Fred discusses Jay-Z, Monica and more!THE STATE OF 'SHOW ME': Jay-Z returns to the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart with his first solo effort in a year and ties the highest-debuting single of 2006 in the process. "Show Me What You Got" (Roc-a-Fella/Def Jam) blasts onto the chart at No. 20, matching last month's entry position of "She Bi" by Ice Mizzle. Only one song has had a higher first-week position since the beginning of 2000: Lil Jon and the East Side Boyz' "Lovers & Friends" featuring Usher and Ludacris bowed at No. 16 in November 2004.
Despite its lofty opening placement, "Show Me What You Got" is only the second highest debut for Jay-Z. His best first-week position was No. 12, the debut mark for the "Annie"-inspired "Hard-Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem)" the week of Nov. 7, 1998.
"Show Me What You Got" is Jay-Z's 72nd R&B chart entry in a career that started 10 years and seven months ago with the debut of "Ain't No Nigga"/"Dead Presidents." Jay-Z's most recent solo recording to chart was "Dear Summer," which peaked at No. 30 in September 2005. Jay-Z is also on this week's tally as a featured artist on two Beyonce songs: "Deja Vu" at No. 41 and "Upgrade U" at No. 48.
On the Hot 100, "Show Me What You Got" enters at No. 90. It is Jay-Z's 45th chart entry and his first solo release to chart since "99 Problems" went to No. 30 in June 2004.
BAD, BADDER, BADDEST: Daniel Powter's "Bad Day" (Warner Bros.) is having another good week. After 18 consecutive frames at No. 1 on the Adult Contemporary chart, Powter yielded the throne to Natasha Bedingfield. The British thrush reigned for five weeks with "Unwritten" (Epic), the longest-running AC chart-topper by a solo female since Kelly Clarkson ruled for 21 weeks in 2005 with "Breakaway." But this week it is Bedingfield who has slipped, as Powter reclaims the seat of power.
That gives "Bad Day" a 19th week at No. 1, equaling the rule of the longest-running No. 1 by a solo male artist in AC history. Phil Collins spent 19 weeks on top in 1999 with a song from the "Tarzan" soundtrack, "You'll Be in My Heart."
Here is an updated list of the five longest-running No. 1 songs by solo male artists in the long history of the AC tally:
19 weeks: "You'll Be in My Heart," Phil Collins (1999)
19 weeks: "Bad Day," Daniel Powter (2006)
18 weeks: "Lonely No More," Rob Thomas (2005)
15 weeks: "Hero," Enrique Iglesias (2001)
13 weeks: "Change the World," Eric Clapton (1996)
REVENGE OF THE 'NERDY': A 28-9 leap on The Billboard Hot 100 catapults "Weird Al" Yankovic into the top 10 for the first time, just one week after scoring his first top 10 album on The Billboard 200 with "Straight Outta Lynwood."
"White and Nerdy" (Way Moby/Volcano), a send-up of Chamillionaire's "Ridin', peaks three places higher than Yankovic's previous best ranking. "Eat It" beat it to No. 12 in 1984.
Yankovic places another song on this week's Hot 100, as his Green Day parody "Canadian Idiot" is a new entry at No. 82.
'BACK' TO FRONT: There is a new champion when it comes to the longest-running No. 1 of 2006 on the Hot 100. Justin Timberlake has outlasted, outwitted and outplayed the other challengers, as his "SexyBack" (Jive) is spending its seventh week in the penthouse.
That beats the six-week reign of "Promiscuous" (Mosley/Geffen) by Nelly Furtado featuring Timbaland. "SexyBack" is the longest-running No. 1 since "Gold Digger" by Kanye West featuring Jamie Foxx occupied pole position for 10 weeks in the last quarter of 2005.
RAY AND GLADYS: Last week, an artist who made his first Billboard chart appearance in 1952 returned to The Billboard 200 with a new album. This week, two more veterans come back to the survey. One has a chart career that dates back to 1949 and the other to 1961.
Tony Bennett was the returnee last week, with a No. 3 debut for "Duets: An American Classic" (Columbia).
New this week at No. 23 is "Ray Sings Basie Swings" (Hear/Concord) by Ray Charles + The Count Basie Orchestra. The late Ray Charles now has a career chart span of 57 years, six months and two weeks, harking back to the April 9, 1949 debut of "Confession Blues" by the Maxin Trio on the R&B singles list.
Opening at No. 93 is "Before Me" (Verve), Gladys Knight's tribute to artists who inspired her. Knight's career chart span is thus expanded to 45 years, five months and one week, counting back to the May 15, 1961 debut on the Hot 100 of the single "Every Beat of My Heart."
'ME' TIME: Just a little over 11 years after making her debut on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums tally, Monica collects her very first No. 1. "The Makings of Me" (J) enters the chart at the apex.
"The Makings of Me" is Monica's fourth album to appear on the tally. She first came into our consciousness with the release of "Miss Thang," a CD that peaked at No. 7 in January 1996. In August 1998, Monica went to No. 2 with "The Boy Is Mine," named for her No. 1 single recorded as a duet with Brandy. She didn't release her third album until 2003. "After the Storm" also peaked at No. 2, in July of that year.
"The Makings of Me" is the seventh No. 1 album by a solo female on the R&B/Hip-Hop chart in 2006. Prior to Monica, the women who led the list this calendar year include Mary J. Blige, Heather Headley, India.Arie, LeToya, Beyonce and Janet Jackson. Last year, only three solo females topped this chart: Faith Evans, Mariah Carey and Alicia Keys.
It's a different story on The Billboard 200, where "The Makings of Me" enters at No. 8. That ties the peak position of "The Boy Is Mine" and far surpasses the No. 36 peak of "Miss Thang." But Monica has already had a No. 1 album on The Billboard 200 -– "After the Storm" spent one week on top.