Fred Bronson discusses Green Day, Tamyra Gray, Gretchen Wilson, Rascal Flatts and chart rules with readers.


Hi Fred!

As always, I read and enjoy "Chart Beat" every week and I just read what you wrote about Green Day getting its first No. 1 on the Mainstream Rock Chart. But, if I'm not wrong, "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" is also the group's first chart appearance on the Hot 100, so as high as it reaches, it will be Green Day's biggest hit (so far it is at No. 18). And that's because when the band was around in the 1990s, Billboard still had the policy of only allowing singles to chart that had commercial availability.

Jose Carlos Santos
Mexicali, Mexico

Dear Jose,

You're right about "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" being Green Day's biggest hit on Billboard's Hot 100 (this week it moves 18-16), and also about some of the group's earlier hits not being eligible for the chart because their label didn't release commercial singles for Green Day's most popular album tracks.

However, "Boulevard" is not the band's first entry on the Hot 100. The title track of the current album "American Idiot" debuted at No. 77 the week of Aug. 21, 2004, ultimately peaking at No. 61 the week of Oct. 30.

When "American Idiot" gave Green Day its long-awaited debut on the Hot 100, here's what I wrote in "Chart Beat Bonus":

GREEN'S DAY HAS COME: It might be difficult to believe, but 10 years after scoring its first hit, Green Day finally makes its debut on Billboard's Hot 100.

The band from Berkeley, Calif., had 11 chart entries on the Hot 100 Airplay chart between 1994 and 1998. But since all 11 were album cuts that weren't released as commercial singles, chart rules that existed at the time meant the tracks weren't eligible for the Hot 100.

Chart policy changed in December 1998 to allow album tracks on the chart, but it has taken almost six more years for Green Day to make its debut. "American Idiot" (Reprise) is a new entry at No. 77.

On the Modern Rock Tracks list, where Green Day racked up 16 chart entries between 1994 and 2001, "American Idiot" is the group's highest debut, bowing at No. 10. Previously, "Geek Stink Breath" was the highest new entry for Green Day, opening at No. 12 the week of Oct. 7, 1995.

In its first week on the Modern tally, "American Idiot" is Green Day's 13th top 10 hit, and the first since "Warning" went to No. 3 the week of Jan. 27, 2001.


Dear Fred,

I know you are a fan of "American Idol" and I was wondering what your thoughts are on the lack of success of Tamyra Gray. In my opinion [she is] the most talented singer to come from the show.

Jeff Danton

Dear Jeff,

Like many viewers who tuned in to the first season of "American Idol," I thought Tamyra Gray would finish in the top two. I was among the millions who were surprised when she was voted off earlier than that, ending up in fourth place.

I would definitely rank Tamyra among the ranks of the talented contestants who did not win the title of "American Idol." I think her album suffered from three problems: it came out two years after she competed on the series, there was no hit single on the radio and it was lost in a sea of "Idol"-related releases.


Dear Fred,

Gretchen Wilson scores a third top 10 in a row on the Dec. 25, 2004, Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart as "When I Think About Cheatin'" moves 11-8. With this move, Ms. Wilson becomes the first female solo act to hit the top 10 with her first three country radio hits since Deana Carter did it in 1997 with her first four.

Since 1997, only two acts have had a hotter debut run. The Dixie Chicks hit with their first seven between 1998 and 2000 and Rascal Flatts has hit since then with their first nine radio singles, and this week the group is just a couple spots away from a perfect 10 of 10 as "Bless the Broken Road" inches up 15-12.

John Maverick
Omaha, Neb.

Dear John,

You sent your e-mail before this week's chart was compiled, so I'm sure by now you have noticed that Rascal Flatts did indeed score their perfect 10, as "Bless the Broken Road" advances 12-10 on Billboard's Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart.


Mr. Bronson,

I'm a weekly viewer of the Billboard charts for six years now. I'm a 27 year-old music lover and chart analyst (it's only a hobby).

On the Billboard Hot 100 page it says at the bottom: "Songs are removed from the Hot 100 and Hot 100 Airplay charts simultaneously if they have been on The Billboard Hot 100 for more than 20 weeks and rank below 50."

But then last week I was surprised because I thought Crossfade's "Cold" would be excluded from the chart and it wasn't.

["Cold"] has spent 22 weeks on the Hot 100 but has never risen above No. 81. Should it be excluded or am I misunderstanding something?

Best Regards,

Jose Tavares

Dear Jose,

The rule does exist, but like most rules, there are some exceptions. The purpose of the policy is to remove older songs that have lived out their chart lives in order to make room for new songs. The older songs are still tracked on a recurrent chart, but if they were not removed, eventually the Hot 100 would clog up and there would be little chance for newer songs to gain a berth on the chart.

Songs that are still bulleting on the chart are exempted from the removal rule. A bullet indicates a song is gaining in airplay and/or sales. Since Crossfade's "Cold" is still bulleted, it's still an active title showing growth. That's why it remains on the Hot 100 even though it has passed the 20-week mark.