Chart Beat Chat

Fred discusses more body parts in songs, the U.K. charts and Wyclef Jean.


Hello Fred,

I read last week's Chart Beat and hadn't ever thought of a song category dedicated to body parts! Kudos for the new category. It was informative and fun to spot the songs encompassing the human anatomy. I noticed out of the 37 songs you commented on that only six have charted since 1990. Do you suppose this is a dying fad? Also, wouldn't the "Mind" be considered a body part? If you agree, I found four tunes that have had the word "mind" or "minds" in them. I'll skip the songs "(Shake, Shake, Shake) Shake Your Booty" and "Bootylicous" for obvious reasons.

Keep up the constant enlightment of your faithful readers,

Terry W. Hill
Ogden, Utah

Dear Terry,

Songs about "hearts" will never go out of fashion, even if we haven't had many body part No. 1 songs since 1990. As for the mind, I wouldn't consider it an actual body part. You can't get a mind transplant, for example. I would accept brain, but it's not a very romantic word and hasn't shown up in a No. 1 song ... yet.

For more about body parts, see the next e-mail.

Hi Fred,

Love your column -- I've been reading for nearly 10 years and, back when you had trivia contests, I won two or three CDs (thanks!).

In this week's Chart Beat, you listed No. 1 songs with body parts in the titles.

Here are a few you missed:

"(Shake, Shake, Shake) Shake Your Booty," KC & the Sunshine Band
"Baby Got Back," Sir Mix-A-Lot
"Bootylicious," Destiny's Child

Sadly, "Rump Shaker" peaked at No. 2.

You could also make an argument for "Wind Beneath My Wings" and "Shake Ya Tailfeather," although I suppose those aren't actual body parts. And I hesitate to mention "My Ding-A-Ling."


Eric Huynh
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Hi Eric,

I don't count "My Ding-a-Ling," even if we all know what Chuck Berry was singing about, any more than I would count "Magic Stick" (had it gone to No. 1). Since humans don't have wings and a tailfeather isn't a human body part either, they didn't make the list. "Bootylicious" would fit in the same category as "Heartache," as in a "Heartbreaker" is not a body part even though a "Heart" is. It's tough making up all the rules!

Speaking of "Hips," see the next e-mail.



Isn't it a little unfair to say that "Hips Don't Lie" is the first No. 1 for Wyclef Jean? It should be mentioned that he was featured prominently on "Maria Maria" by Santana featuring the Product G&B in 2000.

Thanks for your columns,

Toivo Lepp

Dear Toivo,

Glad you enjoy Chart Beat! Wyclef Jean co-wrote and co-produced "Maria Maria" for Santana featuring the Product G&B, but he wasn't the artist. It would be fair to acknowledge this is his second time at No. 1 as a writer/producer, but first as an artist.


Dear Fred,

I love the column, watch out for it every week. Thought I would write in to highlight the recent success of American artists in the U.K. music charts.

Recent examples include the Pussycat Dolls, who have notched up two No. 1s with "Dont' Cha" and "Stick Wit U" and a No. 2 hit with "Beep," all strong sellers.

Britney Spears has earned 16 top 10 singles and five No. 1 hits -- "...Baby One More Time," "Born to Make You Happy," "Oops...I Did It Again," "Toxic" and "Everytime" -- all selling over 100,000 physical copies in their first week of charting. "...Baby One More Time" sold in excess of 1,450,154 physical singles in the United Kingdom.

Last week alone, 17 of the singles in the U.K. top 40 singles chart are by artists from the United States.

Why do you think it is that extremely successful acts from the U.K. find it difficult to break in the U.S.? An example of this is Robbie Williams, who has sold over 30 million records in Europe, had seven No. 1 albums and a whopping 24 top 20 hit singles in the United Kingdom alone.

On a different note, there are recent examples of artists from the U.S. cracking the U.K. market who are unknown in [their own country]. Rock group Orson had a No. 1 album in the United Kingdom and this year have achieved a No. 1 single too with the fantastic "No Tomorrow" -- they are loved in the U.K.

The Scissor Sisters had the biggest selling album in the U.K. in 2004 and achieved five hit singles from that self-titled No. 1 release.

Other examples of massive-selling American artists in the United Kingdom are Anastacia, who has had four top 10 selling albums (including a No. 1), plus 12 top 40 hit singles.

The likes of Kelly Clarkson, Hilary Duff, Kelis, Justin Timberlake, Mandy Moore, Ashlee Simpson, JoJo, Chris Brown and Mario amongst others have all scored top 10 singles in the last few years.

A favorite of mine is Mariah Carey who, while she may not have achieved the same degree of success as she did in the U.S., has had many top 10 hits including "It's Like That," "Shake It Off," "We Belong Together," "Got Your Number," "Don't Forget About Us" and is likely to chart well with the brilliant "Say Somethin'." Last year she also had two huge selling top 10 albums in the United Kingdom, "The Greatest Hits" and "The Emancipation Of Mimi."

Anyway, the success of James Blunt and Natasha Bedingfield is reassuring that acts from the U.K. can make it in the very different U.S. market -- there is more to come from the likes of McFly (two No. 1 albums plus four No. 1 singles) and Girls Aloud (the next Spice Girls?) who have achieved 13 consecutive top 10 singles -- bring it on!

For all fans of Michael Jackson, he has already achieved 18 top 30 singles in the United Kingdom this year with the re-issue of 20 of his biggest U.K. hits in dual-disc format.

Thomas Anderson
Alnwick (the film location for the "Harry Potter" movies!)
Northumberland, England

Dear Thomas,

Since you mentioned the "Harry Potter" movies, I'll say that it might as well be magic that determines which American artists do well in the United Kingdom and which U.K. artists find success in the United States. This has been going on for decades - just ask U.K. superstar Cliff Richard and Detroit-born Suzi Quatro.

Back in 1997, when Blur and Oasis were the new great U.K. hopes for U.S. success, both bands were eclipsed by the Spice Girls, the most successful U.K. import that year. This has been one of the best years in recent memory for the success of U.K. acts in the United States, so let's stay tuned and see what happens in the remaining months of 2006.