Aretha Franklin

Chart Beat Chat

Fred and his readers discuss Mariah Carey, Madonna, Sean Kingston and more!


Hello Fred!

Reading your always amazing Chart Beat column, I noticed that Mariah Carey made her 40th chart entry on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs. That's awesome, but with this accomplishment, is Mariah the artist with the most entries on this chart?

Also, who is the artist with the most entries on the Hot 100?

Thank you for your help, Fred. Take care.

Fued Gibran Nechar Martin
Merida, Yucatan, Mexico

Dear Fued,

Amassing 40 chart entries is impressive, but you might be surprised to know that the artist with the most entries on our R&B singles chart has almost three times that many songs to his credit. The leader of the pack is James Brown, with 117 chart entries between 1956 and 1993. In second place is Aretha Franklin, who collected 98 chart entries between 1960 and 2003. There's a tie for third place, between the Temptations and Ray Charles. The former had 86 chart entries between 1962 and 2000, while the latter's 86 chart entries were between 1949 and 2002. So Mariah will have to more than double her number to be in the top three, and almost triple it to become the artist with the most entries on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs.

Elvis Presley is the clear leader with 138 chart entries on the Hot 100 and its predecessor chart, Best Sellers in Stores. Presley is the only artist to have more than 100 chart entries. James Brown is in second place with 94 and Ray Charles is third with 76. Aretha Franklin is close behind Charles, with 73.


Hi Fred,

Even though the artist at No. 1 on this week's Hot 100, Sean Kingston, is a boy (at 17, he's still a boy), the title at No. 1, "Beautiful Girls" is once again about girls. Earlier this year, Avril Lavigne reached the top with "Girlfriend." There have been lots of No. 1 songs about girls (like last week's "Hey There Delilah"). Thinking about songs that hit No. 1 with the word "girl" in the title triggers quite a few titles, like "My Girl" by the Temptations, "Who's That Girl?" by Madonna and "What a Girl Wants" by Christina Aguilera. I'm sure there are more. Do you know exactly how many songs have hit No. 1 with the word "girl" in the title? Just curious!

Heather Hansen
Naples, Fla.

Dear Heather,

I read your e-mail and thought, yes, a quick flip through "The Billboard Book of Number One Hits" should give me the answer. But then I opened the next e-mail, and found someone had already done the work for me. The timing is impeccable, so read on.


Sean Kingston's surprise debut hit "Beautiful Girls" brings a familiar topic to the No. 1 spot - girls! This is the 19th No. 1 song to have the word "girl" in its title. There are only eight songs that feature the word "boy" in its title, so it's obvious girls are more popular to be sung about. Here's a list of all the No. 1 songs that have used "girl" in its title:

"Big Girls Don't Cry" (Four Seasons)
"Go Away Little Girl" (Steve Lawrence)
"My Girl" (The Temptations)
"Go Away Little Girl" (Donny Osmond)
"Oh Girl" (The Chi-Lites)
"Brandy (You're A Fine Girl)" (Looking Glass)
"The Most Beautiful Girl" (Charlie Rich)
"Island Girl" (Elton John)
"Rich Girl" (Daryl Hall & John Oates)
"Bad Girls" (Donna Summer)
"Jessie's Girl" (Rick Springfield)
"West End Girls" (Pet Shop Boys)
"Who's That Girl" (Madonna)
"Forever Your Girl" (Paula Abdul)
"Girl I'm Gonna Miss You" (Milli Vanilli)
"What a Girl Wants" (Christina Aguilera)
"Hollaback Girl" (Gwen Stefani)
"Girlfriend" (Avril Lavigne)
"Beautiful Girls" (Sean Kingston)

In related chart statistics, 10 No. 1 songs have used the word "Woman" (or "Women"), six have featured the word "Lady," 11 have the word "Man" in their titles, and two have included "Guy." It looks like "Girl" is easily the most popular tag name in this category.

Ben Rodak
Glastonbury, Conn.

Dear Ben,

As you can see, you saved me a chunk of time by anticipating my need for your list. Well done!


Hi Fred!

A decade ago I wrote to Chart Beat to mention that the members of Hanson, who had just topped the Hot 100 with "MMMBop," were the first artists born in the 1980s to score a No. 1 single. Now, 10 years later, I'm writing to point out that Sean Kingston, who vaults to the top this week with "Beautiful Girls," is the first artist born in the 1990s to reach the chart apex. It's a feat I had been anticipating; 10 years before Hanson, in 1987, Tiffany became the first artist born in the 1970s to reach No. 1 (with "I Think We're Alone Now"). So sometime around 2017 we should be seeing artists born in the new millennium topping the Hot 100! To put it in perspective (and make us all feel old), the No. 1 song when Sean Kingston was born was Michael Bolton's "How Am I Supposed to Live Without You"!

Eric Colley
Los Angeles, Calif.

Dear Eric,

Check the latest Chart Beat for all of the implications of Sean Kingston's advance to No. 1 with "Beautiful Girls," including a mention of this 17-year-old becoming the first artist born in the '90s to top the Hot 100. I look forward to another e-mail from you in a decade or so.

Another way to look at this and feel even older is to realize that when Phil Collins was No. 1 with "Another Day in Paradise," Kingston wasn't even born yet.



With "Girlfriend" by Avril Lavigne en route down the Hot 100 (16-22 in its 21st week), I realized that it was the third different song titled "Girlfriend" to make the top five in the 49-year history of the Hot 100. Previously, "Girlfriend" was a No. 5 hit for Pebbles in early 1988, then a completely different song by 'N Sync (featuring Nelly) reached No. 5 in 2002. "Girlfriend" would need to be used as another song title to tie two other song titles that have four top five runs apiece as completely different songs: "Angel" and "My Love." "Angel" first accomplished the feat between 1985-2001 as hits for Madonna, Aerosmith, Sarah McLachlan and last a No. 1 title for Shaggy featuring Rayvon. "My Love" was a completely different hit for Petula Clark, Paul McCartney and Wings, Lionel Richie and Justin Timberlake featuring T.I. "My Love" actually did something no other song title had done, having hit No. 1 as three different songs. Only Lionel Richie's version failed to hit No. 1, peaking at No. 5 in 1983.

Another song title, "Lady," has also done well in the top 10, charting four different times for Kenny Rogers (No. 1, 1980); Styx (No. 6, 1975), Little River Band (No. 10, 1979) and D'Angelo (No. 10, 1996).

John Maverick
Burt County, Nebraska

Dear John,

There are a number of titles that have been used over and over throughout the rock era - although they didn't all experience multiple visits to No. 1 or even the top five. "Hold On" and "Stay" have proven to be two of the most popular titles.


Dear Fred,

I read your response to Solomon Mancino regarding the first rock band to top the Hot 100, and while the Beatles certainly set many chart firsts, I think the Beatles aren't the first here. By your definition, "a guitar-driven group with percussion that plays its own amplified instruments," wouldn't the Tornadoes actually be the first rock band to top the Hot 100 with "Telstar"? I mean, granted the Tornados were essentially assembled as a studio session group, but they still qualify under the definition you used.

The Beatles might qualify as the first if you want to further limit the definition to groups that form "naturally."

Joseph West
Montgomery, Ala.

Dear Joseph,

I probably dismissed the Tornadoes because they were an instrumental group, but they have been described as a "rock instrumental group," so they should certainly be considered. And "Telstar" was an excellent single!


Hi Fred:

I was wondering if you can confirm the rumor circulating about a 25th anniversary Madonna box set and when it will be released. Also, I know that her first 12" single, "Everybody", was released on April 24, 1982, and it debuted on the Bubbling Under the Hot 100 chart on Dec. 25, 1982, but when in 1982 did it debut on the dance chart?

Also can you find out if the box set is going to be comprised of the 7" A-side versions or are the longer 12" single versions going to be used? Personally, I hope it's the 7" A-sides.

Thanks again for all your weekly insight/information as well as all you constantly print about Madonna.

Tim Frank

Dear Tim,

When it comes to questions about Madonna, I usually check with Billboard's resident Madonna expert, Keith Caulfield (who writes the "Ask Billboard" column here at Keith tells me nothing has been announced about a box set, so I can't confirm anything at this point.

I can tell you that "Everybody" debuted on our dance chart the week of Nov. 6, 1982, so that 25th anniversary is coming up soon. We'll just have to wait and see if the label or Madonna plans any commemoration.