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Chart Beat Thursday: A Madge-ical Week For ‘Glee’

Not only does the "Glee" cast enjoy a successful week on Billboard charts with its Madonna makeovers, the Queen of Pop adds to her chart legacy.

NEW DIRECTIONS: On the Billboard Hot 100 dated March 18, 1989, Madonna‘s “Like a Prayer” soared in as the Hot Shot Debut at No. 38.

21 years, one month and three weeks later, the song makes its second Hot 100 appearance, again as the chart’s highest new entry.

The cast of Fox’s “Glee” sends four tracks onto the Hot 100 from the Billboard 200‘s new No. 1, “Glee: the Music, the Power of Madonna”: “Like a Prayer,” “Borderline/Open Your Heart,” “Like a Virgin” and “4 Minutes.”

Until this week, just one cover of a Madonna hit had reached the Hot 100. In 2002, Kelly Osbourne peaked at No. 74 with her version of “Papa Don’t Preach.” Madonna’s original spent two weeks at No. 1 in 1986.


Here is a look at the chart performances of the original and reinvented versions of the four returning Madonna classics:

“Like a Prayer”
Madonna: No. 1 (three weeks), 1989
“Glee” cast: No. 27, 2010

“Borderline/Open Your Heart”
Madonna: No. 10, 1984/No. 1 (one week), 1987
“Glee” cast: No. 78, 2010

“Like a Virgin”
Madonna: No. 1 (six weeks), 1984-85
“Glee” cast: No. 87, 2010

“4 Minutes”
Madonna: No. 3, 2008
“Glee” cast: No. 89, 2010

The chart’s new arrivals up the “Glee” cast’s Hot 100 haul to 33 charted titles since it first appeared on June 6, 2009. In that stretch, Lil Wayne ranks second with 15 Hot 100 entries.

Perhaps more impressively, since Madonna first entered the Hot 100 with “Holiday” on Oct. 29, 1983, the “Glee” cast’s 33 charted hits are the most among groups. With its four debuts this week, Will Schuester’s protégés pass U2, which has tallied 31 entries in that span.

ROYAL TREATMENTS: The launch of “Glee: the Music, the Power of Madonna” adds another milestone to Madonna’s storied Billboard chart history.

She becomes the first artist in almost two decades to have topped the Billboard 200 and have been the subject of a No. 1 tribute album. (She’s collected seven leaders on the list).

Fittingly, in the category, the Queen of Pop joins a King.

Nat “King” Cole commanded the Billboard 200 for eight weeks in 1957 with “Love Is the Thing.” On July 27, 1991, his daughter Natalie spent the first of five weeks at No. 1, and subsequently won the album of the year Grammy Award, with “Unforgettable With Love,” a collection of songs originally performed by her father. The set featured the digitally-created duet between the pair, “Unforgettable,” which peaked at No. 14 on the Hot 100.

The only other tribute album to reign since the Billboard 200 adopted Nielsen SoundScan data in 1991 was the “Mamma Mia!” soundtrack in 2008. (Unlike Madonna and Nat “King” Cole, the focus of the album and film, Abba, never scored a No. 1 on the Billboard 200, peaking as high as No. 14 with “The Album” in 1978).

Since 1991, “Glee: the Music, the Power of Madonna” is the seventh tribute album to reach the Billboard 200 top 10. Here is a look at the sets to scale such heights:

Peak, Year, Title, Artist(s)
No. 1 (five weeks), 1991, “Unforgettable With Love,” Natalie Cole
No. 3, 1993, “Common Thread: the Songs of the Eagles,” various
No. 4, 2005, “So Amazing: an All-Star Tribute to Luther Vandross,” various
No. 3, 2006, “We Shall Overcome: the Seeger Sessions,” Bruce Springsteen (tribute to Pete Seeger)
No. 5, 2008, “River: the Joni Letters,” Herbie Hancock (tribute to Joni Mitchell)
No. 1 (one week), 2008, “Mamma Mia!,” soundtrack
No. 1 (one week to-date), 2010, “Glee: the Music, the Power of Madonna,” “Glee” cast

SECOND FLIGHT: Ruling the Hot 100 for a second week with “Nothin’ on You,” featuring Bruno Mars, B.o.B inks a second top 10, as “Airplane,” featuring Hayley Williams of Paramore, ascends 12-9.

B.o.B is the second male artist this year to concurrently chart two Hot 100 entries from a debut album in the top 10. On the Jan. 9, survey, Jay Sean ranked at No. 7 with his former No. 1 “Down,” while follow-up “Do You Remember” rose 14-10.

Prior to B.o.B and Sean, no male soloist had doubled up in the Hot 100’s top tier with two titles from a debut release since 2003, when Chingy‘s introductory hit “Right Thurr” shared top 10 space with follow-up “Holidae In” for two weeks.

As previously reported, B.o.B’s just-released debut album, “The Adventures of Bobby Ray,” will compete for the No. 1 spot on next week’s Billboard 200.

NOT WASTING AWAY: Jimmy Buffett – Billboard’s Nashville correspondent after he graduated college – collects his 10th top 10 on the Billboard 200, as “Encores” bows at No. 7.

While Buffett enjoyed his greatest singles success in the ’70s, when he charted five top 40 hits on the Hot 100, including his No. 8 signature song, “Margaritaville,” in 1977, his best performances on the Billboard 200 have occurred more recently. From his Billboard 200 arrival in 1974 through 1993, he reached the top 10 once, with 1978’s “Son of a Son of a Sailor” (No. 10). Beginning with “Fruitcakes” in 1994 through this week, Buffett has added nine top 10s.

“Encores” marks Buffett’s first top 10 on the Billboard 200 since “Take the Weather With You” stormed the chart at No. 4 in 2006.

‘COME’ BACK: Peggy Lee graces the Billboard 200 after an absence of more than 39 years, as “Come Rain or Come Shine” debuts at No. 51. The late legend last appeared the No. 194-peaking “Make It With You” in December 1970.

The new set is Lee’s 17th charted title on the Billboard 200 dating to her first, “The Man I Love,” in 1957.

CHART BEAT BITS: Mary J. Blige‘s record for longest stay in the 58-year history of R&B/Hip-Hop Songs remains safe. Mary Mary‘s “God in Me” departs the chart after 74 weeks. The song falls one week shy of matching Blige’s 75-week chart run with “Be Without You,” which entered the list in November 2005 and lasted through April 2007 …

Nichols back: Joe Nichols notches his third No. 1 on Country Songs, where “Gimmie That Girl” advances 3-1. The traditional country singer last led with “Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off” in December 2005. He logged his first No. 1 with “Brokenheartsville” in 2003. Nichols’ gap between No. 1s is the chart’s longest since Reba McEntire quenched a drought of five years and five months when “Consider Me Gone” reached the summit in January …

Venerable rock band Ratt revisits the Billboard 200 with its first entry since 1999, as “Infestation” invades the list at No. 30. The new effort is the group’s highest-charting album since “Detonator” reached No. 23 in 1990 …

The late Luciano Pavarotti appears atop the Classical Albums chart for the first time since 2007, as the 100-track “75th Birthday: Limited Edition” enters at No. 1. The set celebrates what would’ve been the legendary tenor’s 75th birthday Oct. 12, 2010. He passed away in 2007 …

The “Glee” cast isn’t the only musical ensemble enjoying chart applause this week. The Original Broadway Cast Recording of the new “American Idiot” musical enters the Top Cast Albums chart at No. 1 and the Billboard 200 at No. 43. The set’s start marks the highest rank on the latter survey for a cast recording since “Disney’s the Little Mermaid” swam in at No. 26 in March 2008. Based on music by Green Day, “American Idiot” opened on Broadway April 20 (making for a tough choice for music-loving New Yorkers. The “Glee” episode “The Power of Madonna” aired the same night).