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Chart Beat Thursday: Rihanna, Alicia Keys, Sting

Rising 2-1 with Eminem on "Love the Way You Lie," Rihanna boasts the fifth-most leaders among women in the Hot 100's history.

‘LOVE’ IS …: As previously reported, Eminem‘s “Love the Way You Lie” rises 2-1 on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming the rapper’s fourth chart leader. The song’s coronation is likewise noteworthy for featured artist Rihanna, who, in just more than five years, has totaled the fifth-most No. 1s among women in the Hot 100’s 52-year history.

Rihanna first appeared on the Hot 100 the week of June 11, 2005, when “Pon De Replay” debuted at No. 97 on its way to a No. 2 peak. She reached No. 1 for the first time May 13, 2006, with “SOS.” Since, she has ruled with “Umbrella,” “Take a Bow,” “Disturbia” and “Rude Boy” and as a featured act on T.I.’s “Live Your Life” and the chart’s new No. 1.


Here is a look at the solo female artists to log the most No. 1s in the Hot 100’s archives:

18, Mariah Carey
12, Madonna
11, Whitney Houston
10, Janet Jackson
7, Rihanna
6, Paula Abdul
6, Diana Ross

(Billboard senior chart manager Keith Caulfield notes that of the acts above, only Rihanna has reached No. 1 as a featured artist. The other performers were billed as lead acts on all of their chart leaders).

With their advance, Eminem and Rihanna bring “Love” back to the Hot 100’s top spot. Prior to “Love the Way You Lie,” no song with “love” in its title had reigned since Leona Lewis‘ “Bleeding Love” spent four week at No. 1 in April and May 2008. Lewis’ leader replaced another “love” song at the summit: Usher‘s “Love in This Club,” featuring Young Jeezy. The only other such No. 1s since 2000: Mario’s “Let Me Love You” (2005), Beyonce‘s “Crazy in Love,” featuring Jay-Z (2003) and Savage Garden’s “I Knew I Loved You” (2000).

By comparison, 15 songs with “love” in their titles topped the Hot 100 in the ’90s. (That’s including Celine Dion‘s “My Heart Will Go On (Love Theme From “Titanic”). Honorable mention to Color Me Badd’s 1991 No. 1 “I Adore Mi Amor”).

With 11 weeks at No. 1 on R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, “Un-Thinkable (I’m Ready)” represents Alicia Keys‘ longest stay at the summit among her eight trips to the top. The track’s performance passes the 10-week rule of “No One” in 2007.

Keys has now turned in 53 total weeks at No. 1, matching Usher for the most frames in charge since R&B/Hip-Hop Songs converted to Nielsen Music data as of the Dec. 5, 1992, chart. Here is a look at the artists with the most weeks spent at No. 1 in that span:

53, Alicia Keys
53, Usher
39, R. Kelly
31, Beyonce
30, Monica

Coincidentally, Usher’s “There Goes My Baby” is primed to thwart Keys from besting his sum, as Billboard R&B/hip-hop charts manager Raphael George notes that less than 1 million listener impressions separate the top two titles on the survey and Usher’s song is still gaining in airplay.

Included in each artist’s R&B/Hip-Hop songs discography is the twosome’s “My Boo.” The duet reigned for three weeks in 2004.

Twenty-seven years ago this month, the Police‘s “Synchronicity” began a 17-week run atop the Billboard 200.

This week, Sting enters the chart at No. 6 with “Symphonicities,” a set that pays tribute to his group’s landmark 1983 album and stamps orchestral arrangements on songs from throughout his career. (While Police hits such as “Roxanne” and “Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic” grace the new album, no cuts from “Synchronicity” do). Sting has now tallied 10 top 10 solo albums. Four releases by the Police reached the top 10.

Ten tracks from “Symphonicities,” which launches atop Classical Albums, enter the Classical Digital Songs chart, led by “Why Should I Cry for You?” at No. 1. The ballad, originally from Sting’s album “The Soul Cages,” previously charted only on the Mainstream Rock list, where it peaked at No. 32 in 1991.

Last November, Owl City ruled the Hot 100 with “Fireflies.” The one-man act – vocalist/instrumentalist Adam Young – also reached No. 8 on the Billboard 200 with “Ocean Eyes.”

This week, Young returns under a different pseudonym, as “An Airplane Carried Me to Bed,” credited to Sky Sailing, bows on the Billboard 200 at No. 30. The set also begins on Digital Albums at No. 3.

“Before there was Owl City, there was Sky Sailing,” says Young. “Three-and-a-half years ago, I recorded a collection of songs in my parents’ basement during the bleary-eyed hours of night when sleep and I could not bring ourselves to meet.

“Never expecting my music to be heard anywhere but by my parents through the floorboards above, I wrote for my own ears.

“I’ve kept these recordings secret for a long time. This album is a step into the past, the documented account of a shy boy from Minnesota with more hopes and dreams than he knew what to do with.

“This music is my heart and soul. This is who I am.”

Following the passing of Walter Hawkins, four of his tracks debut on Gospel Digital Songs. “Change,” billed to Walter Hawkins and the Hawkins Family, arrives highest, at No. 8.

The bows mark the nine-time Grammy Award winner’s first appearances on Billboard surveys since 2006. “Changed” is his first top 10 on any list since 1998.

Hawkins last topped a Billboard chart when “Love Alive IV” spent 10 weeks atop Gospel Albums in 1990-91.

CHART BEAT BITS: Darius Rucker wrangles his highest solo debut on the Hot 100, as “Come Back Song” bows at No. 67. The first single from his second country album, “Charleston, SC 1966,” due Oct. 12, marks his highest start since he arrived at No. 28 as the vocalist on Hootie & the Blowfish’s “Old Man & Me (When I Get to Heaven)” in April 1996. “Come Back Song” debuts at No. 10 on Country Digital Songs and charges 26-20 on Country Songs …

Gilberto Santa Rosa scores his 14th Tropical Songs No. 1 with “Vivir Sin Ti” (3-1). Only Marc Anthony and Victor Manuelle boast more toppers (19 each) in the chart’s 16-year history. On Latin Songs, the track debuts at No. 50 to become Santa Rosa’s 47th charted title, the list’s fifth-best total. He trails only Los Tigres Del Norte (61), Luis Miguel (56), Vicente Fernandez (52) and Ednita Nazario (48) …

Already atop Pop Songs and Adult Pop Songs with Katy Perry‘s “California Gurls” (which becomes Perry’s first No. 1 on Radio Songs), Capitol Records takes additional command of two rock airplay charts. Thirty Seconds to Mars notches its third Alternative Songs leader, “This Is War,” while Michael Franti & Spearhead begin their first reign on Triple A with “The Sound of Sunshine.” The label’s Nashville division leads Country Songs for a second frame with Luke Bryan‘s “Rain Is a Good Thing” …

Three songs have spent 20 or more weeks atop Gospel Songs, and two of them now belong to Marvin Sapp, as “The Best in Me” logs a 20th week at No. 1. Sapp’s “Never Would Have Made It” holds the record for most weeks (46, 2007-08) in charge of any Billboard airplay chart, while James Fortune & FIYA’s “I Trust You” led for 29 weeks in 2008-09 …

Hampton the Hampster’s “The Hampsterdance Song” was an early Internet phenomenon, and its popularity resulted in the single topping Canada’s sales chart for seven weeks in 2000. In the U.S., the track reached No. 4 on Hot Dance Singles Sales and even No. 70 on Country Songs. This week, after scurrying around the chart since the list’s inception, the cut ascends to No. 1 on Kid Digital Songs in its 26th week. (Hampton the Hampster’s return to the top of a Billboard chart after 10 years is especially impressive; according to petsdoc.com, the average lifespan of a “typical” hamster is only two to three years).