Chart Beat

Ann Nesby, Dixie Chicks return to the charts, plus news on Daniel Powter and Nick Lachey.

PUT YOUR HANDS TOGETHER FOR GRANDMA: It was a double dose of good news for singer Ann Nesby this week. Moments after finding out that her granddaughter Paris Bennett had survived being in the bottom two on "American Idol" to make it into the top five finalists for season five, Nesby learned that her new album, "In the Spirit" (It's Time Child/Shanachie), had debuted on two Billboard charts.

Nesby's latest CD, which includes a remake of Bill Withers' "Grandma's Hands," enters the Top Gospel Albums chart at No. 19 and the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums list at No. 72.

Nesby has been spending time in Los Angeles with her husband Tim, supporting 16-year-old granddaughter Paris while she competes on "American Idol." Paris may see her own chart action one day soon, but for now the family is represented by Nesby, whose chart career stretches back to 1991, as lead singer of the gospel group Sounds of Blackness.

"In the Spirit" is Nesby's third solo album to appear on the R&B/Hip-Hop tally. "I'm Here for You" peaked at No. 27 in 1996 and "Put It on Paper" sailed to No. 8 in 2002. On the gospel albums survey, "In the Spirit" is Nesby's first chart album.

While she'll continue to promote her album, for now Nesby is also playing the role of proud grandmother and will continue to be seen in the audience at "American Idol," cheering on the family's rising star.

'NICE' GIRLS FINISH FIRST: The Dixie Chicks have their highest new entry on the Billboard Hot 100, thanks to the first-week availability of "Not Ready to Make Nice" (Columbia) as a paid digital download. The song bows on the big chart at No. 28, surpassing the No. 40 debut of "Goodbye Earl" in March 2000.

"Not Ready to Make Nice" is the first Dixie Chicks song to appear on the Hot 100 since "Travelin' Soldier" marched to No. 25 in March 2003. The trio first appeared on this chart in 1998 (with "I Can Love You Better") and has had 15 chart entries between 1998-2003, never missing a year until lead singer Natalie Maines made a comment about President Bush that offended many country music fans.

In its first week on the Hot 100, "Not Ready to Make Nice" already ranks as the sixth highest-ranked song of the group's 16 chart entries. The five Dixie Chicks songs that have achieved a higher rank are:

"Cowboy Take Me Away," No. 27 (2000)
"Goodbye Earl," No. 19 (2000)
"Long Time Gone," No. 7 (2002)
"Landslide," No. 7 (2003)
"Travelin' Soldier," No. 25 (2003)

STILL HAVING A 'BAD DAY': "American Idol" is still using Daniel Powter's "Bad Day" as the exit music for the contestant voted off the show each week, although on Wednesday an acoustic version was played for the first time. Still, the repeated airings have helped maintain interest in the song and it remains on top of the Hot 100 for a fifth week in a row.

"Bad Day" is now tied with the Everly Brothers' "Cathy's Clown" and Prince's "When Doves Cry" as the third longest-running No. 1 single in the 46-year history of the Warner Bros. record label. The only titles to have longer runs in pole position are Debby Boone's "You Light Up My Life" (10 weeks) and Rod Stewart's "Tonight's the Night (Gonna Be Alright)" (eight weeks).

"Bad Day" is also tied for the longest-running No. 1 of 2006. "Check on It" by Beyoncé featuring Slim Thug also spent five weeks at the summit.

RIGHT TO BE 'LEFT': Divorce isn't fun, but those looking for a silver lining may take solace in this week's chart action for Nick Lachey. He is no longer with Jessica Simpson, but he has the highest-charting solo song of his career on the Hot 100, as "What's Left of Me" (Jive) rockets 51-33.

This is only Lachey's second chart appearance under his own name, following "Where You Are," on which he was a featured artist with then-wife Simpson. Their collaboration stalled at No. 62 in April 2000.

As a member of 98 Degrees, Lachey has made four visits to the top 10. The group's biggest hit on its own was "Give Me Just One Night (Una Noche)," No. 2 in September 2000. Seven months earlier, the group had its only No. 1 hit, when it was featured along with Joe on Mariah Carey's "Thank God I Found You."

ROCK 'HOME' IN THE COUNTRY: Bon Jovi is the first rock group to top Billboard's country singles chart in the survey's 62-year history. "Who Says You Can't Go Home" (Island/Mercury), from the band's "Have a Nice Day" album, moves 2-1 on the Hot Country Songs list. The version being played on country radio features Jennifer Nettles of Sugarland.

This is Nettles' first country No. 1 after coming close twice with her own band. Sugarland's first two chart entries, "Baby Girl" and "Something More," both peaked at No. 2.

While Bon Jovi is the first rock group to achieve pole position on the country list, it is not the first non-country act to do so. Unclke Kracker teamed with Kenny Chesney on the 2004 chart-topper "When the Sun Goes Down." In 1977, Tom Jones went to No. 1 with "Say You'll Stay Until Tomorrow." In the 1950s, Elvis Presley and Jerry Lee Lewis crossed over from rock to top the country tally.