CHART BEAT BONUS

Fred Bronson reports on chart activity relating to Kelly Clarkson, Usher, Ray Charles and Snoop Dogg.

BREAKING AWAY: Kelly Clarkson scores the second-highest charting song of her career on the Billboard Hot 100, as "Breakaway" (Walt Disney) inches up from 9-8. That's a notch higher than the No. 9 peak of "Miss Independent" in July 2003.

Clarkson made her debut on the chart with "A Moment Like This," which spent two weeks on top in October 2002 shortly after her coronation as the first "American Idol" winner.

The only Clarkson chart entry to miss the top 10 was, ironically, "Low," which went to No. 58 in October 2003.

"Breakaway," originally found on the soundtrack to "The Princess Diaries 2," is also the title track of Clarkson's second album. That disc is schedule for a Nov. 30 release via RCA.

THIS 'BOO' IS MADE FOR CHARTING: Now in its third week at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, "My Boo" by Usher and Alicia Keys passes another Usher chart-topper, "Confessions Part II," to become the LaFace artist's third-longest running No. 1 song of 2004.

"Yeah!" featuring Ludacris and Lil' Jon reigned for 12 weeks and "Burn" for eight. "My Boo" is in third place and "Confessions Part II," with two weeks on top, is in fourth when counting weeks at No. 1.

"My Boo" has been No. 1 half as long as Keys' only other chart-topper. "Fallin'," which marked her Hot 100 debut, ruled for six weeks in the summer of 2001.

DOUBLE RAY: "Genius Loves Company" (Hear/Concord), the duets album by Ray Charles that debuted at No. 2 on The Billboard 200 eight weeks ago, is still in the top 10 (it takes a 5-8 slide this week). Meanwhile, the soundtrack album "Ray" (WMG Soundtracks/Atlantic), which bowed at No. 23 last week, takes a giant step to No. 10.

That gives the late artist two albums in the top 10. It's the first time that has happened on this chart since Jan. 5, 1963, when "Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music (Volume Two)" was No. 6 and its predecessor, "Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music," was No. 10. Those two albums shared space in the top 10 from Nov. 24, 1962 to Jan. 5, 1963. But they weren't the first pair of albums by Charles to occupy slots in the top 10 at the same time.

From Sept. 8-Nov. 10, 1962, "Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music" and "Ray Charles' Greatest Hits" were both top 10 items.

Over on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart, "Genius Loves Company" and the "Ray" soundtrack are also both in the top 10. On the Top Pop Catalog list, "The Very Best of Ray Charles" (Rhino) moves 2-1, becoming the first Charles title to top this tally. Another Rhino set, "Anthology," moves 7-4 on the catalog chart.

'DROP' DOESN'T: Snoop Dogg made his debut on Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks chart in May 1992 when he was introduced on Dr. Dre's No. 46 hit "Deep Cover." It's taken 12-and-a-half years, but Snoop earns his first No. 1 on this tally as "Drop It Like It's Hot" (Doggystyle/Geffen), featuring Pharrell, glides into pole position.

On the Hot 100, "Drop It Like It's Hot" advances 4-2, good enough to become Snoop's highest-charting track on that survey.