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Chart Beat: Bruce Springsteen, Lil Wayne, John Rich

Fred Bronson discusses Bruce Springsteen, Lil Wayne, John Rich, Jason Mraz and more!

‘WORKING’ FOR A LIVING: It’s a familiar story: Bruce Springsteen releases a new album; Bruce Springsteen adds another No. 1 album to his career total. It doesn’t happen every time but his batting average is not bad at all: “Working on a Dream” (Columbia) is the Boss’ ninth No. 1 out of 28 chart entries.

Springsteen’s run of chart-topping releases began the week of Nov. 8, 1980, with “The River.” Here, in chronological order, are his nine No. 1s:


“The River,” four weeks (1980)
“Born in the U.S.A.,” seven weeks (1984)
“Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band Live/1975-85,” seven weeks (1986)
“Tunnel of Love,” one week (1987)
“Greatest Hits,” two weeks (1995)
“The Rising,” two weeks (2002)
“Devils & Dust,” one week (2005)
“Magic,” two weeks (2007)
“Working on a Dream,” one week to date (2009)

Only three artists have more No. 1s albums than Springsteen: the Beatles (19), Elvis Presley (10) and Jay-Z (10). The Rolling Stones also have nine No. 1 albums.
Springsteen made his debut on The Billboard 200 the week of July 26, 1975, with “Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J.,” giving him a newly-expanded album chart span of 33 years, six months and three weeks.

“Prom Queen” (Cash Money) has a splashy opening on The Billboard Hot 100, bowing at No. 17. That gives Lil Wayne the highest debuting single of the calendar year.

Only one other song has entered the chart inside the top 50 in 2009. U2’s “Get On Your Boots” (Interscope) opened last week at No. 37. The third highest debut of the year is Miranda Cosgrove’s cover of Sugababes’ “About You Now,” which started at No. 51 the week of Jan. 10.

Despite its lofty debut, “Prom Queen” is not the highest new entry for Lil Wayne. As a lead artist, he’s had one single begin its life in a more elevated position. “Got Money” spent its first week at No. 13 in June 2008. As a featured artist, Lil Wayne had an even higher debut. “Swagga Like Us,” credited to Jay-Z & T.I. featuring Kanye West & Lil Wayne, blasted its way onto the chart at No. 5 in September 2008.

THIS IS RICH: In its first week on Hot Country Songs, “Shuttin’ Detroit Down” (Warner Bros.) becomes the highest-charting hit of John Rich’s solo career. The previous record-holder was “Another You,” which captured the title last week when it moved 48-45.

“Another You” was the first single issued from Rich’s forthcoming solo album, “Son of a Preacher Man,” scheduled to be released in May. But with the sudden success of the timely “Shuttin’ Detroit Down,” which Rich had been performing live during visits to radio stations, Warner Bros. stopped promoting “Another You.” That discontinuation leads to a 45-49 drop this week.

Before he formed the duo Big & Rich with Kenny Alphin, John charted two solo titles on Hot Country Songs. “I Pray for You” topped out at No. 53 in August 2000 and “Forever Loving You” stopped at No. 46 in May 2001.

Big & Rich debuted the week of Dec. 27, 2003 with “Wild West Show,” which ultimately peaked at No. 21. The duo only had one top 10 hit – “Lost in This Moment,” which spent two weeks at No. 1 in July 2007.

After topping three other Billboard charts, “I’m Yours” (Atlantic/RRP) by Jason Mraz adds another notch to its No. 1 belt. The song that has gone around the world (thanks to YouTube) dethrones Coldplay’s “Viva La Vida” on the Adult Contemporary list.
“I’m Yours” had a nine-week reign on Adult Top 40, and ruled for one week each on Mainstream Top 40 and Triple A. The Adult Top 40 run at No. 1 began 17 weeks ago, on the chart dated Oct. 18, 2008. The song as been in the top four ever since and dips 3-4 this week.

“I’m Yours” moved into the Mainstream Top 40 penthouse the week of Dec. 20, 2008, and has been in the top 10 ever since, sliding 9-10 this week.

The earliest sighting at No. 1 was on the Triple A chart. “I’m Yours” debuted on that tally the week of March 15, 2008 – a full 11 months ago – and achieved pole position the week of June 28.

“I’m Yours” is the first song to top the Adult Contemporary, Adult Top 40, Mainstream Top 40 and Triple A charts.

DO YOU WANT TO CHART A ‘SECRET’: Still on The Billboard 200 at No. 168 in his identity as the Fireman (with the album “Electric Arguments”), Paul McCartney also charts under his own name with the debut of the EP “Amoeba’s Secret” (MPL/Hear) at No. 119. The album bows 45 years to the week after McCartney first topped this chart, with “Meet the Beatles.”
The new EP was recorded at Amoeba, a record store in Hollywood. A record store is a physical location where people go to buy music in tangible form.

JAMES AT 25: James Ingram returns to Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums after a 10-year hiatus, with a No. 99 debut for “Stand (In the Light)” (Intering). It’s the sixth Ingram album to chart in a career that spans 25 years and three months.

Ingram was last on this survey in May 1999 with “Forever More,” which peaked at No. 94.

Look back at the Billboard album chart for the week ending March 6, 1976, and you’ll see that the Creedence Clearwater Revival album “Chronicle (The 20 Greatest Hits)” (Fantasy) made its debut. The LP only went as high as No. 100 and spent 30 weeks on the tally.

But that was not the end of the story. “Chronicle” has spent an additional 590 weeks on the Top Pop Catalog chart, finally reaching No. 1 this week, almost 33 years after its original release.

EYE ON THE LITTLE SPARROW: Edith Piaf was 47 years old when she died on Oct. 1, 1963. You may know her life story – and her music – if you saw the biopic “La Vie En Rose,” a 2007 release. The film was named after her signature song, which debuted on the Billboard pop singles chart the week of Oct. 21, 1950, peaking at No. 23 the following week.
Piaf’s career chart span in the United States expands to 58 years, three months and three weeks, as an album titled “Greatest Hits” (Stardust) debuts at No. 1 on Top World Albums. It is the first time Piaf has appeared on this chart. “Greatest Hits” also debuts on Top Independent Albums, at No. 28, and the Mid-Line Classical Chart, at No. 1.

‘LIFE’ GOES ON: Kelly Clarkson’s “My Life Would Suck Without You” (RCA) is No. 1 on the Hot 100 for the second week. After just three weeks on the chart, the single is already one of the top 20 songs by an “American Idol” finalist.

Using the point system developed for my book, “Billboard’s Hottest Hot 100 Hits,” here is an updated list of the greatest Hot 100 hits by “Idol” contestants. “My Life Would Suck Without You” registers at No. 18 amongst all “Idol” songs in its third chart week and will move up quickly with each passing week.

Clarkson has eight songs in the top 20, more than any other artist.

1. “Since U Been Gone,” Kelly Clarkson (2005)
2. “Before He Cheats,” Carrie Underwood (2007)
3. “No Air,” Jordin Sparks duet with Chris Brown (2008)
4. “Breakaway,” Kelly Clarkson (2004)
5. “Because of You,” Kelly Clarkson (2005)
6. “A Moment Like This,” Kelly Clarkson (2002)
7. “Behind These Hazel Eyes,” Kelly Clarkson (2005)
8. “It’s Not Over,” Daughtry (2007)
9. “Tattoo,” Jordin Sparks (2007)
10. “Home,” Daughtry (2007)
11. “This Is the Night,” Clay Aiken (2003)
12. “Wait for You,” Elliott Yamin (2007)
13. “Crush,” David Archuleta (2008)
14. “Inside Your Heaven,” Carrie Underwood (2005)
15. “Miss Independent,” Kelly Clarkson (2003)
16. “Walk Away,” Kelly Clarkson (2006)
17. “Sorry 2004,” Ruben Studdard (2004)
18. “My Life Would Suck Without You,” Kelly Clarkson (2009)
19. “Do I Make You Proud,” Taylor Hicks (2006)
20. “One Step at a Time,” Jordin Sparks (2008)