HE IS THE CHAMPION: In a night featuring performances from Queen, Kiss, Rod Stewart, Lionel Richie, Cyndi Lauper, Carlos Santana, Keith Urban, Queen Latifah, Steve Martin, David Cook, Jason Mraz and the Black Eyed Peas, owners of more than 200 combined Billboard Hot 100 entries, it was Kris Allen who stole the spotlight.
Click here for Billboard’s in-depth coverage of last night’s (May 20) superstar-studded “American Idol” season finale on Fox, in which underdog Allen defeated Adam Lambert.
As for Billboard’s sales and airplay charts, we’ll have to wait for next week’s tallies, specifically the Billboard Hot 100 and Hot Digital Songs, for Allen to make an impact. His victory song “No Boundaries,” co-written by “Idol” judge (and former Billboard employee) Kara DioGuardi, is now available digitally, and, if last year is any indication, it should soar onto both lists following its release; it already ranks in iTunes’ top five. A year ago next week, 2008 “Idol” champ David Cook set the record for most debuts on the Hot 100 in one week, when 11 of his titles bowed. Similar to last year, Apple’s iTunes Store has shielded “Idol” download sales from Nielsen SoundScan and Billboard until after this season’s finale, so as not to influence the voting public.
Multiple cuts, in fact, by Allen and Lambert, including the latter’s version of Tears for Fears’ “Mad World,” look likely to bow on next week’s Hot 100 and Digital Songs charts. The cast of Fox’s “Glee,” which premiered after “Idol” Tuesday, is also set for a lofty launch on each list with its cover of Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’,” currently No. 1 on iTunes.
“No Boundaries” additionally appears headed for a run up the Adult Contemporary chart. The RCA Music Group digitally serviced the studio version of the song to radio at 1 a.m. ET this morning. After less than a day, the song already ranks just below the No. 30 anchor position on the format’s building chart.
In the meantime, three of last week’s “Idol” performances spur movement on this week’s Hot 100. “Waking Up in Vegas,” Katy Perry’s tale of hazy Sin City recollections, soars 51-13, while “Battlefield,” the first single from Jordin Sparks’ forthcoming second set, bows at No. 32. Foreshadowing Allen’s win, his cover of Kanye West’s “Heartless” enticed consumers to download the Fray’s similar organic rendition, which enters at No. 79.
SHE’S A SURVIVOR: “American Idol” isn’t the only long-running reality TV series with a connection to the charts.
Former SWV vocalist Tamara “Taj” Johnson-George competed all the way into Sunday’s (May 17) two-hour finale of the 18th season of CBS’ “Survivor,” during which she was the first of the final four contestants eliminated.
SWV, an acronym for Sisters With Voices, comprised three friends: Johnson-George, Cheryl “Coko” Clemons and Leanne “Leelee” Lyons. The act sent 12 songs onto the Billboard Hot 100 between 1993 and 1998, including the two-week No. 1 “Weak” in July 1993.
On the Billboard 200, SWV notched two top 10s: “It’s About Time” (No. 8, 1993) and “New Beginning” (No. 9, 1996).
SWV disbanded in 1999, though it reunited at last year’s BET Awards to perform “Weak” with Alicia Keys. The group has inspired other artists. Teen singer JoJo covered “Weak” on her self-titled debut album in 2004.
MODERN ROCK: Green Day has had anything but a “21st Century Breakdown” on the Billboard 200.
While the trio became a cornerstone of alternative music in the last decade of the 20th century, only in the last five years has the band topped the album tally. In October 2004, “American Idiot” bowed at the summit. It returned to No. 1 for two more weeks in January 2005.
This week, Green Day’s “21st Century Breakdown” debuts atop the list. The feat is even more impressive due to the fact that the set was made available at retail for just the last three days of the chart’s tracking week. The album was released Friday (May 15) to more closely align with its worldwide street dates. Nielsen SoundScan’s tracking week ends on Sunday.
Green Day first appeared on the Billboard 200 the week of Feb. 19, 1994, when “Dookie” debuted at No. 127, eventually peaking at No. 2. “21st Century Breakdown” marks the group’s seventh visit to the top 10.
The new set’s lead single tops the Modern Rock airplay chart for a fourth week and ascends to No. 1 on Mainstream Rock. It rises to a new peak of No. 28 on the Billboard Hot 100. It previously ranked as high as No. 40 in its debut frame four weeks ago.
SURE THING: Al B. Sure! returns to the Adult R&B chart after 15 years, as “I Love It (Papi Aye Aye Aye)” enters at No. 32. Sure! peaked at No. 14 with “I’m Still in Love With You” in 1994 in his sole prior appearance on the chart, which originated in 1993.
Recently downsized following a two-year run as midday air talent on Clear Channel R&B oldies radio station KHHT/Los Angeles, Sure! owns four No. 1s on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, including his 1988 debut “Nite and Day.”
Sure!’s first album in 17 years, “Honey I’m Home,” arrives June 23.
‘SEX’ APPEAL: This week’s Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart sports a new leader in the vein of Al B. Sure!’s sultry style. Newcomer Jeremih earns his first leader, as “Birthday Sex” rises 2-1. The song also smolders 13-9 on the Billboard Hot 100.
What’s good news for Jeremih isn’t so good for Jamie Foxx. The latter’s “Blame It” retreats to No. 2 after 14 weeks atop Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs. Unless it rebounds, Foxx’s track will fall one week short of matching the Nielsen era record for most weeks in the chart’s top spot. Mary J. Blige’s “Be Without You” set the mark of 15 weeks at No. 1 in 2006.
Deborah Cox’s “Nobody’s Supposed to Be Here” in 1998-99 and Mariah Carey’s “We Belong Together” in 2005 also spent 14 weeks at No. 1.
TISDALE TRIBUTE: Fans and smooth jazz radio stations honor the life of Wayman Tisdale, who passed away Friday (May 15) at age 44.
The late bass guitarist and former professional basketball star’s “Rebound” re-enters Top Contemporary Jazz Albums at No. 3, its highest ranking since last July. The set became his third No. 1 upon its arrival last June. Tisdale also led with “Face to Face” in 2001 and “Way Up!” in 2006.
On the Smooth Jazz Songs airplay chart, Tisdale’s “One on One” jumps 21-15 as the format’s Greatest Gainer.
Tisdale averaged 15.3 points per game in his NBA career from 1985 to 1997.
On Billboard’s Top Canadian Albums chart, another athlete-turned-musician prospers. Jonathan Roy, son of Hockey Hall of Fame goaltender Patrick Roy, first followed in his father’s footsteps as a junior hockey player in Quebec. This week, Jonathan charts his debut set, “What I’ve Become,” at No. 18.
CHART BEAT BITS: The Black Eyed Peas now own the longest-running No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 this year, as “Boom Boom Pow” commands for a seventh consecutive week. Flo Rida’s “Right Round” reigned for six weeks. The Peas post the longest run at the summit since T.I. notched a seventh non-consecutive frame at No. 1 with “Whatever You Like” in November. Katy Perry’s “I Kissed a Girl” was the last song to lead for seven straight weeks, in July-August 2008 …
Pitbull’s 10th Hot 100 entry becomes his first top 10, as “I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho)” vaults 11-4. The song marks the first Hot 100 top 10 for Ultra Records, Billboard’s top Hot Dance Airplay record label of 2008. The 14-year old imprint previously peaked as high as No. 46 with “Calabria 2008” by Enur featuring Natasja …
Eminem charts a fifth song from “Relapse,” set to debut atop next week’s Billboard 200, as “Beautiful” opens at No. 17 on the Hot 100. Of the five tracks, only “We Made You” launched higher (No. 9). The new song is the fifth by that title to appear on the Hot 100 in its 50-year history. The previous artists to make “Beautiful” music and their peaks: Gordon Lightfoot (No. 58, 1972), Christina Aguilera (No. 2, 2003), Snoop Dogg featuring Pharrell & Uncle Charlie Wilson (No. 6, 2003) and Akon featuring Colby O’Donis & Kardinal Offishall (No. 19, 2009) …
Alternative pioneers Talking Heads return to the Billboard 200 after 17 years with “Same as It Ever Was” at No. 73. The Starbucks compilation represents the group’s highest ranking since its final studio album, “Naked,” peaked at No. 19 in 1988 …
Jimmy Wayne debuts on Hot Country Songs with “I’ll Be That,” a song co-written by Kevin Paige. That’s the same Kevin Paige who enjoyed two top 40 hits on the Hot 100 in 1989-90: “Don’t Shut Me Out” (No. 18) and “Anything I Want” (No. 29). Since, Paige relocated to Memphis and has released secular and religious recordings both solo and with his wife, Bethany …
Rick Springfield inks his first appearance on the Top Kid Audio album chart, bowing at No. 18 with “My Precious Little One.” The collection sports original lullabies that Springfield wrote in the ’80s for his two sons. “I rediscovered (the songs) last year, stuck in the back of a drawer in my music room. They brought back so many good memories of our kids when they were babies that I decided to re-record and share them,” the rock (a-bye-baby) star muses on his website …