THE COLBIE AND SARA DUOPOLY: The debut singles by Colbie Caillat and Sara Bareilles have monopolized pole position on the Adult Contemporary chart for the last 30 weeks, the longest consecutive run at No. 1 by solo female artists in the 47-year and two-week history of this survey.
Caillat’s “Bubbly” led the list for 19 weeks and was succeeded by Bareilles’ “Love Song,” which is still in the penthouse after 11 weeks. Before the Caillatt-Bareilles reign, the longest consecutive run by solo females on the AC chart was the 25-week rule between April 14-Sept. 29, 2001 by Lee Ann Womack’s “I Hope You Dance.” Dido’s “Thank You,” Faith Hill’s “There You’ll Be” and Enya’s “Only Time.”
The Caillat-Bareilles hold on No. 1 began the second week of 2008, meaning that female artists have held the top spot on the AC chart every week but one in this calendar year. At this point last year, male artists had led the list for 29 weeks and females for only two – the pair of non-consecutive weeks that Natasha Bedingfield’s “Unwritten” was No. 1.
WHO’S SINGING DEBARGE NOW: If you had to name a member of the family group DeBarge, you might think of El, Chico or Bunny, the three siblings who scored solo hits away from the quintet best known for songs like “Rhythm of the Night” and “Who’s Holding Donna Now.”
But another member of the family, Mark, is back on the Hot 100 as a songwriter. He penned the DeBarge song “Stay With Me,” sampled in Mariah Carey’s “I’ll Be Lovin’ U Long Time,” which moves 100-79. “Stay With Me” was previously sampled in a No. 2 hit by the Notorious B.I.G. (“One More Chance/Stay With Me”) and a No. 1 hit by Ashanti (“Foolish”).
PLAY THE ACE: Fifth season “American Idol” finalist Ace Young makes his first appearance on a Billboard chart this week, bowing at No. 160 on The Billboard 200 with his eponymous debut album on the Pazzo label. “Ace Young” is the highest new entry on Top Independent Albums at No. 20 and enters Top Heatseekers at No. 5.
Young is the ninth top 10 finalist from season five to chart, making that year the most prolific in terms of number of charted Idols. The entire top nine from the fifth year has now impacted one or more Billboard charts. That’s two more Idols than season three, with seven charted finalists.
Young is the 35th “American Idol” contestant to appear on a Billboard chart. Here is a season-by-season breakdown:
Season one: (five)
Season two: (four)
Season three: (seven)
Season four: (four)
Season five: (nine)
Season six: (four)
Season seven: (two)
That adds up to 34, but the total rises to 35 when you add in non-finalist William Hung, who went to No. 1 on Top Independent Albums with his debut CD.
‘EMPTY’ RUNNING ON; ‘CRAZY’ TOO: While Ace Young becomes the 35th charted “American Idol” singer, two other finalists make moves into the top 10s of Christian AC and Hot Country Songs, respectively.
Sixth season competitor Chris Sligh advances 12-9 on the Christian AC tally with “Empty Sky” (Brash), which is in its 19th chart week. Over on Hot Country Songs, second season entrant Josh Gracin rises 11-10 with “We Weren’t Crazy” (Lyric Street), the senior-most song on the chart. “We Weren’t Crazy” reaches the top 10 in its 40th chart week.
“Crazy” is Gracin’s fourth top 10 on this chart, but his first in three years. He made his debut in March 2004 with “I Want to Live,” which peaked at No. 4. The follow-up, “Nothin’ to Lose,” achieved pole position in March 2005. Gracin’s next single, “Stay With Me (Brass Bed),” went to No. 5 in October 2005.
THE GOLDEN ONE: ABBA has dominated this column over the last two weeks and would not normally capture my attention three weeks in a row, but a 6-1 climb on Top Pop Catalog Albums means that “ABBA Gold” (Polydor) is the Swedish quartet’s first No. 1 album in America, arriving some 34 years after the group made its chart debut.