Chart Beat Chat

Fred and his readers discuss country hits, R&B hits, Robyn and more!


To: Mr. Fred Bronson

Until a little over a month ago, no song had stalled at No. 2 on the Hot Country Songs tally since Toby Keith's "A Little Too Late" in August 2006. George Strait's "Wrapped" became the first song to peak at No. 2 this year. Keith Urban's "I Told You So" became the second song to peak at No. 2 in 2007; it's now down 3-5. Now we have a third song to apparently peak at No. 2: "Teardrops on My Guitar" by 17-year old Taylor Swift. Her song reached the runner-up spot last week and now falls 2-3.

Last week "Teardrops" became the most successful hit by a teenage act on the country chart since Dec. 28, 1996, when LeAnn Rimes (14 years and four months old at the time) reached the top spot with "One Way Ticket (Because I Can)."

Shawn Michaels,
Wisner-Pilger, Nebraska

Dear Shawn,

In other words, when it rains No. 2 hits, it pours. You're not the only reader to write in this week about songs that achieve runner-up status. See our next e-mail.



Last week the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart featured three male artists occupying Nos. 2-4. Each of them - Musiq Soulchild, Ne-Yo and Fabolous - have peaked at No. 2 at least twice without hitting pole position on that chart.

Looks as though Musiq Soulchild's fourth No. 2 won't become his first R&B/Hip-Hop chart-topper.

In song,

Pablo Nelson
Berkeley, Calif.

Dear Pablo,

I think some people will be surprised that Musiq Soulchild, Ne-Yo and Fabolos have not reached the summit of Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, because these three artists have had No. 1 hits -- they just happen to be on other Billboard singles charts.

Ne-Yo's "So Sick" topped six different charts: The Billboard Hot 100, the Pop 100, Pop 100 Airplay, Rhythmic Top 40, Mainstream Top 40 and Hot Digital Songs. His song "Sexy Love" went to No. 1 on our Ringtones survey.

Fabolous had a No. 1 hit on Rhythmic Top 40 with "Can't Let You Go" and his "Make Be Better" topped the Hot Rap Tracks list.

As for Musiq Soulchild, he is No. 1 for the fifth week on the Adult R&B chart with his current hit, "teachme."

Musiq Soulchild, Fabolous and Ne-Yo have all had a difficult time moving their latest tracks into the penthouse because Fantasia has been occupying the uppermost floor for eight weeks with "When I See U."


Dear Fred,

Over the last few years I’ve noticed you are a fan of the Swedish female performer, Robyn, and her latest material.

Last week in the U.K. singles chart, Robyn finally managed to break into the top 10 with her second comeback attempt this year. The track "With Every Heartbeat" is tipped for the No.1 slot on this week's countdown. It is the first time she has made the U.K. top 10 since "Show Me Love" hit No. 8 nine years ago.

Do you think that following this achievement Robyn will manage to have a stateside comeback? The track is an impressive dance/pop crossover and really deserves No.1 status. This will probably pave the way for a U.K. release of "Be Mine," a track I noticed topped your end of year top 10 a couple of years ago.

Best Regards,

Rich Ashton
Sheffield, England

Dear Rich,

You sent your e-mail while Robyn was in her first week on the U.K. singles chart with her latest, "With Every Heartbeat." As you now know along with other chart fans and the population of the United Kingdom, Robyn’s song moved 5-1, so it did indeed achieve pole position. It is her first No. 1 in the United Kingdom.

I think it bodes well for international success, maybe even including the United States. Nothing would make me happier, especially if the sensational "Be Mine" could earn a chart berth.


Hi Fred,

In regard to records that might go unbroken, the one that comes to mind is Elton John's string of 30 consecutive years of placing a song in the top 40 section of the Hot 100 chart. This string runs from "Your Song" (1970) to "Written in the Stars" (1999) with Leann Rimes. This record will be difficult to break for many reasons, but primarily due to the fact that artists don't release albums as frequently as Elton did during that 30-year period.


Stephen Pisani
Welland, Ontario, Canada

Dear Stephen,

We should explain to Chart Beat Chat readers who might not have seen last week's column that your e-mail is a follow-up to one written by Chris Feldman, who was wondering which chart records will never be broken.

I did receive a great number of e-mails on the topic, but those missives will run in next week's Chat.