James Blunt, Madonna and Ray Davies are all making noteworthy moves and news.IT'S A 'BEAUTIFUL' DAY: He's been No. 1 on Billboard's Hot Digital Songs, Adult Top 40 and the Pop 100 charts, but this week James Blunt takes the big prize as his debut single, "You're Beautiful" (Custard/Atlantic), advances to No. 1 on the Hot 100. It's the first song by a U.K. artist to top this chart in eight years and two months, since Elton John had a 14-week reign with "Candle in the Wind 1997" / "Something About the Way You Look Tonight."
Blunt is one of only four solo male artists to achieve pole position on the Hot 100 since that Elton John hit without also appearing on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs tally. The other three are Ricky Martin ("Livin' La Vida Loca" in 1999), Enrique Iglesias ("Bailamos" in 1999 and "Be With You" in 2000) and Clay Aiken ("This Is the Night" in 2003).
"You're Beautiful" is the fourth song to move to No. 1 in 2006. "Check On It" by Beyoncé featuring Slim Thug has the longest run at the top this year, with five weeks at No. 1. "Grillz" by Nelly featuring Paul Wall, Ali and Gipp had a two-week visit at the summit and "Laffy Taffy" by D4L stayed in the penthouse for one week.
'SORRY' SEEMS TO BE THE BIGGEST SELLER: While a British artist rules the American chart, an American sits on the throne in the United Kingdom. Madonna collects the 12th British No. 1 of her career with "Sorry," the follow-up to the No. 1 single "Hung Up."
With one dozen chart-toppers under her belt, Madonna remains the female artist with the most No. 1s in the United Kingdom. Kylie Minogue is in second place among solo female artists, with seven. The Spice Girls have nine.
Madonna is now tied with Cliff Richard's backing band, the Shadows, for fifth place among artists with the most No. 1s in the United Kingdom. The top four are: Elvis Presley (21), the Beatles (17), Cliff Richard (14) and Westlife
STUDENT TAKEOVER: "High School Musical" (Walt Disney) is the first television soundtrack to top The Billboard 200 in just over 20 years. You'd have to back to January 1986 to find another TV soundtrack at No. 1; that's when "Miami Vice" ruled the chart for 11 weeks.
There have been a small number of TV-related No. 1 soundtrack albums, including TV series like "Miami Vice" and TV specials like "TCB" starring Diana Ross & the Supremes and the Temptations and "Aloha from Hawaii via Satellite" starring Elvis Presley, but "High School Musical" is the first soundtrack from a TV movie to reach No. 1.
A WELL-RESPECTED MAN: At long last, Ray Davies makes his solo debut on The Billboard 200, some 41 years and three months after he first appeared on this chart as a member of a group. As the lead singer and creative force behind the Kinks, Davies has 33 albums to his credit, stretching from "You Really Got Me" in December 1964 to "Phobia" in May 1993.
After a 12-year, 10-month gap, Davies is back on the chart with his first solo title to chart, "Other People's Lives" (V2). The album opens at No. 122, and enters Billboard's Heatseekers chart at No. 2.
Ray's brother Dave, lead guitarist for the Kinks, charted with two solo albums, "AFL-1-3603" (No. 42 in 1980) and "Glamour" (No. 152 in 1981).