Chart Beat

Fred discusses American Idols, Enrique Iglesias, Snow Patrol and more!

SEPTEMBER TO MAY ROMANCE: Does September of last year seem like a long time ago? In chart terms, it's almost an eternity. But for those of you who can recall last fall, the week of Sept. 16, 2006 was when Carrie Underwood's "Before He Cheats" (Arista) debuted on the Hot 100. Now in its 38th week on the tally, "Cheats" rewrites chart history as it has taken the longest trip of any song into the top 10.

Before "Before," the song that took the longest to reach the top 10 was Creed's "Higher," which took 36 weeks (in two chart runs) to achieve top 10 status. "Higher" moved into the top 10 the week of July 8, 2000.

"Cheats" rises 11-8 based on pop airplay. It is the first single by a female country artist to reach No. 1 on Hot Country Songs and then break into the top 10 of the Hot 100 since Faith Hill's "The Way You Love Me" peaked at No. 6 in January 2001.

This is Underwood's third top 10 hit on the Hot 100. She spent one week in pole position in July 2005 with "Inside Your Heaven," the song she performed on the fourth season finale of "American Idol." Three weeks ago she debuted and peaked at No. 6 with her cover of the Pretenders' "I'll Stand By You" (Fremantle), from the special charity edition of "Idol."

The triumph of "Cheats" coincides with the removal of the follow-up, "Wasted," from Hot Country Songs. "Wasted" enters the country recurrent list at No. 1, giving the "Idol" franchise its 123rd chart-topper, counting all national, domestic charts compiled by the Billboard Information Group.

AND IN OTHER 'IDOL' NEWS: Maybe it's because we have a new "American Idol" (congratulations to Jordin Sparks, who should be making Chart Beat news of her own soon), but Carrie Underwood isn't the only former finalist making chart news. Chris Daughtry's band, Daughtry, earns its second top five hit on the "Hot 100" as "Home" (RCA) races 13-5. The group's first single, "It's Not Over," peaked at No. 4 the week of Feb. 10.

The man who finished just ahead of Daughtry in season five, Elliott Yamin, gets a big boost from his "Idol" appearance last week. His single "Wait for You" (Hickory) leaps 80-31, while his self-titled album rebounds to No. 1 on Top Independent Albums. Yamin's CD is also reinvigorated on The Billboard 200, where it zooms 67-20, and Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums, where it jumps 49-20.

The original "American Idol" returns to Hot Country Songs after an absence of almost five years. Kelly Clarkson duets with Reba McEntire on a remake of her own "Because of You" (MCA), new at No. 42. That's a new high mark for Clarkson on this chart; in October 2002 her debut single "A Moment Like This" peaked at No. 58.

Kimberley Locke might capture the 124th No. 1 for "Idol," as her "Change" makes a 4-2 move on Hot Dance Club Play. The same song is holding at No. 9 on the Adult Contemporary chart.

Next month will mark three years since Fantasia made her debut on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs. This week she collects her third top 10 hit, as "When I See U" (J) advances 14-8. Fantasia went to No. 2 with "Truth Is" and to No. 3 with "Free Yourself," both in 2005. "When I See U" is also top 10 on the Adult R&B survey, where it holds at No. 9.

'WONDER' MEN: Almost half way through 2007, we have the first No. 1 single on the Hot 100 to remain in the penthouse for more than two weeks. By reclaiming the summit, Maroon 5 earn a third week in the top slot with "Makes Me Wonder" (A&M/Octone). It's the longest-running No. 1 hit since Beyonce's "Irreplaceable" reigned for 10 weeks from December 2006-February 2007.

IN THE 'KNOW': Between July 1999 and July 2002, Enrique Iglesias scored six chart entries on the Hot 100, including the No. 1 hits "Bailamos" and "Be With You." Now, after a gap of almost five years, he returns with the highest-debuting single of his career.

"Do You Know? (The Ping Pong Song)" (Universal Latino/Interscope) bows at No. 33. That bests the No. 44 debut of "Hero" in September 2001.
On Hot Latin Songs, a Spanish version of "Do You Know," titled "Dimelo," is No. 1 for the fourth week.

RICK'S RETURN: Funkmaster Rick James died on Aug. 6, 2004. His first posthumous album to chart, "Deeper Still" (Stone City), is a new entry on The Billboard 200 at No. 185. On Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums, "Deeper Still" opens at No. 19. It's the 13th album by James to appear on this chart and the first since "Urban Rapsody" peaked at No. 31 in November 1997.

"Deeper Still" is the highest-charting album by James on the R&B list since "Wonderful" went to No. 12 in 1988.

James' R&B chart span is expanded to 29 years, one month and one week, counting back to the debut of "Come Get It!" the week of May 27, 1978.

'PUMP' UPS THE VOLUME: Rick James isn't the only artist returning to the Billboard charts after a 10-year absence. Denise LaSalle, best known for her 1971 hit "Trapped by a Thing Called Love" (No. 1 R&B, No. 13 pop), debuts at No. 14 on Top Blues Albums with "Pay Before You Pump" (Ecko).

LaSalle's last appearance on any Billboard chart took place the week of July 19, 1997, the final frame for her CD "Smokin' in Bed" on Top Blues Albums.

SLOW SNOW: Carrie Underwood's slowest trek to the top 10 on the Hot 100 kicked off this column, and Snow Patrol's very slow journey to No. 1 on the Adult Contemporary tally winds things up.

In its 32nd week on the AC list, "Chasing Cars" finally achieves pole position. That is the third slowest climb to the zenith on this chart in the 14 years that it has been compiled using airplay information from Nielsen Broadcast Data Systems.

The record is held by matchbox twenty's 2000 hit "If You're Gone," which moved into the penthouse in its 42nd week. In second place is Enya's "Only Time," which garnered top ink in its 33rd week back in 2001.

Snow Patrol doesn't have a monopoly on slow movement on the AC chart this week. Nickelback's "Far Away" (Lava) marches 6-5 in its 38th frame. That's the longest it has taken any song to reach the top five in the BDS era. The record was previously held by Rob Thomas' "Ever the Same," which achieved top five status in its 37th week in September 2006.

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