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Chart Beat Thursday: Jay-Z, The Beatles, “Glee”

Jay-Z passes Elvis Presley for most No. 1s by a solo artist on the Billboard 200. The only act with more? The Beatles, who also bow in the top 40.

RUN THIS CHART: With the 400th debut ever at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, Jay-Z notches his 11th chart-topping album with “The Blueprint 3.” With his grand entrance, Jay-Z passes Elvis Presley as the solo act with the most No. 1 albums in the 53-year history of the Billboard 200.

Here is a rundown of Jay-Z’s No. 1s on the tally, with multiple-week leaders noted in parentheses:

1998, “Vol. 2…Hard Knock Life” (five weeks)
2000, “Vol. 3…Live and Times of S. Carter”
2000, “The Dynasty Roc La Familia (2000–)”
2001, “The Blueprint” (three weeks)
2002, “The Blueprint 2: The Gift and the Curse”
2003, “The Black Album” (two weeks)
2004, “Unfinished Business,” R. Kelly & Jay-Z
2004, “MTV Ultimate Mash-Ups Presents: Collision Course,” Jay-Z/Linkin Park
2006, “Kingdom Come”
2007, “American Gangster”
2009, “The Blueprint 3”

“The Blueprint 3” also starts atop R&B/Hip-Hop Albums, Rap Albums, Digital Albums and Top Comprehensive Albums. On Rap Songs, the set’s “Run This Town,” with Rihanna and Kanye West, becomes Jay-Z’s first No. 1 since “Izzo (H.O.V.A.)” led for nine weeks in 2001.

On the Billboard Hot 100, Jay-Z debuts with two tracks from “The Blueprint 3” – “Empire State of Mind” (No. 50) and “Young Forever” (No. 75) – upping his total to 58 career charted titles. With the bows, he passes the Rolling Stones (57 entries), Marvin Gaye, Frankie Valli and Dionne Warwick (56 each) and moves into a solo share of eighth-most Hot 100 appearances. (Jay-Z may have passed Presley for most No. 1 albums, but the King maintains a wide lead for most Hot 100 charted songs, with 108).

As for the 400 albums to begin at No. 1 on the Billboard 200: Elton John notched the first, “Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy” in 1975. (394 of the 400 have arrived since the chart’s May 1991 conversion to Nielsen SoundScan data). In addition to the 400th, Jay-Z also collected the 100th instant No. 1, “Vol. 2…Hard Knock Life.” Ashanti‘s “Chapter II” was the 200th in 2003, and Justin Timberlake‘s “FutureSex/LoveSounds” was the 300th three years ago this week.

BEATLES FOR SALE: While his 11th leader on the Billboard 200 lifts him past Elvis Presley for most No. 1s for a solo performer, Jay-Z now stands in second place among all artists for most No. 1s. The only act with more? The group that debuts with two boxed sets in the chart’s top 40: the Beatles, who’ve visited the summit 19 times.

The Fab Four opens at No. 15 with “In Stereo” and No. 40 with “In Mono.” Since the Beatles first entered the Billboard 200 on Feb. 1, 1964, with “Meet the Beatles,” only twice before this week had they debuted simultaneously with multiple releases. Like this week, the previous dates greeted pairs of hits collections. On April 14, 1973, the band’s “1962-1966” and “1967-1970” arrived. On April 2, 1988, two volumes of “Past Masters” bowed.

As reported this week on, the top-seller of last week’s Beatles reissue series is “Abbey Road,” which debuts at No. 3 on the Top Comprehensive Albums chart. The 1969 release also starts at No. 1 on Top Pop Catalog Albums.

(“Abbey Road” does not appear on the Billboard 200. All of the Beatles’ new individual album reissues are eligible to chart on Top Comprehensive Albums and Top Pop Catalog Albums, both viewable at The former tally houses all albums, regardless of original release date, and the latter ranks only those 18 months or older. The Billboard 200 sports sets 18 months old or less. Thus, the Beatles’ two new boxed sets, “In Stereo” and “In Mono,” chart on the Billboard 200. On Top Comprehensive Albums and Top Pop Catalog Albums, those releases and the Beatles’ individual album reissues chart).

Not only is “Abbey Road” the third-best selling album in the country, but the Beatles also claim half of the top 10 on Top Comprehensive Albums. “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” ranks at No. 5, “The White Album” at No. 7, “Rubber Soul” at No. 8 and “Revolver” at No. 10.

On Top Pop Catalog, the Beatles own nine of the top 10 and 15 of the top 18, a stronghold broken only by sets from another iconic act, Michael Jackson. The Beatles place a record-breaking 16 titles on the 50-position tally, besting their own mark of 12 on Dec. 9, 1995.

On the 200-position Top Comprehensive Albums chart, the Beatles populate 18 rungs, also a record-breaking sum. Previously, Jackson also claimed the most simultaneously-charting sets, placing 12 albums July 25 and last week.

The Beatles’ chart reach this week extends even to the Soundtracks chart. The group monopolizes the top four, leading with 1965’s “Help!”

The newest Rock Band rock band also opens, fittingly, on Rock Albums, where “In Stereo” and “In Mono” start at Nos. 5 and 15, respectively.

ERA OF GOOD ‘FEELING’: While Jay-Z and the Beatles make for a landmark week on the Billboard 200 – and Madonna notches her milestone 40th No. 1 on Dance/Club Play Songs, as spotlighted in Chart Beat Tuesday – the Black Eyed Peas add further fanfare on the Billboard Hot 100.

“I Gotta Feeling” ties the Peas’ own “Boom Boom Pow” for longest-running Hot 100 No. 1 – 12 weeks – in four years. The tracks own the longest commands since Mariah Carey spent 14 weeks in charge with “We Belong Together” in 2005.

With 24 total weeks on top, extending their Hot 100-record streak for an act, the Black Eyed Peas pass 50 Cent and Nelly for third-most frames at No. 1 this decade. Ahead are only Usher (41) and Beyonce (36).

“I Gotta Feeling” maintains its top ranking by claiming the Hot 100’s Greatest Gainer/Digital award. Perhaps surprisingly, neither of the Peas’ No. 1s had won the honor in their chart lives until this week.

SAME OLD SONG, PART 1: After the series’ season premiere Sept. 9, the cast of Fox-TV’s “Glee” posts the Hot Shot Debut on the Billboard Hot 100. The troupe’s remake of Rihanna’s 2008 Hot 100 No. 1 “Take a Bow” enters at No. 46. The cast’s version of Journey‘s “Don’t Stop Believin’ ” simultaneously re-enters at No. 78. The song peaked at No. 4 in June after the show’s pilot episode aired.

The “Glee” cast is the 10th cast to be credited with an entry in the Hot 100’s 51-year history, and eight have appeared since just 2005. (For this item, we’re including only titles listed specifically as by a cast in Billboard’s archives. 1972’s “Day By Day,” for example, is credited exactly to “Godspell,” and, thus, does not make the cut).

Those such acts to stage Hot 100 showings prior to “Glee”? The casts of “Spectacular!” (this March), “High School Musical 3” (2008), “Camp Rock” (2008), “High School Musical 2” (2007), “Hairspray” (2007), “High School Musical” (2006), “Rent” (2005), “Grease” (1978’s “Summer Nights,” billed as by John Travolta & Olivia Newton-John & Cast) and “You Light Up My Life” (1977’s title track by Kacey Cisyk/Original Cast).

SAME OLD SONG, PART 2: Mariah Carey reaches back for her 49th career entry on R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, as “I Want to Know What Love Is” arrives as the list’s Hot Shot Debut at No. 64. Foreigner‘s original version of the ballad reached No. 85 on the chart, and No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, in 1985.

The second single from “Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel,” due Sept. 29, adds to the singer’s catalog of covers. Carey peaked at No. 11 on R&B/Hip-Hop Songs with her update of the Jackson 5‘s “I’ll Be There” in 1992. In 1994, her remake with Luther Vandross of Lionel Richie and Diana Ross‘ “Endless Love” reached No. 7 on the chart. In 1999, Carey rose to No. 3 on R&B/Hip-Hop Songs with her take on “I Still Believe,” originally a No. 13 Hot 100 hit by her former employer, Brenda K. Starr.

CHART BEAT BITS: Brooks & Dunn collect their sixth No. 1 on Country Albums with the aptly-titled “#1s … and Then Some.” The set’s bow at No. 1 pushes the pair ahead of Rascal Flatts as the duo or group with the second-most toppers in the chart’s 45-year history. Only Alabama, with 11, has more leaders among duos or groups …

Brooks & Dunn displace Taylor Swift‘s “Fearless” from the summit of Country Albums, but the latter artist debuts on the Billboard Hot 100. “Two Is Better Than One” by Boys Like Girls, featuring Swift, enters at No. 92. The song is Swift’s 18th Hot 100 entry and her first as a featured artist …

Legendary duo BeBe & CeCe Winans claim their first No. 1 duet on Gospel Songs, as “Close to You” ascends 2-1. The song previews the siblings’ album “Still,” due Oct. 6 …

A week after Jordin Sparks‘ reworking of Shannon’s ’80s classic “Let the Music Play” debuted on Dance/Club Play Songs, and two weeks after Naturi Naughton returned Irene Cara‘s “Fame” to the tally, another evergreen track from the era arrives. Pepper Mashay starts at No. 49 with “Freeway of Love.” Aretha Franklin‘s original version reached No. 1 on the chart in 1985. At No. 42, Backstreet Boys make their first Dance/Club Play Songs appearance since 1997 (“Quit Playing Games With My Heart”) with “Straight Through My Heart,” the first single from the Boys-to-men’s forthcoming album, “This Is Us” …

One of the most celebrated songs in R&B history doesn’t return to a Billboard chart this week, but it has recently touched a new audience. Click here to to learn how Bill Withers‘ “Lean on Me” has inspired the University of Southern California’s Trojans football team, complete with a guest appearance from Withers himself, much to the delight of his newest, and awestruck, young fans.