez featuring Ja Rule
2007: "Makes Me Wonder," Maroon 5 and "Crank That (Soulja Boy)" Soulja Boy Tell'em

If "So What" by Pink returns to No. 1, it will break the record by being the fourth song to return to No. 1 in the same calendar year. By the way, Fred, I was wondering if you have any details on what the fourth single will be from Mariah Carey, is it "I'm That Chick," "Migrate" (featuring T-Pain) or "I Stay in Love"? I really hope that it will be "I Stay in Love" as it is my favorite song from her "E=MC2" album.

Thank you,

Jesper Tan
Subang Jaya

Dear Jesper,

I received my copy of the new Mariah Carey single today, and you get your wish. Her label has released "I Stay in Love" as the new single from "E-MC2." As for Pink's "So What," we'll have to wait and see if it can return to No. 1, as it is now holding at No. 2.

And thanks for the look back at the years where two or more songs have returned to No. 1 on the Hot 100.


Dear Fred,

In last week's Chart Beat Chat, reader Rick Emmer wrote that prior to Darius Rucker's current No. 1 country single, one had to go back to 1983 to find an African-American artist atop that particular chart ("Night Games" by Charley Pride).

Actually, Ray Charles topped the country singles chart on March 23, 1985, with "Seven Spanish Angels" - a duet with Willie Nelson. That makes the gap for an African-American artist 23 years, not 25.

Rucker's achievement is still a rare feat. Other than the Ray Charles duet mentioned above and Charley Pride's 29 chart-toppers, one has to go all the way back to Billboard's country (then-called "Folk") Juke Box chart in 1944. That's when Louis Jordan hit No. 1 with "Ration Blues" and "Is You or Is You Ain't (Ma' Baby)," and the (Nat) King Cole Trio hit No. 1 with "Straighten Up and Fly Right." That makes just five different African-American artists to top the country singles chart in the past 64 years!

Paul Haney
Milwaukee, Wisc.

Dear Paul,

I took my cue on the Charley Pride item from our chart department. We all should have remembered Ray Charles and Willie Nelson's No. 1 hit, "Seven Spanish Angels." Charles charted 13 songs on the country tally between 1980 and 1987, with "Angels" hitting the highest mark.


Hi Fred,

I enjoy Chart Beat, thank you so much, but I'm afraid a few errors slipped into your AC/DC feature this week:

"Meanwhile, the classic 'Back in Black' album is No. 1 on the Top Pop Catalog chart for the second consecutive week and the third week overall. The album's first week at No. 1 was on the chart dated Feb. 11, 2006. "Back in Black" moved over to the catalog chart the week of March 8, 2003 after a 131-week run on The Billboard 200. With 714 weeks on the Catalog chart, 'Back in Black' has now charted a total of 845 weeks."

"Back in Black" wasn't moved to catalog on March 8, 2003. It was on the very first catalog chart in 1991! In March 2003 it was simply re-issued by Sony. Therefore you also overlooked its first week at No. 1 in 1991. So these two back to back weeks at No. 1 are actually its third and fourth weeks. The total of 845 charted weeks seems right though.

With regards,

Thomas Christiansen

Dear Thomas,

Yes, that's the right total. I rely on information from Billboard's internal chart archives, and unfortunately, every once in a while it's a case of "garbage in, garbage out." In this case, the change of label groups – from Atlantic to Sony – caused a glitch in the archive, giving the wrong dates for the run of "Back in Black" on the Top Pop Catalog Albums chart.

I'll pass your e-mail along to the keepers of the archives to see if they can fix this in the system, and thanks.