Fred tackles news on Dionne Warwick, Jay-Z, Elvis and more!DO MAKE HER OVER: Ignoring the title of her very first chart hit, "Don't Make Me Over," Dionne Warwick has teamed up with artists like Olivia Newton-John, Cyndi Lauper and Gloria Estefan to remake some of her greatest hits on "My Friends and Me" (Concord). This album returns the veteran star to the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart after a break of more than 13 years.
Warwick's most recent entry was "Friends Can Be Lovers," which went to No. 84 in February 1993. "My Friends and Me" is Warwick's highest-charting set since "Reservations for Two" peaked at No. 32 in October 1987.
Warwick's most successful album in the last 20 years on this chart was "Friends," which went to No. 8 in February 1986, fueled by the single "That's What Friends Are For."
Warwick first appeared on the R&B album tally the week of Feb. 6, 1965, with "Make Way for Dionne Warwick," an LP that reached No. 10. Her highest-charting title on the R&B chart is "Here Where There Is Love," which spent two weeks at No. 1 in the summer of 1967.
"My Friends and Me" is Warwick's 31st chart entry. Of those, 14 have reached the top 10. Warwick's chart career covers an expanse of almost 44 years. She made her Hot 100 debut the week of Dec. 8, 1962 with the aforementioned "Don't Make Me Over."
'SHOW' MUST GO ON: The release of a digital single sends Jay-Z's "Show Me What You Got" (Roc-a-Fella/Def Jam) hurtling up the Hot 100. A 47-8 move gives Jay-Z his 12th top 10 hit. Of those 12, seven have been collaborations. "Show Me" is Jay-Z's fifth top 10 hit on his own.
The rapper/songwriter/music executive has had 46 chart entries on the Hot 100 to date and is already in his second decade of hit-making. The Brooklyn-born Jay-Z made his chart debut the week of April 6, 1996, with "Ain't No Nigga"/"Dead Presidents." That gives him a chart span of 10 years, seven months and three weeks.
Jay-Z has had three hits this calendar year. "Deja Vu," on which he was featured with Beyonce, peaked at No. 4 in August. He is also featured with Beyonce on the current song "Upgrade U" (Columbia), which moves 92-86.
A PRESENT FROM THE KING: Elvis Presley is the only artist to have more than 100 chart entries on The Billboard 200, and he increases his total this week with his 109th title to appear on this list. "Elvis Christmas" (RCA) debuts at No. 200, extending the King's album chart span to 50 years and eight months.
"Elvis Christmas" is the first Presley album to debut in 2006 and his first since "Elvis by the Presleys" peaked at No. 15 in May 2005. Since the calendar rolled over to 2000, Presley has had 10 albums debut on the chart. That compares to the previous 10 albums, which debuted between 1985-1999.
'COUNTRY' IS COUNTRY: John Mellencamp makes a rare appearance on the Hot Country Songs chart, as "Our Country" (Universal Republic) bows at No. 53. It is only the third Mellencamp single to appear on this list.
In August 1989, "Jackie Brown" spent five weeks on the chart and peaked at No. 82. It took 15 years for another Mellencamp song to make an appearance. "What Say You," credited to Travis Tritt with John Mellencamp, went to No. 21.
So far, "Our Country" has spent a lone week on the Hot 100, debuting and apparently peaking at No. 88 two weeks ago. It was Mellencamp's first Hot 100 entry of this century, and his first since "Just Another Day" clocked in at No. 46 in March 1997.
RUNAWAY McBRIDE: Martina McBride's new single is the 43rd chart entry of her career and her highest-debuting song to date. "Anyway" opens at No. 40, besting the No. 42 entrance of "Still Holding On" in June 1997. McBride has debuted in the 40s four other times, with "I Love You" (No. 43 in July 1999), "Where Would You Be" (No. 45 in May 2002), "This One's for the Girls" (No. 49 in June 2003) and "Trip Around the Sun" (No. 45 in September 2004).
"Anyway" is the highest-debuting song by a solo female artist since Carrie Underwood bowed at No. 39 in November 2005 with "Jesus, Take the Wheel."
GRAND TOTALS: Speaking of Carrie Underwood, her current single "Before He Cheats" (Arista) is No. 1 for a third week on the Hot Country Songs tally. Combined with the six weeks she spent in pole position earlier this year with "Jesus, Take the Wheel," Underwood has been the year's longest visitor at No. 1 this year.
Her total of nine weeks surpasses the eight weeks Kenny Chesney spent in the penthouse in 2006. "Living in Fast Forward" had a three-week reign in April-May and "Summertime" had a five-week run in June-July.
THE 'BOY' IS HERS: While Carrie Underwood is the biggest success story for "American Idol" on the country charts and Kelly Clarkson dominates pop and adult contemporary, third season winner Fantasia is proving to be a long-term artist on the R&B charts. Her seventh chart entry, "Hood Boy" (J), debuts on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs at No. 65.
Fantasia has accumulated her seven hits in just under two years and five months. She made her first appearance with "I Believe," her finale song from the series, which peaked at No. 12 (while debuting at No. 1 on the Hot 100). The follow-up, "Truth Is," is Fantasia's biggest R&B hit to date, checking in at No. 2. "Baby Mama" was next, registering at No. 16. Then there's the title song from her first album, "Free Yourself," which went to No. 3. After, "Ain't Gon' Beg You" stopped at No. 37. Earlier this year, the single "Hypothetically" by Lyfe Jennings featuring Fantasia went to No. 38.
"Hood Boy" is also a collaboration, credited to Fantasia featuring Big Boi.
THE GUITARIST AND J.J.: Eric Clapton and J.J. Cale have long been associated with each other, as Clapton recorded a number of Cale songs in the past, including "After Midnight" and "Cocaine." Now, the two artists are co-billed on the album "The Road to Escondido" (Duck/Reprise), which enters The Billboard 200 at No. 23. It is the highest-charting album of Cale's 34-year career.
It is also the longest title of a Cale album. Here is a summary of his chart action on The Billboard 200, with peak positions:
"Naturally," No. 51 (1972)
"Really," No. 92 (1973)
"Okie," No. 128 (1974)
"Troubadour," No. 84 (1976)
"5," No. 136 (1979)
"Shades," No. 110 (1981)
"Grasshopper," No. 149 (1982)
"Travel-Log," No. 131 (1990)
"The Road to Escondido," No. 23 to date (2006) [J.J. Cale and Eric Clapton]
THE WEST OF YOUR LIFE: The Irish foursome known as Westlife has secured another chart milestone in the United Kingdom, as its latest single, "The Rose," debuts at No. 1 to become the group's 14th chart-topper. Only Elvis Presley (with 21) and the Beatles (with 17) have more; Westlife is right behind them, tied with Cliff Richard.
Westlife has secured its 14 No. 1 hits in a relatively short time, but not as short a time as Presley and the Beatles. Westlife was a quintet when it debuted the week of May 1, 1999, with "Swear It Again," which was its first No. 1 single. That means Westlife's 14th No. 1 arrives after seven and a half years on the charts.
Presley made his U.K. chart debut on May 11, 1956 with "Heartbreak Hotel," but that single peaked at No. 2. His first British No. 1 was "All Shook Up," on July 12, 1957. Presley's 14th No. 1 in the United Kingdom was "(You're the) Devil in Disguise," on July 4, 1963, just one week shy of six years later.
The Beatles' first U.K. chart entry was "Love Me Do" on Oct. 11, 1962. That initial single went to No. 4. The Beatles first topped the U.K. chart on April 18, 1963 with "From Me to You." The group's 14th No. 1 was "Lady Madonna" on March 20, 1968, a mere four years and 11 months later.
Cliff Richard's first single to chart was "Move It!" on Sept. 12, 1958. His first No. 1 was "Living Doll," which reached pole position on July 31, 1959. Richard's 14th No. 1 was his most recent, "The Millennium Prayer," on Dec. 4, 1999, some 40 years and four months after his first.
Westlife is the only group to start its chart career with seven No. 1 singles. The group didn't miss the summit until its eighth chart entry, "What Makes a Man," which peaked at No. 2 and was followed by three more No. 1s. Then "Be Bop Baby" went to No. 5, followed by another No. 1. "Tonight" / "Miss You Nights" peaked at No. 3 and "Hey Whatever" stopped at No. 4, followed by another No. 1 and then "Obvious," another No. 3 hit. There was one more No. 1 and then a collaboration with Diana Ross on a remake of her hit "When You Tell Me That You Love Me," which peaked at No. 2, just like the Ross single. A cover of Lonestar's "Amazing" went to No. 4. That means every Westlife single has charted in the top five. The group has achieved 14 No. 1 hits are out of 21 chart entries.
Here is a summary of Westlife's 14 No. 1 hits:
"Swear It Again," two weeks (1999)
"If I Let You Go," one week (1999)
"Flying Without Wings," one week (1999)
"I Have a Dream" / "Seasons in the Sun," four weeks (1999)
"Fool Again," one week (2000)
"Against All Odds," two weeks (2000) [Mariah Carey featuring Westlife]
"My Love," one week (2000)
"Uptown Girl," one week (2001)
"Queen of My Heart," one week (2001)
"World of Our Own," one week (2002)
"Unbreakable," one week (2002)
"Mandy," one week (2003)
"You Raise Me Up," two weeks (2005)
"The Rose," one week to date (2006)
Bette Midler's original recording of "The Rose" did not chart in the United Kingdom, but the song has registered for two other artists. British musical stage performer Michael Ball took the song to No. 42 in 1995, and U.K. female vocalist Heather Peace became a one-hit wonder when her version stalled at No. 56 in 2000.
"The Rose" is the sixth Westlife No. 1 to be a cover version, following ABBA's "I Have a Dream" backed with Jacques Brel's "Seasons in the Sun" (a hit for Terry Jacks), Phil Collins' "Against All Odds," Billy Joel's "Uptown Girl," Scott English's "Mandy" (a hit for Barry Manilow) and Secret Garden's "You Raise Me Up" (a hit for Josh Groban).
Westlife could surpass Cliff Richard and claim sole third place among artists with the most U.K. No 1s, as "The Rose" is the first single from an album of cover versions. "The Love Album" will be released in the U.K. on Nov. 20.