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Chart Beat: Darius Rucker, Mariah Carey, Wilco

Darius Rucker rocks Country Songs, Mariah Carey extends a record on Pop Songs and Wilco notches its first Triple A No. 1.

THREE’S COMPANY: On the Country Songs chart, Darius Rucker becomes the the first act in nearly 17 years to top the chart with their first three format singles, and the fourth act in the past 20 years to do so.

Rucker’s “Alright” ascends to the top this week, following his previous toppers “Don’t Think I Don’t Think About It” and “It Won’t Be Like This For Long.” The most recent acts to run their first three songs to No. 1 were Wynonna (1992), Brooks & Dunn (1992) and Clint Black (1990).


Wynonna did time atop the chart with each of her first three solo songs, while Brooks & Dunn and Black led with each of their first four singles.

Here is a recap of each of the artist’s career-starting No. 1s with each title’s first week at No. 1.

Clint Black
“Better Man” (June 10, 1989)
“Killin’ Time” (Oct. 14, 1989)
“Nobody’s Home” (Jan. 20, 1990)
“Walkin’ Away” (May 19, 1990)

“She Is His Only Need” (April 11, 1992)
“I Saw The Light” (July 4, 1992)
“No One Else On Earth” (Oct. 24, 1992)

Brooks & Dunn
“Brand New Man” (Sept. 7, 1991)
“My Next Broken Heart” (Dec. 21, 1991)
“Neon Moon” (May 9, 1992)
“Boot Scootin’ Boogie” (Aug. 1, 1992)

Darius Rucker
“Don’t Think I Don’t Think About It” (Oct. 4, 2008)
“It Won’t Be Like This For Long” (March 28, 2009)
“Alright” (Aug. 15, 2009)

Of course, both Rucker and Wynonna gained fame as part of a hit-making group before they struck out on a solo journey. Rucker led the rock band Hootie & the Blowfish, while Wynonna was one half of the Judds with her mother Naomi. Though Hootie never reached the Country Songs chart, the Judds racked up 25 hits on the tally between 1983 and 2000.

After a stumble out of the gate with their No. 17-peaking debut hit “Had a Dream (For the Heart),” the duo hit No. 1 with its second chart hit, the classic “Mama He’s Crazy.” It was the first of eight straight No. 1s for the pair between 1984 and 1987.

DIVA DEBUT: Mariah Carey makes her 29th appearance on the Pop Songs/Mainstream Top 40 radio chart as “Obsessed” debuts at No. 39. The arrival extends her lead for the most overall chart entries in the tally’s nearly 17-year history. She is now three titles ahead of the second-place Madonna (26).

Below are the artists with the most appearances since the chart launched in October 1992:

Mariah Carey (29)
Madonna (26)
Janet Jackson (23)
Britney Spears (23)
Nelly (20)

NOW AND ‘THEN’: More than 10 years after initially cracking the Country Songs chart, Brad Paisley makes his first foray onto the Adult Contemporary list as his former No. 1 “Then” enters at No. 30.

Paisley’s first Country effort, “Who Needs Pictures,” debuted on that tally in the Feb. 26, 1999, issue, eventually peaking at No. 12. Since that time, he has placed 32 more titles on the Country chart, including 14 No. 1s, the last 10 of which have consecutively topped the chart.

Paisley’s 33 Country appearances before first gracing the AC chart are the most since Trisha Yearwood broke through with “Trying To Love You” on the March 25, 2006 AC chart, at which point she had already amassed 40 Country chart hits since hitting the scene in 1991. That sum, however, is less than halfway to the record held by Eddy Arnold who tallied 88 chart listings starting in 1945 before first making the AC chart with “What’s He Doing In My World” in the May 29, 1965 issue, nearly four years into that chart’s existence.

GOOD THINGS COME…: 12 long years after Wilco first appeared on the Triple A radio chart, viewable at billboard.biz, the band notches its first No. 1 this week with “You Never Know.” In 1997, the band’s Triple A debut, “Outtasite (Outta Mind),” peaked at No. 16. They then charted another five hits between 1991 and 2007 before “You Never Know.” The band sets the record for the longest wait between an act’s first hit and first No. 1, previously held by Alanis Morissette, who waited eight years between 1996’s “Ironic” and her first No. 1, 2004’s “Everything.”