Chart Beat Chat

Fred and his readers discuss hits from film, Barbra Streisand, Madonna and more!


Hi Fred,

This week, "Buy U a Drank (Shawty Snappin')" by T-Pain featuring Yung Joc moves into the No. 1 spot on the Hot 100. There have now been 49 straight No. 1 hits (if I am correct) that aren't from a film or television soundtrack, since "Shake Ya Tailfeather" by Nelly, P. Diddy and Murphy Lee from "Bad Boys II" hit No. 1 in September 2003. This is now the second longest drought on the Hot 100, passing the 48 consecutive No. 1 hits between the Beatles' "Help!" and Lulu's "To Sir With Love" back in 1965-1967.

The record for the longest drought is still 65 No. 1 singles between "The Way We Were" by Barbra Streisand and "Let's Do It Again" by the Staple Singers, back in 1974 and 1975. This streak does include the Bee Gees' "Jive Talkin'" from the album "Main Course" in 1975, even though it was later included on the soundtrack to "Saturday Night Fever" in 1978.

In terms of weeks, it has been 190 straight weeks, more than 3 1/2 years, and this is by far the longest drought, nearly twice the stretch of 107 weeks between "Help!" and "To Sir With Love."
Surprisingly, the three soundtracks that topped The Billboard 200 during this period, "High School Musical," Hannah Montana" and "Dreamgirls," did not produce a No. 1 hit.

Thanks for your column,

Pete Pait
Alpharetta, Georgia

Dear Pete,

It's true, we're not living in the same era as "The Bodyguard" or "Grease." There have been a lot of great movie songs in the last four years, but none of them have foubnd their way to No. 1 on the Hot 100 since "Shake Ya Tailfeather" in September 2003.

We'll have to see if any of the action films from the summer of 2007 contain any No. 1 hits, or any of the Academy Award-contenders that are released at year-end.


Hi Fred,
I've enjoyed your column for years and have a question for you. I'm seeing that Barbra Streisand has nabbed her 29th top 10 album with the release of "Live in Concert 2006" and I assume it's a record for a female artist, but am wondering what female artist is next closest and whom the overall leader is?

As Streisand has been regularly collecting top 10 Albums for over 40 years, I can't imagine there's ever been another artist who has consistently achieved this level of popularity, even is she doesn't have the most total top 10s. My guess is it's either Frank Sinatra or Elvis Presley and it's because back in the day it was not uncommon for popular artists to put out three or more albums in a year as opposed to the once every two or three years that seem to be the norm today?


Jeff Waide
Springfield, Ill.

Dear Jeff,

Good guesses. As reported in this week's Chart Beat, Streisand's 29th top 10 album keeps her in fourth place among artists with the most top 10 albums on The Billboard 200. If you're curious, here is a list of the top five:

The Rolling Stones (36)
Frank Sinatra (32)
The Beatles (31)
Barbra Streisand (29)
Elvis Presley (27)

You asked which female artist is next on the list. With 16 top 10 albums to her credit, it's Madonna. And by no small coincidence, that's who our next reader is writing about.


Hi Fred,

I hope you are enjoying all things Eurovision. I'm writing about Madonna's latest work - a song entitled "Hey You" which she wrote for the upcoming Live Earth series of worldwide concerts on July 7, 2007. Madonna will perform "Hey You" at the London concert, and as of May 16, MSN is offering a free download of the song for one week. (As part of an environmental fundraising effort tied to the Live Earth concerts, MSN will donate 25 cents for each of the first million downloads).

Will "Hey You" be eligible to chart on the Hot 100, Hot Digital Downloads or other charts during the first week of downloads, which are free? Must a digital download be paid for to appear on any/all of Billboard single/song charts? Or must we wait for the second week of release (which presumably will be of paid downloads, but at this point, it is unclear the price, etc.) for Madonna's latest song to chart?

Rob Craven
Berkeley, Calif.

P.S. I don't know Pablo Nelson, but a lot of us in Berkeley read your stellar Billboard columns.

Dear Rob,

I did have a great time at Eurovision and enjoyed my two weeks in Helsinki. My coverage will appear in the May 29 issue of Billboard magazine, along with photos from this year's contest. My report on the winner has already run on

As for Madonna's "Hey You," free downloads don't count for any Billboard charts. The song is not being promoted to radio, so airplay is unlikely. As a result, it's highly unlikely the song could chart after its first week of activity. We'll have to see how many sales the single can achieve in its second week of availability.

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