Chart Beat

Fred discusses Avril, Carrie, Eve and more!

TWIN PEAKS: Two songs that were supposedly past their prime on The Billboard Hot 100 reach new heights this week. One is only in its seventh week on the chart, but the other is in its 33rd frame and had appeared to peak in its 11th week on the tally.

Avril Lavigne's "Girlfriend" (RCA) debuted six weeks ago at No. 5. That lofty position looked like it was going to be the single's highest mark on the Hot 100. It slipped the next week to No. 9, then began an upward climb, moving 8-7-5 followed by a slide back to sixth place. This week, the song jumps to No. 3. That makes "Girlfriend" the second highest-charting song of Lavigne's career, runner-up only to her debut single, "Complicated," which peaked at No. 2 the week of Aug. 30, 2002. If it continues to climb, the uptempo "Girlfriend" could equal "Complicated" or surpass it and become Lavigne's first No. 1 on this chart.

"Girlfriend" is Lavigne's ninth entry on the Hot 100. The other titles that reached the top 10 were "I'm With You" (No. 4 in February 2003), "My Happy Ending" (No. 9 in October 2004) and "Sk8er Boi" (No. 10 in November 2002).

The other single achieving a new height is Carrie Underwood's "Before He Cheats," which seemed to have peaked at No. 16 the week of Nov. 25, 2006. This week, the Arista digital release reverses course with a 22-15 leap, fueled by pop airplay and revived digital sales.

That's right, pop airplay. Most country songs that do well on the Hot 100 move up the chart based on country airplay and digital sales. But "Before He Cheats" is one of those rare songs that has actually crossed over to top 40 radio. On the Top 40 Mainstream chart, "Before He Cheats" earns a backward bullet, moving 14-15. On the Adult Top 40 list, "Cheats" is bulleted while holding at No. 10. On Hot Digital Songs, "Cheats" advances 21-15.

The pop success for "Before He Cheats" comes as the follow-up has already peaked on Hot Country Songs. "Wasted" is No. 1 for the second week on that chart, and descends one notch on the Hot 100, 42-43.

Only three songs have been on the Hot 100 longer than "Before He Cheats." "Face Down" (Virgin) by the Red Jumpsuit Apparatus moves up 27-24 in its 36th week. John Mayer's "Waiting for the World to Change" may be in its final throes on the chart, as it dips 47-50 in its 40th frame. And the Fray's "How to Save a Life" begins its second year on the chart, standing pat at No. 37 in its 53rd week.

One final note about "Before He Cheats," which now belongs to the class of 2007 instead of the class of 2006: its 33-week voyage to its new peak is the longest it has taken any single in the history of the Hot 100 to reach the top 15. The three runners-up are:

32 weeks: "Can't Fight the Moonlight," LeAnn Rimes (February 2002)
31 weeks: "I Will Remember You" (Live), Sarah McLachlan (July 1999)
31 weeks: "Higher," Creed (June 2000)

ALL ABOUT EVE: It's been four years since rapper/actress Eve charted on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs as a lead artist. She ends that hiatus with the No. 73 debut of "Tambourine" (Aftermath/Full Surface/Ruff Ryders), her first chart entry as a lead performer since "Satisfaction" peaked at No. 22 in January 2003.

Eve is a very collaborative artist. This week, she is featured on Kelly Rowland's "Like This" (Music World), which marches 33-26. Before pairing with Rowland, Eve's last team effort to chart was "Rich Girl," credited to Gwen Stefani featuring Eve. That song, based on "If I Were a Rich Man" from the Broadway musical "Fiddler on the Roof," went to No. 78 in February 2005.

"Tambourine" is Eve's 24th chart entry since making her first appearance in May 1999 with "What Ya Want" by Eve & Nokio. Of those 24 entries, only five have been credited solely to Eve. Four have listed Eve as the lead artist with a guest act and two have been equally co-billed. The other 13 have been credited to another lead artist with Eve in a supporting position.

BRAZIL VS. IRELAND: It's not the battle for the World Cup -- it's the Top World Music Albums chart, where an artist from Brazil has deposed an Irish/New Zealand collective after the latter's 89 consecutive weeks at No. 1. Celtic Woman's "A New Journey" gives way to "CeU," the self-titled album by the popular singer born in Sao Paulo.

Actually, the dominance of Celtic Woman is even greater than that. The group has topped the world chart for 107 of the last 110 weeks. Way back in March 2005, the soundtrack to "The Motorcycle Diaries" spent one week in pole position on this tally and was succeeded by the eponymously-titled debut album by Celtic Woman. After 18 weeks on top, the "Celtic Woman" CD was displaced by "Zucchero & Co.," by Italian vocalist Zucchero. He had a two-week reign and then "Celtic Woman" returned to No. 1 for an additional 63 consecutive weeks. It was in turn replaced by Celtic Woman's "A Chrismas Celebration" for 11 weeks. The original "Celtic Woman" set returned to the penthouse for five more weeks and was then followed by Celtic Woman's third album, "A New Journey."