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Chart Beat Thursday: Black Eyed Peas, Jason Mraz, Miley Cyrus

The Billboard Hot 100 doesn't get any hotter than this: two longevity records are shattered, while Miley Cyrus gets the 'Party' started at No. 2.

BEST WEEK EVER?: It would be an historic Billboard Hot 100 this week if just one landmark record was broken, but when the Black Eyed Peas and Jason Mraz each rewrite 51 years of Hot 100 achievements, the chart dated Aug. 29, 2009, is undoubtedly one of the most extraordinary of its entire existence.

The Black Eyed Peas spend an unprecedented 20th straight week atop the Hot 100, as “I Gotta Feeling” logs an eighth week at No. 1. “Boom Boom Pow” led for 12 weeks beginning April 18, 2009. The group passes the 19 consecutive frames that Usher spent in command with “Yeah!” and “Burn” from Feb. 28 through July 3, 2004.


Click here for billboard.com’s exclusive video interview with the Black Eyed Peas’ will.i.am, who discusses how he never envisioned “Boom Boom Pow” as a radio hit. He also offers background into the inclusion of the catchy “Mazel Tov!/L’chaim” shoutout in “I Gotta Feeling.” (Considering “L’chaim” is a Hebrew goodwill salute meaning “to life!,” the lyric is perhaps especially fitting, considering the song’s record-breaking chart life atop the Hot 100).

Adding to the Hot 100’s momentous nature this week is the 70th chart week notched by Jason Mraz’s “I’m Yours.” The song, which bowed on May 3, 2008 (and peaked at No. 6 on Sept. 20), passes the 69-week stay of LeAnn Rimes‘ “How Do I Live,” which completed its run on Oct. 10, 1998.

Instrumental in the sustained success of “I’m Yours” has been its saturation on radio. “I’m Yours” is the only song to top each of the following airplay charts: Triple A (one week in June 2008), Adult Top 40 (nine weeks beginning in October), Pop Songs/Mainstream Top 40 (one week in December) and Adult Contemporary (16 weeks beginning this past February).

The radio reach of “I’m Yours” has extended to surprising extremes. It debuted on Latin Pop Songs in March. As it peaked at No. 28 on April 4, it crossed to Smooth Jazz Songs, rising to No. 16 two weeks ago. This week, a reggae remix of the song begins at No. 40 on Rhythmic.

Mraz told Billboard this week that he recently became aware that “I’m Yours” was approaching the Hot 100 record book and was “moved” about the possibility of the honor.

“I had little expectations about ‘I’m Yours’ on the radio,” Mraz said. “But I was wrong. People just kept getting on board at both ends of the radio dial. I’m still blown away, humbled by the success of my happy little hippie song.”

Regarding the song’s multi-format acceptance, Billboard noted to Mraz that only one major genre – country – had yet to join in. On whether he would record a version for country radio, Mraz’s answer was one straight from that of an avid chart watcher, and certainly tailor-made for Chart Beat.

“I don’t think I would do the song justice going country,” Mraz mused. “Maybe Kenny Chesney could put a clever spin on it. Or LeAnn Rimes! Who knows? If she did it right, she might get her title back.”

ALL-AMERICAN GIRL: Miley Cyrus blasts onto the Billboard Hot 100 just below the Black Eyed Peas with “Party in the U.S.A.” at No. 2. The song can’t top the title above it, but it does match “I Gotta Feeling” for the year’s highest bow. The Peas’ track began in the runner-up spot (to “Boom Boom Pow”) on June 27. This decade, only two songs by solo females have started higher, and both became instant No. 1s for “American Idol” winners: Fantasia‘s “I Believe” (July 10, 2004) and Carrie Underwood‘s “Inside Your Heaven” (July 9, 2005).

The lofty launch of her new hit also marks Cyrus’ highest Hot 100 ranking. She previously peaked as high as No. 4 with “The Climb.”

“Party in the U.S.A.” is the 22nd Hot 100 entry to include “U.S.A.” (or “USA”) in its title and immediately ties for highest-ranking, with a shot at No. 1 still a possibility. Here is a look at all such patriotic titles, ranked by peak position (18 of which charted before Cyrus was born in 1992):

No. 2, “R.O.C.K. in the U.S.A. (A Salute to ’60s Rock),” John Mellencamp (1986)
No. 2 (to date), “Party in the U.S.A.,” Miley Cyrus (2009)
No. 3, “Surfin’ U.S.A.,” The Beach Boys (1963)
No. 4, “God Bless the U.S.A.,” American Idol Finalists (2003)
No. 9, “Born in the USA,” Bruce Springsteen (1985)
No. 11, “The Happiest Girl in the Whole U.S.A.,” Donna Fargo (1972)
No. 13, “634-5789 (Soulsville, U.S.A.),” Wilson Pickett (1966)
No. 15, “Southtown, U.S.A.,” The Dixiebelles (1964)
No. 16, “Back in the U.S.A.,” Linda Ronstadt (1978)
No. 16, “God Bless the USA,” Lee Greenwood (2001)
No. 20, “Surfin USA,” Leif Garrett (1977)
No. 20, “Banned in the U.S.A.,” Luke featuring the 2 Live Crew (1990)
No. 26, “Philadelphia U.S.A.,” The Nu Tornados (1958)
No. 27, “Twistin’ U.S.A.,” Danny & the Juniors (1960)
No. 28, “High School U.S.A.,” Tommy Facenda (1959)
No. 37, “Back in the U.S.A.,” Chuck Berry (1959)
No. 49, “Living in the U.S.A.,” The Steve Miller Band (1974)
No. 52 (to date), “Small Town USA,” Justin Moore (2009)
No. 68, “Twistin’ U.S.A.,” Chubby Checker (1961)
No. 69, “Bossa Nova U.S.A.,” The Dave Brubeck Quartet (1963)
No. 82, “Mashed Potatoes U.S.A.,” James Brown and the Fabulous Flames (1962)
No. 89, “Philadelphia U.S.A.,” Art Lund (1959)

It’s a good bet you knew that there are 50 states in the U.S.A., but you may not have known that with Cyrus’ “Party in the U.S.A.” joining Justin Moore’s “Small Town USA,” this week’s Hot 100 marks the first in 50 years on which two “U.S.A./USA” songs have charted simultaneously. On the charts dated Dec. 20 and 27, 1958, and Jan. 3, 1959, the Nu Tornados’ and Art Lund’s versions of “Philadelphia U.S.A.” also shared space on the list.

Further coincidentally, Cyrus ranks at No. 2, and Moore places at No. 52 – 50 spots apart.

While no “U.S.A./USA” song has yet reached the Hot 100 summit, one like-titled group has reigned. USA for Africa took “We Are the World” to the top for four weeks beginning April 13, 1985. Only one other “USA” artist has charted: Off Broadway USA showed with “Stay in Time” in 1980. The song reached No. 51 – or, oddly enough, 50 spots lower than the peak of “We Are the World.”STRAIT TO THE TOP: George Strait‘s “Twang” tops the Billboard 200 and Top Country Albums, granting the icon his fifth No. 1 on the former tally and his record-extending 23rd topper on the latter list.

In second place in the 45-year history of Top Country Albums are Merle Haggard and Willie Nelson, each with 15 leaders. Alan Jackson and Garth Brooks follow with 12 No. 1s apiece.

Strait’s first Top Country Albums No. 1 was 1983’s “Right or Wrong,” which hit the top slot for the first of five weeks on Feb. 18, 1984. He’s also thoroughly dominated the chart in the 2000s: Strait’s last seven studio sets, encompassing each such release this decade, have all hit No. 1.

SO GOOD, SO GOOD, SO GOOD!: George Strait’s “Twang” is not only his fifth No. 1 on the Billboard 200, it’s also his 16th top 10. To find the next artist celebrating a sweet 16th top 10 on the chart, one only needs to look at the runner-up position, where Neil Diamond bows with “Hot August Night/NYC.” The CD/DVD combo, culled from shows last year at New York’s Madison Square Garden, is a sequel to his 1972 live album “Hot August Night” (recorded at Los Angeles’ Greek Theatre), which peaked at No. 5.

The new title immediately ties for his second-highest charting entry in a Billboard 200 discography that dates to Oct. 29, 1966. “Jonathan Livingston Seagull” peaked at No. 2 in 1973.

Diamond notched his first No. 1 with last year’s “Home Before Dark.”

WHERE THERE’S A WILLIAMS: It’s a good week to be named Williams.

Former New York Yankee Bernie Williams celebrates a No. 1 on Smooth Jazz Songs with his first entry, as “Go for It” rises 2-1. The song features Williams and guest Mike Stern (who himself arrives on Traditional Jazz Albums at No. 5 with “Big Neighborhood”) on guitar.

On Hot Dance Club Songs, Vanessa Williams ends a four-year absence, as “The Real Thing” opens at No. 42. The song is her seventh chart hit dating to her first, 1988’s No. 1 “The Right Stuff.”

BRIT: “Radar,” originally released as an album cut on Britney Spears‘ 2007 album “Blackout,” becomes the fifth charting track on the Billboard Hot 100 from her follow-up set “Circus.” That’s the most titles the star has sent onto the chart from one collection.

“Womanizer,” the lead single from “Circus,” topped the Hot 100 dated Oct. 25, 2008. The title cut reached No. 3 on Dec. 20, 2008, the same week that album cut “Shattered Glass” spent a frame at No. 70. “If U Seek Amy” found its way to No. 19 in May, and this week “Radar” is detected at No. 90.

“Radar” is Spears’ 22nd Hot 100 hit. Since her first chart appearance on Nov. 21, 1998, the only female artists to make more visits to the list are Miley Cyrus/Hannah Montana (29) and Mary J. Blige (23).

BRITT: Britt Nicole‘s sophomore set becomes the 24-year-old Nashville-based artist’s first leader on Top Christian Albums, where it bows at the apex.

Nicole’s debut album “Say It” spent three weeks on Top Christian Albums in 2007, peaking at No. 40. On the Christian CHR airplay chart, the new set’s title track lead single spends a fifth week at No. 1.

CHART BEAT BITS: Jay-Z, Rihanna and Kanye West‘s “Run This Town,” from Jay-Z’s album “The Blueprint 3,” due Sept. 11, roars 66-3 on the Billboard Hot 100, thanks to a No. 3 start on Digital Songs. The song’s Hot 100 leap is the year’s fifth-biggest, a group led by the Hot 100 record 96-position vault of Kelly Clarkson’s “My Life Would Suck Without You” (97-1) on Feb. 7. The trio is slated to perform “Run This Town” on the inaugural “Jay Leno Show” on NBC Sept. 14 …

As Miley Cyrus debuts at No. 2 on the Hot 100 on her own, she also bows at No. 20 as a member of Disney’s Friends for Change on “Send It On.” The group also includes Jonas Brothers, Demi Lovato and Selena Gomez. Net proceeds of the song’s digital sales will benefit environmental charities through the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund …

Breaking Benjamin and Alice in Chains each preview new albums due Sept. 29 with lofty debuts on Rock Songs. The former act previews its fourth set, “Dear Agony,” with “I Will Not Bow” at No. 25. A notch below, “Check My Brain” sets the stage for “Black Gives Way to Blue,” Alice in Chains’ first album in 14 years …

Dave Matthews Band posts its 18th top 10 on the Triple A airplay chart (viewable at billboard.biz), as “Why I Am” advances 12-7. Only U2, whose “I’ll Go Crazy If I Don’t Go Crazy Tonight” ranks one rung higher at No. 6, has more top 10s (20) in the chart’s 13-year history …

Widespread, and nostalgic, media coverage of the 40th anniversary of the first Woodstock festival sparks gains two related sets. The box set “Woodstock: 40 Years On: Back to Yasgur’s Farm” debuts on the Billboard 200 at No. 120, while on Top Soundtracks, “Woodstock: Music From the Original Soundtrack and More” rebounds 22-10.