×
Skip to main content

Ask Billboard: Which Superstars Have Yet To Hit No. 1? Readers Respond, Continued

Readers check in with yet more insights on "Who" have shockingly not led both the Hot 100 and Billboard 200 despite legendary careers.

Ask Billboard is updated every Friday. As always, submit your questions about Billboard charts, sales and airplay, as well as general music musings, to askbb@billboard.com. Please include your first and last name, as well as your city, state and country, if outside the U.S.


WHICH SUPERSTARS HAVE YET TO REACH NO. 1? READERS RESPOND, CONTINUED

Dear Gary,

I thought of yet more artists that fit the “Ask Billboard” discussion about, I began thinking more about the pop group.

Related

Did Breathe release more than two albums? I love Cutting Crew as much as Breathe, and I was thrilled to find out a couple years ago that the former act had released a third CD (which I had to buy on eBay!)

I thought that Breathe’s 1987 and 1990 CDs were amazing. My favorite songs other than than the two Hot 100 hits, “Hands to Heaven” (No. 2) and “How Can I Fall?” (No. 3) from the act’s first album were title cut “All That Jazz” and “Won’t You Come Back?” The line “that Hollywood jazz” sticks in my memory like peanut butter, while “Back” always makes me wistful.

My favorites from the second album, “Peace of Mind,” are “I Hear You’re Doing Fine” and “Mississippi Water.”

Thanks for your posts!

Tommy Marx

Hi Tommy,

So happy to hear from a fellow Breathe fan. But, how dare you not mention the third Hot 100 top 10 from “All That Jazz”! After two hit ballads, the uptempo and incredibly catchy “Don’t Tell Me Lies” reached No. 10 in 1989.

(“Lies” was actually the fourth single from “Jazz.” First track “Jonah” never reached the Hot 100. A fifth single, ballad “All This I Should Have Known,” rose to No. 34 on Adult Contemporary).

I agree, Breathe represented ’80s Britpop at its best. The second album was also strong, with “Say a Prayer” (No. 21) and “Does She Love That Man?” (No. 34) hitting the Hot 100’s top 40.

According to lead singer David Glasper’s MySpace page, no evidence of a third Breathe album exists. As for Glasper’s whereabouts today (or, at least, of Dec. 10, 2010, the site’s last login date)?

“The ever enigmatic Dave is still MIA so don’t ask!” declares Glasper’s bio.

You, can, however, hear two songs posted as of 2009: “Turbulent Skies” and “If I Only Could,” both of which show his smooth voice still in fine form.

“Here are two songs which were recorded a while ago,” the uncredited bio continues. “Dave wasn’t keen on them being heard because they’re quite rough in places – they’re just simple demos – but I think they’re some of his best so here they are.

“I’ll try to keep an eye on this page from time to time but I’m busy and not online that often. Thanks.”

(Now time to go listen to “Peace of Mind” album cut “Woman” …)

Ask Billboard is updated every Friday. As always, submit your questions about Billboard charts, sales and airplay, as well as general music musings, to askbb@billboard.com. Please include your first and last name, as well as your city, state and country, if outside the U.S.

GOOD ‘BOOK’

Hi Gary,

With the original cast recording of “The Book of Mormon” barging into the Billboard 200’s top 10 (No. 3), I was wondering: Do sales numbers reflect cast recordings that are sold in theatre lobbies?

Every Broadway musical with a cast album sells copies in the lobby and I’d imagine that that accounts for a large portion of overall purchases.

Thanks!

Mark Blankenship
New York, New York

Hi Mark,

I posed your question to Billboard 200 – and Cast Albums – chart manager Keith Caulfield, who fondly referred to you as an “old friend,” from your correspondences when he authored “Ask Billboard” before me.

Here is his response:

“It depends on the venue and production and if they have chosen to report their sales to Nielsen SoundScan.

Most of Disney’s productions do report, as does ‘Wicked’ and ‘Jersey Boys.’ Some others don’t, for their own specific set of reasons. Touring productions can also report, but many do not.

For example, upwards of 1,000 copies of ‘Wicked’ are sold each week from internet retailers, mail orders and venue sales (likely, the bulk of that figure from sales at the ‘Wicked’ theater venue on Broadway in New York).”

Caulfield detailed the milestones that “Mormon” registered this week Wednesday (June 15) on Billboard.com:

“The original Broadway cast recording of ‘The Book of Mormon’ comes roaring back in at No. 3 with 61,000 sold (up 2,116%) following the show’s nine Tony Award wins on Sunday, June 12. It is the highest charting Broadway cast album – and first top 10 – since 1969, when “Hair” spent 13 straight weeks at No. 1.

And, ‘Mormon’ owns the largest sales week for any cast album since SoundScan began tracking data in 1991. The previous best sales week for a cast set belonged to the original London cast recording of ‘Phantom of the Opera (Highlights),’ which sold 54,000 over Christmas week 1992.”

Ask Billboard is updated every Friday. As always, submit your questions about Billboard charts, sales and airplay, as well as general music musings, to askbb@billboard.com. Please include your first and last name, as well as your city, state and country, if outside the U.S.

PERRY POWER

Hey Gary!

I’ve spent the last week or so trying to track down up-to-date sales for all of Katy Perry‘s singles. Any information you can give will be much appreciated!

Thanks,

Scott Herman
Boston, Massachusetts

Hi Scott,

Here is a ranking of Perry’s top 10 most-downloaded songs, release-to-date, according to SoundScan:

4.908,000, “Hot N Cold”
4,862,000, “California Gurls”
4,488,000, “Firework”
4,063,000, “I Kissed a Girl”
3,940,000, “E.T.”
3,747,000, “Teenage Dream”
1,994,000, “Waking Up in Vegas”
928,000, “Thinking of You”
882,000, “If We Ever Meet Again” (Timabaland featuring Katy Perry)
401,000, “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)”

Expect “Friday” to quickly and sharply roar up this list, as the song is currently No. 1 on the iTunes store’s ranking. It should blast from No. 31 into the Hot 100’s upper reaches next week, as its eight-minute video – sporting cameos from Rebecca Black, Darren Criss, Corey Feldman, Kenny G, Debbie Gibson and others – has racked 15.6 million YouTube views in less than a week since its posting.

Debbie Gibson: Co-Star Katy Perry ‘Raising The Bar’ With ‘Last Friday Night’ Video

As for your location, the Bruins’ winning the Stanley Cup Wednesday (June 15) for the first time since 1972 may personally outrank the Red Sox’ 2004 World Series win (after the team’s 86-year title drought) as my favorite sports fan experience, having gone to so many Bruins’ games with my father, who covered the team for several years for the Patriot Ledger, and brother since 1983.

(Finally, my brother can no longer taunt that the Bruins have won two Cups in his lifetime (1970, ’72) and none since I was born in ’74 …)

In honor of the newly-crowned champions, an audio toast to the team with the song that serves as the soundtrack to each Bruins home-ice goal at Boston’s TD Garden, Zombie Nation’s “Kernkraft 400”:

See you at tomorrow’s parade! (As a Facebook friend joked, “I’ll be the one in the Bruins shirt and hat!”)

Ask Billboard: Which Superstars Have Yet To Hit No. 1? Readers Respond

Taylor Swift and Shania Twain are just two household names that have yet to drive to the top of both the Billboard 200 and Hot 100.

Ask Billboard is updated every Friday. As always, submit your questions about Billboard charts, sales and airplay, as well as general music musings, to askbb@billboard.com. Please include your first and last name, as well as your city, state and country, if outside the U.S.

WHICH SUPERSTARS HAVE YET TO REACH NO. 1?

Dear Gary,

Last week, a discussion began about. I’ve been keeping my own top 30 chart for a few years now, which draws upon not only U.S. singles, but also songs from around the world.

Here’s this week’s top 10 (with last week’s positions also noted):

TW-LW, Title, Artist
1-1, “Good Life,” OneRepublic
2-2, “Hello,” Martin Solveig & Dragonette
3-4, “Give Me Everything,” Pitbull featuring Ne-Yo, Afrojack & Nayer
4-3, “Till The World Ends,” Britney Spears
5-5, “Uncharted,” Sara Bareilles
6-6, “The Lazy Song,” Bruno Mars
7-8, “Backseat,” New Boyz featuring the Cataracts & Dev
8-9, “Who Says,” Selena Gomez & the Scene
9-12, “Alone Again,” Alyssa Reid featuring P. Reign
10-13, “Don’t Hold Your Breath,” Nicole Scherzinger

Keep up the good work!

Best,

Brian Brostek
Boston, Massachusetts

Hi Gary,

I’ve enjoyed thinking about artists who have topped the Billboard 200 without capping the Hot 100 or vice-versa. As you mentioned, Rihanna is a remarkable example of that phenomenon. It’s startling that an artist with 10 Hot 100 No. 1s and 18 top 10s still hasn’t scaled the album chart’s summit.

For me, another striking example is John Mayer. He’s topped the Billboard 200 twice, with 2003’s “Heavier Things” and 2009’s “Battle Studies,” but he’s never even reached the top 10 on the Hot 100, let alone No. 1. Granted, he’s reached the top 20 seven times, but I’d imagine it’s frustrating to keep getting close to the top 10 without ever breaking in. To my mind, Mayer’s the biggest male pop/rock star without a Hot 100 top 10 single.

Going back a few years, it’s also surprising that Roxette never had a chart-topping album. In the late ’80s and early ’90s, the duo scored four No. 1 hits and two No. 2s, yet its highest-charting album, “Joyride,” peaked at No. 12. Even the “Pretty Woman” soundtrack, which was driven by the pair’s No. 1 “It Must Have Been Love,” stopped at No. 4.

I guess I’m biased, since Roxette is one of my all-time favorite pop acts, but I wish it had impacted the album charts as strongly as it did the Hot 100.

Thanks for hosting such a fun discussion!

Mark Blankenship
New York, New York

Hi Mark,

… and all readers who sent such perfect examples of acts that while they have not topped both the Billboard 200 and Hot 100 are unquestionably accomplished artists.

It goes to show that while Billboard charts have served as the barometer of artists’ success for more than seven decades, analyzing between the bullets is what truly tells the most complete stories.

As for Roxette, I’d bet that our iPods could pass for twins. The Swedish duo is also one of my favorites, as – for 25 years – it’s consistently served up melodic power-pop. Per Gessle’s solo albums, especially 1997’s “The World According to Gessle” and 2009’s “Party Crasher,” are also well worth seeking.

Having recently released its first studio album, “Charm School,” since 2001, Roxette registered its first No. 1 on Billboard’s menu of international charts in 10 years when the set opened atop the German albums chart in March.

The collection’s first single is now making its way stateside, as “She’s Got Nothing On (But the Radio)” goes to adult contemporary and adult pop radio June 20.

Satellite pop reporter Sirius XM 20 on 20 has already been an early supporter, having played the song 255 times, according to Nielsen BDS. The cut is the channel’s 16th-most played title of the past seven days.