Chart Beat

Taylor Hicks and Chris Daughtry make their chart debuts plus news from Livingston Taylor/Carly Simon, Gnarls Barkley, Dixie Chicks and more!

TAYLOR AND CHRIS: When last we checked, 18 "American Idol" contestants had charted in Billboard. Two weeks ago, that total jumped to 19 when fourth season drop-out Mario Vazquez debuted on the Rhythmic Top 40 chart with his debut single, "Gallery" (Arista). Vazquez was a finalist in the top 12 when he dropped out for personal reasons in March 2005. Five months later, Clive Davis signed Vazquez to Arista.

This week, the total number of "Idol" contestants who have charted in Billboard takes a dramatic increases to 23, as the first finalists from season five to make their chart debuts join the crowd.

Surprisingly, the "Idol" with the highest new entry on the Billboard Hot 100 is not the winner, Taylor Hicks, nor the runner-up, Katharine McPhee. It's the man many people suspected would walk away with the title this season. Chris Daughtry, shockingly voted off in fourth place, earns Hot Shot Debut honors with his version of Bon Jovi's 1987 hit, "Wanted Dead or Alive." The track from the "American Idol Season 5: Encores" CD enters at No. 43.

Another track from that album also bows on the Hot 100. Hicks' rendition of the Doobie Brothers' 1976 single "Takin' It to the Streets" is new at No. 69. This is the first time in five seasons that the person crowned "American Idol" has not first appeared on the Hot 100 with a song from the finale. The song given to Hicks, "Do I Make You Proud" (Arista), does make its debut on another chart, entering the Adult Contemporary tally at No. 21, and should show up on the Hot 100 as soon as sales kick in.

The AC chart is home to a number of Idols this week, with Bo Bice enjoying radio airplay with "The Real Thing" and Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood each having two songs on the list. Even with Daughtry and Hicks showing up on the Hot 100, the third season of "American Idol" has produced the highest number of charted Idols.

But season five has produced four chart-worthy performers and they all make their debuts in the same week. On the Pop 100, third-place finalist Elliott Yamin has a new entry at No. 73 with "Moody's Mood for Love" and runner-up Katharine McPhee bows at No. 90 with her rendition of Aretha Franklin's "Think." Both tracks are included on the album "American Idol Season 5: Encores," which enters The Billboard 200 at No. 3.

Here is a breakdown of charted Idols by season:

Season one: (five)
Kelly Clarkson
Justin Guarini
Tamyra Gray
R.J. Helton
Jim Verraros

Season two: (four)
Ruben Studdard
Clay Aiken
Kimberley Locke
Josh Gracin

Season three: (six)
Diana DeGarmo
Jasmine Trias
LaToya London
George Huff
John Stevens

Season four: (three)
Carrie Underwood
Bo Bice
Mario Vazquez

Season five: (four)
Taylor Hicks
Katharine McPhee
Elliot Yamin
Chris Daughtry

That adds up to 22, but one non-finalist has also charted. "American Idol" wannabe William Hung parlayed his failure to pass the audition into a successful career -- which has included charting in Billboard.

TAYLOR AND SIMON: Taylor Hicks isn't the only Taylor with a new entry on the Adult Contemporary chart this week. After a 17-year absence, Livingston Taylor returns at No. 39 with "Best of Friends" (Chesky), a duet with his former sister-in-law, Carly Simon. It's uncanny listening to Taylor and Simon collaborate on "Best of Friends," as Liv sounds so much like his brother, James. Carly and James had hits with remakes of Inez and Charlie Foxx's "Mockingbird" and the Everly Brothers' "Devoted to You."

"Best of Friends" is the sixth Livingston Taylor song to appear on the AC list over a period of 27 years, seven months and one week, counting back to Taylor's debut in November 1978 with "I Will Be in Love With You." Taylor's biggest hit to date is "I'll Come Running," No. 8 in 1979.

Simon peaked at No. 6 on the AC chart in December 2005 with "Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!" Her last non-holiday AC hit was "Love of My Life," No. 16 in June 1992. "Best of Friends" is her 28th AC chart entry over 35 years, one month and one week, dating back to the debut single "That's the Way I've Always Heard It Should Be" in May 1971.

STILL 'CRAZY' AFTER ALL THESE WEEKS: On the Hot 100, "Crazy" (Downtown/Lava) by Gnarls Barkley continues its slow climb, advancing 38-35. It's a different story in the United Kingdom, where the single rules the charts for the ninth consecutive week. That's the longest-running U.K. No. 1 hit since Wet Wet Wet's remake of the Troggs' "Love Is All Around" spent 15 weeks on top. The Wet Wet Wet single began its reign 12 years ago this week.

2GOOD 2B 4GOTTEN: Back to the "American Idol" franchise for a moment -- season four winner Carrie Underwood scores her second top 10 hit on the Hot Country Songs chart. "Jesus, Take the Wheel" spent six weeks at No. 1 and now "Don't Forget to Remember Me" (Arista) leaps 12-8.

63 WEEKS AND COUNTING: The Dixie Chicks spend their 63rd week at No. 1 on the Top Country Albums chart, as "Taking the Long Way" (Columbia) bows in the pole position. It is the fourth of four studio albums by the trio to go all the way on the country tally. The "Top of the World Live" CD stopped at No. 3.

The Dixie Chicks' first release, "Wide Open Spaces," led the list for seven weeks in 1999. That same year, "Fly" began a 36-week reign. In 2002, "Home" started a 19-week rule. On The Billboard 200, where "Taking the Long Way" also enters at the summit, the Dixie Chicks are No. 1 for the seventh week. "Fly" dominated the survey for two weeks and "Home" was on top for four weeks.

PROMISCUITY: Nelly Furtado has her biggest hit to date, thanks to the 9-3 jump of "Promiscuous" (Mosley/Geffen) on the Hot 100. Each of her three chart entries has peaked higher than its predecessor. Furtado's debut, "I'm Like a Bird," went to No. 9 in May 2001. "Turn Off the Light" reached No. 5 in November 2001. As reported last week, "Promiscuous" is already the biggest hit for producer Timbaland as an artist, besting the No. 12 peak of his first chart entry, "Up Jumps Da Boogie" in 1997.