FERGIE BRIDGES THE YEARS: While Fergie’s “Fergalicious” (will.i.am/A&M) debuted on The Billboard Hot 100 in October 2006 and spent 13 weeks on the chart last year, the song is now a member of the class of 2007. A 3-2 rise this week means the song peaks in this calendar year. It becomes the first No. 2 hit of the year that is only two chart weeks old. There were only two songs that peaked at No. 2 in 2006; “Crazy” by Gnarls Barkley moved into the runner-up spot the week of July 22 and “Smack That” by Akon featuring Eminem marched to No. 2 the week of Nov. 4.
“Fergalicious” reached its previous peak position of No. 3 the week of Nov. 18, 2006 and stayed there for two weeks. The song returned to No. 3 the week of Dec. 23, 2006 and then re-claimed the No. 3 spot last week.
On the Pop 100, “Fergalicious” rises 2-1, making it Fergie’s second No. 1 out of two chart entries. “London Bridge” spent two weeks in the penthouse beginning the week of Aug. 26, 2006.
BEGINNING OF THE ‘ENDS’: Another song that becomes one of the first hits of 2007 on the Hot 100 is “It Ends Tonight” (Doghouse) by the All-American Rejects. In its 14th chart week, the single spends its first frame inside the top 10.
“It Ends Tonight” jumps 11-8, barely edging out “Dirty Little Secret” to become the highest-ranked All-American Rejects title to date on that tally. “Dirty Little Secret” peaked at No. 9 the week of Jan. 21, 2006 and was the group’s only top 10 hit until this week.
THE MOST OF ‘THE MOST’: With holiday songs plunging down or falling off the list, the Adult Contemporary chart undergoes its annual intense reshuffling. That turbulence finds Rascal Flatts’ “What Hurts the Most” (Lyric Street) rebounding 11-1 to reclaim pole position. The 11-1 move is the first leap to No. 1 from outside the top 10 since exactly a year ago when, in a similarly active week, Rob Thomas’ “Lonely No More” took a 13-1 post-holiday rimshot for its 18th and final week as leader of the pack.
This week at No. 1 gives “What Hurts the Most” a cumulative total of five weeks on top, a longer reign than the single had when its ruled the Hot Country Songs chart for four weeks in April 2006.
THE DREAMS A-GO-GO: When “Dreamgirls” was a Broadway musical, the original cast album was released on the Geffen label. That LP peaked at No. 11 on The Billboard 200 in May 1982.
Now “Dreamgirls” is a movie, and this week the soundtrack, issued on Music World/Columbia, surpasses the cast album by leaping 31-3 on the same chart. A deluxe 2-CD edition is also on the chart and it rises 138-60.
TRIBUTE TO THE GODFATHER: There was no one quite like James Brown. He inspired many other musicians during his lifetime and stood up for civil rights in his songs, which served as an inspiration to those who listened to his music.
By a margin of one, Brown holds the record for having the most titles chart on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums list. In 2002, “The Next Step” became Brown’s 53rd album to chart. In February of this year, the Temptations’ “Reflections” became the group’s 52nd album to chart.
Until this week, Brown only had one album appear on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Catalog Albums chart. “20 All-Time Greatest Hits” peaked at No. 13 in January 1998. That album re-enters the survey at No. 2 in the wake of Brown’s passing on Christmas Day, while “The 50th Anniversary Collection” debuts at No. 10.
On the Hot 100, Brown has had 94 chart entries, second only to Elvis Presley’s 151. Brown never had a No. 1 single; his highest-ranked song was “I Got You (I Feel Good),” No. 3 in 1965.
Before his death, I had decided to include a section on the hardest-working man in show business in the fourth edition of “Billboard’s Hottest Hot 100 Hits,” to be published in the fall. As a preview, here is a list of Brown’s top 30 hits on the Hot 100, ranked by a point system developed for the book:
1 I GOT YOU (I FEEL GOOD) James Brown King 65
2 LIVING IN AMERICA James Brown Scotti Bros. 86
3 I GOT THE FEELIN’ James Brown King 68
4 MOTHER POPCORN (YOU GOT TO HAVE A MOTHER FOR ME) PART 1 James Brown King 69
5 PAPA’S GOT A BRAND NEW BAG PART I James Brown King 65
6 SAY IT LOUD – I’M BLACK AND I’M PROUD (PART 1) James Brown King 68
7 HOT PANTS PT. 1 (SHE GOT TO USE WHAT SHE GOT TO GET WHAT SHE WANTS) James Brown People 71
8 COLD SWEAT – PART 1 James Brown King 67
9 IT’S A MAN’S MAN’S MAN’S WORLD James Brown King 66
10 SUPER BAD (PART 1 & PART 2) James Brown King 70
11 MAKE IT FUNKY (PART 1) James Brown Polydor 71
12 LICKING STICK – LICKING STICK (PART 1) James Brown King 68
13 GIVE IT UP OR TURNIT A LOOSE James Brown King 69
14 GET UP I FEEL LIKE BEING LIKE A SEX MACHINE (PART 1) James Brown King 70
15 GET ON THE GOOD FOOT – PART 1 James Brown Polydor 72
16 PRISONER OF LOVE James Brown King 63
17 I DON’T WANT NOBODY TO GIVE ME NOTHING (OPEN UP THE DOOR, I’LL GET IT MYSELF) James Brown King 69
18 OH BABY DON’T YOU WEEP (PART 1) James Brown King 64
19 OUT OF SIGHT James Brown & His Orchestra Smash 64
20 THE PAYBACK – PART I James Brown Polydor 74
21 LET A MAN COME IN AND DO THE POPCORN PART ONE James Brown King 69
22 AIN’T IT FUNKY NOW (PART 1) James Brown King 70
23 I GOT ANTS IN MY PANTS – PART 1 AND I WANT TO DANCE James Brown Polydor 73
24 TALKING LOUD AND SAYING NOTHING – PART I James Brown Polydor 72
25 SOUL POWER PT. 1 James Brown King 71
26 BRING IT UP James Brown King 67
27 MY THANG James Brown Polydor 74
28 I CAN’T STAND MYSELF (WHEN YOU TOUCH ME) James Brown King 68
29 THE POPCORN James Brown King 69
30 GET UP, GET INTO IT, GET INVOLVED PT. 1 James Brown King 71
SONGS OF THE YEAR: After promising the list for two weeks, here it is at last — my top 10 songs of 2006. There was a time I distinguished between my top singles and my top songs of the year, but with the digital download age upon us, there doesn’t seem to be any reason to make two lists. So, just as the Hot 100 is a song chart and not a singles chart, this list represents my top 10 songs of the calendar year just gone by. For a look at my top 10 albums of 2006, check out the special section The Year in Music 2006 at Billboard.com.
1 “Smile,” Lily Allen (Capitol)
2 “Tornero,” Mihai Traistariu (Warner Sweden) (country of origin: Romania)
3 “I Wish I Was a Punk Rocker (With Flowers in My Hair),” Sandi Thom (Columbia)
4 “Je T’Adore,” Kate Ryan (EMI Belgium)
5 “Loca,” Arsenium featuring Natalia Gordienko and Connect-R (CMC) (country of origin: Moldova)
6 “LDN,” Lily Allen (Regal Recordings U.K.)
6 “Bore Me (Yawn),” Fantasia (J)
7 “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going,” Jennifer Hudson (Music World/Columbia)
8 “No No Never,” Texas Lightning (X-Cell Germany)
9 “Suddenly I See,” KT Tunstall (Virgin)
10 “SOS,” Rihanna (SRP/Def Jam)
Lily Allen is from the United Kingdom but her single “Smile” is listed on the U.S. Capitol label because a promotional single was released here in 2006. Her album is due for release domestically in 2007, which is why the follow-up single, “LDN,” is listed on the EMI imprint Regal Recordings.
Mihai Traistariu’s “Tornero” originated in his home country of Romania but was picked up for release by the Warner label in Sweden.