Fred and his readers discuss Stargate, "tied" albums, Rodgers & Hammerstein and more!


Hi Fred,

First, I wanted to thank you for clarifying how digital tracks are figured into the Hot 100. Here's the question for this week: is Beyonce's "Irreplaceable" the first No. 1 on the Hot 100 for the Norwegian production team Stargate? Also, what do you think Nelly Furtado's chances are for a second No. 1 on the big chart with "Say It Right"?

Brian Brostek
Boston, Mass.

Dear Brian,

The Stargate team -- Tor Erik Hermansen and Mikkel S. Eriksen - collected its second No. 1 when Beyonce's "Irreplaceable" moved into pole position. The duo's first No. 1 was "So Sick" by Ne-Yo, a chart-topper in March.

Tor and Mikkel have already been interviewed for the sixth edition of "The Billboard Book of Number One Hits," even though it's not due for publication until 2008. Here's a teaser - Tor's reaction to watching "So Sick" move up the Hot 100: "It was our first proper American release, so to see the first single we have ever released on an American label climb and climb and climb, it was a special moment. That first time is once in a lifetime."

As for Nelly Furtado's "Say It Right," as I write this it is No. 2 on the iTunes chart, a good indicator it's going to take another serious jump on next week's Hot 100. Could it be the first No. 1 of 2007? Maybe.


This week, Gwen Stefani and Hannah Montana had the same number of units sold (243,000). I looked in the FAQ for info about what tie-breakers are used to determine chart position, but found nothing. Could you enlighten us?

John Smith

Dear John,

The sales figures for Gwen Stefani and Hannah Montana weren't really tied. In news articles, you'll only see rounded figures when it comes to sales. The actual figures are specific numbers down to the last digit. In the case of an actual tie, where two albums sell the exact same number of albums with not even one unit difference, there are tie-breakers that come into play. If both albums gained in sales over the previous week, the album with the biggest gain comes out ahead. If one album gained and one album lost sales over the previous week, tie goes to the album that gained. If both albums declined in sales over the previous week, the album with the smallest decline would be listed first.

This probably leads you to wonder what would happen if two newly-released albums debuted with the exact same figure, so neither album would have a gain or loss over the previous week. That hasn't happened yet since we began using Nielsen SoundScan data to compile the charts.



Richard Rodgers did not team up with Oscar Hammerstein II "following the death of his songwriting partner of Lorenz Hart." Rodgers gave up on Hart due to Hart's serious drinking problem as well as Hart's lack of desire to work on "Green Grow the Lilacs," which was soon to become "Away We Go" and then "Oklahoma!" As a matter of fact, Hart saw "Oklahoma!" at its Broadway opening, on March 31, 1943. Lorenz Hart died in November 1943.

Love your column,
Gary Cadwallader
Daytona Beach, Fla.

Dear Gary,

Thank you for that correction. I think it's fascinating that Richard Rodgers actually met Oscar Hammerstein II before he met Lorenz Hart. All three were students at Columbia University in New York.


Dear Fred,

So you want a two-letter, one-word song title that hits No. 1? We already have one. "If" by Perry Como hit No. 1 in 1951.

Larry Dhooghe
Forest Grove, Ore.

Dear Larry,

I feel like you're my correspondent from the pre-rock era! Thanks for reporting in. Now let's jump ahead 50 years for this next e-mail...


Happy Holidays to you Fred and the Billboard Team!

I have been keeping close tabs on the Hot 100 since the first chart of the new millennium, and I have some interesting tidbits. Here we go (in countdown fashion).

Most weeks at:
No. 10: "Unwell," matchbox twenty (seven weeks)
No. 9: "Since U Been Gone," Kelly Clarkson (seven weeks)
No. 8: "If You're Gone," matchbox twenty (seven weeks)
No. 7: (Tie) "Frontin'," Pharrell featuring Jay-Z and "Behind_These Hazel Eyes," Kelly Clarkson (six weeks)
No. 6: (Tie) "Chasing Cars," Snow Patrol and "Walked Outta Heaven," Jagged Edge, "Here Without You," 3 Doors Down and "Overnight Celebrity," Twista (five weeks)
No. 5: "Photograph," Nickelback (seven weeks)
No. 4: (Tie) "My Place," Nelly featuring Jaheim and "Hit 'Em Up Style (Oops!)," Blu Cantrell (seven weeks)
No. 3: (Tie) "Breathe," Faith Hill and "Complicated," Avril Lavigne (eight Weeks)
No. 2: "Work It," Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliott (10 Weeks)
No. 1: "We Belong Together," Mariah Carey (14 Weeks)

Other interesting facts:

Most weeks in the top 10:
"Yeah!" Usher featuring Ludacris & Lil_Jon (24 Weeks)

Fewest weeks in the top 10:
34 songs tied with one week

Most weeks in the top 40:
"Hanging by a Moment," Lifehouse (45 Weeks)

Fewest weeks in the top 40:
58 songs tied with one week

Well, I could keep going, but I know your column space is limited. Thanks for providing a great forum for discussion of chart facts and stuff.

Keep Rocking!!

Dan Miller
St. Louis, Missouri

Dear Dan, Thanks for taking the time to put this together! I needed an ending for this week's column, and you provided it.