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Chart Beat: Kelly Clarkson, Julianne Hough, Barack Obama, Darius Rucker

Chart experts discuss Kelly Clarkson, Julianne Hough, Barack Obama, Darius Rucker and more!

MOST ‘WANTED’: Kelly Clarkson’s fourth album, “All I Ever Wanted,” arrives at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 with sales of 255,000, granting the original “American Idol” her second chart-topper. She first reigned with her 2003 debut, “Thankful,” which also bowed at No. 1. Her subsequent sets, 2004’s “Breakaway” and 2007’s “My December,” entered at Nos. 3 and 2, respectively.

Clarkson becomes the first “Idol” contestant to top the chart twice.

The previous “Idol” contestants to lead the list:


Carrie Underwood, “Carnival Ride,” 2007
Chris Daughtry (with his namesake band), “Daughtry,” 2007
Ruben Studdard, “Soulful,” 2003
Clay Aiken, “Measure of a Man,” 2003

At No. 58 on the Billboard 200, the fifth season “Idol” champ, Taylor Hicks, begins with his second studio album, “The Distance.” His self-titled debut entered and peaked at No. 2 in 2006.

LET’S DANCE: Flipping channels from one TV reality competition to another, Mark Ballas and Derek Hough – two of the professional dancers on “Dancing With the Stars” – glide their way onto the Billboard 200. The pair fronts the five-piece Ballas Hough Band, which cha-chas onto the tally at No. 98 with its debut, “BHB.”

The Hough family is no stranger to the chart. Derek’s sister and fellow “Stars” dancer, Julianne Hough, parlayed her TV fame into a No. 3 start last year with her self-titled debut.

Ballas and both Houghs are currently in competition on the new season of “Stars.” Further intertwining song and dance, Julianne is partnered with her boyfriend, country singer Chuck Wicks, while Derek is matched with rap star Lil Kim.

Breaking the all-musician streak, Ballas is paired with Olympic gold medalist Shawn Johnson, who, as far as we know, has no plans to trade actual gymnastics for vocal ones.

NO. 44 IS NO. 6: U.S. President Barack Obama makes his inaugural Billboard chart run, arriving at No. 6 on the Top TV DVD sales chart with the ABC News documentary, “A Moment in History: The Inauguration of Barack Obama.” As the film’s primary performer, he receives artist credit on the survey.

While the last U.S. last president, George W. Bush, has not appeared on a Billboard list, his immediate predecessor did. Bill Clinton debuted and peaked at No. 22 on the Top VHS Sales chart dated Oct. 24, 1998, with “The Grand Jury Testimony of William Jefferson Clinton.” The four-hour video captured Clinton’s grand jury testimony of Aug. 17, 1998, regarding his relationship with Monica Lewinsky.

RUCKER UP: Darius Rucker steps 2-1 on Hot Country Songs with “It Won’t Be Like This for Long,” becoming the first male artist to notch No. 1s with his first two format singles since Clay Walker 15 years ago. “Don’t Think I Don’t Think About It,” the first single from Rucker’s debut country album, “Learn to Live,” led for two weeks in October.

Rucker is just the third male singer to start with a pair of No. 1s on Hot Country Songs in the last 20 years, joining Walker and Clint Black.

Among all acts, here is a rundown of the artists to open with two No. 1s on the tally since 1989:

Darius Rucker, “Don’t Think I Don’t Think About It,” “It Won’t Be Like This for Long,” 2008-09
Jamie O’Neal, “There Is No Arizona,” “When I Think About Angels,” 2001
Deana Carter, “Strawberry Wine,” “We Danced Anyway,” 1996-97
Clay Walker, “What’s It to You,” “Live Until I Die” 1993-94
Faith Hill, “Wild One,” “Piece of My Heart,” 1994
Wynonna, “She Is His Only Need,” “I Saw the Light,” 1992
Brooks & Dunn, “Brand New Man,” “My Next Broken Heart,” 1991
Clint Black, “Better Man,” “Killin’ Time,” 1989

Of the eight acts above, Rucker and Wynonna, of course, stand out as already established artists when they launched solo careers. From 1983 through 1991, Wynonna celebrated 14 No. 1 titles on Hot Country Songs as half of the Judds. Rucker has sold 14.3 million albums, according to Nielsen SoundScan, with Hootie & the Blowfish.

The band with the most Modern Rock chart titles in the ’90s and ’00s takes over the chart’s summit.

Pearl Jam earns its fourth No. 1 with “Brother,” the band’s 33rd entry dating to its 1992 arrival. “Daughter” (1994) and “Who You Are” (1996) led for a week apiece, and “World Wide Suicide” began a three-week reign in April 2006.

With last week’s leader, Incubus’ “Love Hurts,” ranking at No. 2, the Epic record label claims back-to-back No. 1s and the top two spots for the first time dating to the Modern Rock chart’s 1988 launch.

SUPREME-LY WONDER-FUL: Two Motown luminaries make chart returns this week. Stevie Wonder expands his span of Billboard No. 1s to 45 years, seven months and three weeks, as his first concert DVD, “Live at Last,” bows at No. 1 on the Top Music Video sales chart. As Little Stevie Wonder, the legendary vocalist first topped a Billboard tally when his debut single “Fingertips – Pt 2” rose to the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs (then titled Hot R&B Singles) summit on the chart dated Aug. 3, 1963.

Concurrently, a $1.99 deal of the day at Amazon’s MP3 store last week for Diana Ross & the Supremes’ “The Definitive Collection” brings the 2008 album onto the Billboard 200 for the first time. Entering at No. 142, it’s the iconic group’s 37th charted set.

THE KING HAS ENTERED: Hard to believe, but Nat King Cole makes his first visit to the Top Contemporary Jazz Albums chart, as the remix effort “Re:Generations” bows at No. 3. The set boasts re-workings of his material by such wide-ranging acts as Cee-Lo, will.i.am, Brazilian Girls and TV on the Radio.

Premiered last week on “American Idol,” Carrie Underwood’s new contestant farewell track “Home Sweet Home” enters as the Hot Shot Debut on the Billboard Hot 100 at No. 21. The song is a remake of Motley Crue’s signature power ballad, a No. 37 hit for the band, and its most recent Hot 100 entry, in 1992.

“Home” is not Underwood’s first cover of a pop/rock title to chart on the Hot 100. Her version of the Pretenders’ “I’ll Stand by You,” featured in the first “Idol Gives Back” special, rose to No. 6 in 2007. Last year, she revived George Michael’s “Praying for Time,” which debuted and peaked at No. 27.

PUNK’D: How do pop songs made famous by Rihanna, Justin Timberlake and the Pussycat Dolls make their way onto Billboard’s Top Rock Albums and Top Alternative Albums charts this week? They received amped-up treatments from a host of up-and-coming rock bands.

The compilation “Punk Goes Pop Volume Two” opens at No. 7 on each list. Among its tracks are remakes of Rihanna’s “Disturbia,” Timberlake’s “What Goes Around…Comes Around” and the Pussycat Dolls’ “When I Grow Up.”

The album opens on the Billboard 200 at No. 15 with 21,000 copies sold.

POP’S STAR: Miley Cyrus places her first title on the Adult Contemporary chart, as “The Climb” debuts at No. 26. The Cyrus family has graced the list twice before, when dad Billy Ray line-danced to No. 23 with “Achy Breaky Heart” and followed with “Could’ve Been Me,” a No. 45 hit, in 1992.

Until this week, how long had it been since a Cyrus was on the list? When “Could’ve Been Me” spent its last week on the tally, the chart date read Dec. 5, 1992. Miley was 12 days old.