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Chart Beat- “Slumdog Millionaire,” American Idol, Flex

Chart experts discuss "Slumdog Millionaire," American Idol, Flex, and more!

Chart Beat now offers a sneak peak at chart action with a first-look edition on Wednesdays. On Thursdays, when all of our online charts are refreshed with the latest data, Chart Beat appears as always in its full form, spotlighting achievements from among our entire menu of charts.

BEST IN SHOW: This year’s Academy Award winner for Best Original Song, A R Rahman’s “Jai Ho!,” becomes the first such honored title to grace the Mainstream Top 40 airplay chart in six years. The track from Best Picture victor “Slumdog Millionaire,” which has won favor at radio thanks to its remix, subtitled “(You Are My Destiny)” and featuring vocals from the Pussycat Dolls, bows at No. 37.

Here is a rundown of the eight previous Best Original Song Oscar winners to appear on the list since its 1992 launch:
Year, Artist, Title (Movie), Peak Position
2002, Eminem, “Lose Yourself” (“8 Mile”), No. 1
1998, Whitney Houston & Mariah Carey, “When You Believe” (“The Prince of Egypt”), No. 35
1997, Celine Dion, “My Heart Will Go On” (“Titanic”), No. 1
1996, Madonna, “You Must Love Me” (“Evita”), No. 23
1995, Vanessa Williams, “Colors of the Wind” (“Pocahontas”), No. 18
1994, Elton John, “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” (“The Lion King”), No. 3
1993, Bruce Springsteen, “Streets of Philadelphia” (“Philadelphia”), No. 13
1992, Peabo Bryson & Regina Belle, “A Whole New World” (“Aladdin”), No. 1

Thus, the winning song made the chart in each of the list’s first seven years. The streak was broken in 1999 when Phil Collins’ “You’ll Be in My Heart,” from “Tarzan,” fell short of charting. Not that it wasn’t a hit: the ballad led Adult Contemporary for 19 weeks.

IT WAS JUST A MATTER OF TIME: Following last week’s appearance as mentor and duet partner with Carrie Underwood on “American Idol,” Randy Travis lands his first career top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100, as Underwood and Travis’ pairing, “I Told You So,” vaults 57-9. In the week after the twosome’s “Idol” performance, the song storms Hot Digital Songs at No. 4 with 126,000 downloads sold. Travis’ previous best Hot 100 ranking was a No. 31 peak for “Three Wooden Crosses” in 2003.

The star led Hot Country Songs for two weeks in June 1988 with his original solo version of “I Told You So.” Since his arrival on that chart dated Jan. 6, 1979, with “She’s My Woman” – billed under his birth name, Randy Traywick – Travis has celebrated 16 No. 1 titles. He is one of only five artists – along with Garth Brooks, Reba McEntire, Dolly Parton and George Strait – to post No. 1 songs in each of the ’80s, ’90s and ’00s.

Travis also snares the Hot Shot Debut at No. 3 on Top Country Albums with the 32-track “I Told You So: The Ultimate Hits of Randy Travis.” Concurrently, “Three Wooden Crosses: The Inspirational Hits of Randy Travis” bows at No. 16 on Top Christian Albums.

For Underwood, “I Told You So” marks her fourth Hot 100 top 10. It’s her first since “Before He Cheats” in June 2007.

FLEX-ING HIS CHART MUSCLE: A year ago this week, Flex rose to his first week atop Hot Latin Songs with his first entry, “Te Quiero.” That song would spend 20 weeks at No. 1 and earn the honor of the chart’s top title of 2008.

This week, exactly one year later, he collects his second leader, as “Dime Si Te Vas Con El” stampedes 18-1. The move marks the third-largest leap to the summit dating to the chart’s 1986 inception. On the survey dated March 3, 2007, Mana flew 22-1 with “Manda Una Senal.” That mark stood for 11 weeks until May 19, 2007, when Enrique Iglesias set the record with a 49-1 catapult for “Dimelo.”

‘SUGAR’ HIGH: While “Right Round” holds at No. 1 for a sixth week, Flo Rida sweetens his Billboard Hot 100 intake with “Sugar,” the Hot Shot Debut at No. 25 and the Sunshine State rapper’s best chart opening to date. The song starts at No. 14 on Hot Digital Songs (78,000 downloads sold) and nearly quadruples its audience total to 11 million listener impressions, falling just shy of the Hot 100 Airplay tally.

The track is Flo Rida’s third to chart from his sophomore album “R.O.O.T.S.,” due Tuesday (March 31). “Shone” made a one-week cameo at No. 57 on the March 14 chart.

HALL OF A RIDE: Who could have guessed when “Ride the Lightning” debuted as the band’s maiden entry on the Billboard 200 dated Sept. 29, 1984, that Metallica’s career would culminate in Rock and Roll Hall of Fame immortality 25 years later.

As the band prepares for its ultimate honor April 4, in a ceremony to be presided over by Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea, it proves its history is far from fully written.

“Cyanide” this week becomes Metallica’s seventh Mainstream Rock airplay chart champion, lifting 2-1.

Here is a look at the group’s No. 1 Mainstream Rock tracks:
“Cyanide,” 2009
“The Day That Never Comes,” 2008
“I Disappear,” 2000
“No Leaf Clover,” 2000
“Turn the Page,” 1998
“Hero of the Day,” 1996
“Until It Sleeps,” 1996

OH MY!: Jazmine Sullivan’s “Fearless” becomes the first debut album by a female artist since Ciara’s “Goodies” in 2004 to land three top 10 singles on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, as “Lions, Tigers & Bears” roars 12-10.

Sullivan shined in September when “Need U Bad” became the first debut single from a solo female to reach No. 1 since Cassie’s “Me & U” two years earlier. Sullivan followed with the No. 4 hit “Bust Your Windows” and the current “Lions.”

“Fearless” opened at No. 6 on the Billboard 200 in October and has sold 412,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

SLIP SLIDIN’ AWAY: Chris Cornell’s album “Scream” slides 55 slots from No. 10 to No. 65 on the Billboard 200 in its second week. The freefall earns the dubious distinction of largest second-week drop for a top 10-debuting set since the Mars Volta’s “Amputechture” also took a 55-rung dive, plunging 9-64, in its sophomore frame Oct. 7, 2006.

The last time a top 10-debuting album fell harder in its second week was on Nov. 21, 1998, when Phish’s “The Story of the Ghost” fell 57 places from No. 8 to No. 65.

Cornell’s drop is merely the latest example of what has become a more usual sight on the Billboard 200. Since 2006, 15 top 10-debuting albums, including Cornell’s and the Mars Volta’s, have all sunk more than 40 slots in their second weeks. Between 1986 and 2006, only one album – Phish’s “Story” – plummeted as sharply.

GOTTA HAVE FAITHFULL: Marianne Faithfull first charted on the Billboard 200 June 5, 1965, when her self-titled album bowed on the tally. It went on to peak at No. 12 and remains her highest-charting set. Until this week, her last visit to the chart was on Sept. 1, 1990, when “Blazing Away” completed a nine-week stay after peaking at No. 160.

Now, she returns with “Easy Come Easy Go,” a new entry at No. 182. The covers set features Faithfull collaborating with an all-star lineup, including Keith Richards, Cat Power and Nick Cave. It also happens to boast Faithfull’s rendition of the “The Crane Wife 3,” which was originally performed by the band that debuts with “The Hazards of Love” at No. 14 on the Billboard 200 this week: the Decemberists.

TRIBUTE: With the sad news of Dan Seals’ passing March 25 following his brave struggle with mantle cell lymphoma, we’d be remiss in not mentioning his many chart successes.

The brother of Jim Seals of Seals & Crofts sent 11 songs onto the Billboard Hot 100 between 1976 and 1986, nine billed to England Dan & John Ford Coley. The duo’s biggest hit was its first, 1976’s No. 2-peaking “I’d Really Love to See You Tonight.” The song was also the pair’s first of four No. 1s on the Adult Contemporary chart.

Seals then segued to a remarkable run in the country format. Between 1983 and 1994, he notched 25 charted titles on Hot Country Songs, including 11 No. 1s from 1985 to 1990. Among them was the 1986 Country Music Assn. Single of the Year, the bouncy, sing-along “Bop.”

The late singer’s family legacy dates to the early days of the rock era. Jim Seals originally teamed with Dash Crofts in the Champs, the instrumental group best known for its 1958 classic, “Tequila.”