Skip to main content

Chart Beat Thursday: Taio Cruz, Ludacris, Peter Gabriel

Record-"Break"-ing Cruz to No. 1: British newcomer Taio Cruz rewrites Billboard Hot 100 history, as "Break Your Heart" vaults to the top.

RECORD ‘BREAK’-ER: As previously reported, Taio Cruz skyrockets 53-1 on the Billboard Hot 100 with his maiden chart entry, “Break Your Heart,” featuring Ludacris.

The song’s ascent to the apex marks the biggest jump to No. 1 for an artist’s first Hot 100 charted title, passing Kelly Clarkson‘s “A Moment Like This” by one position. Among first Hot 100 entries by male soloists, Cruz passes Mims‘ 32-1 surge with “This Is Why I’m Hot” in 2007.

Among all artists, Cruz ties for eighth-greatest one-week positional leap to the summit:


Jump to No. 1, Title, Artist (Year)
97-1, “My Life Would Suck Without You,” Kelly Clarkson (2009)
96-1, “Womanizer,” Britney Spears (2008)
80-1, “Live Your Life,” T.I. featuring Rihanna (2008)
78-1, “Crack a Bottle,” Eminem, Dr. Dre & 50 Cent (2009)
71-1, “Whatever You Like,” T.I. (2008)
64-1, “Makes Me Wonder,” Maroon 5 (2007)
58-1, “Right Round,” Flo Rida (2009)
53-1, “Take a Bow,” Rihanna (2008)
53-1, “Break Your Heart,” Taio Cruz featuring Ludacris (2010)
52-1, “A Moment Like This,” Kelly Clarkson (2002)

On Digital Songs, “Break Your Heart” blasts 50-1, a rise to the top bested in the chart’s history only by one other fast-“Breaking” song. On the survey dated Feb. 11, 2006, “Breaking Free” by “High School Musical” cast members Zac Efron, Andrew Seeley and Vanessa Hudgens soared 57-1.

Cruz crowns the Hot 100 five months after fellow Englishman Jay Sean reigned with “Down,” and the pair of coronations amounts to a mini-British invasion.

Before Sean, the last British male to top the Hot 100 was James Blunt, whose “You’re Beautiful” spent a week at No. 1 on the March 11, 2006, list. Blunt’s rule ended an eight-year, two-month chart-topping drought among British male soloists, dating to the last of Elton John‘s 14 weeks at No. 1 with “Candle in the Wind 1997″/”Something About the Way You Look Tonight” in January 1998.

HIGH FIVE: “Break Your Heart” marks Ludacris’ fifth No. 1 on the Hot 100, a list consisting entirely of collaborations:

Year, Title, Artist Billing (Weeks at No. 1)
2003, “Stand Up,” Ludacris featuring Shawnna (one)
2004, “Yeah!,” Usher featuring Lil Jon & Ludacris (12)
2006, “Money Maker,” Ludacris featuring Pharrell (two)
2007, “Glamorous,” Fergie featuring Ludacris (two)
2010, “Break Your Heart,” Taio Cruz featuring Ludacris (one to date)

With his fifth leader, Ludacris ties Diddy for most No. 1s among rappers in the Hot 100’s history. He passes 50 Cent, Jay-Z and Nelly, each with four.

Chart Beat reader Pablo Nelson of Berkeley, Calif., notes the irony of Ludacris being partially responsible for supplanting the Black Eyed Peas‘ “Imma Be” after two weeks at No. 1; he’s the group’s opening act on their current tour.

The star-packed “Alice in Wonderland: Almost Alice” album launches at No. 1 on the Soundtracks survey and No. 5 on the Billboard 200.

The set sports songs inspired by the hit film’s subject matter, as well as the movie’s end-titles track “Alice” by Avril Lavigne. The latter cut begins on the Hot 100 at No. 71, marking Lavigne’s first entry on the list as an artist since the No. 95-peaking “Hot” in December 2007. Since, she appeared as a co-writer on Leona Lewis‘ “I Will Be” (No. 56) and the Glee Cast‘s cover of her own “Keep Holding On” (No. 71) last year.

With a roster including the All-American Rejects, Franz Ferdinand, Owl City, the Cure‘s Robert Smith and They Might Be Giants, the collection concurrently bows atop Rock Albums and Alternative Albums.

The concept album outperforms the movie’s proper soundtrack, although “Alice in Wonderland Music by Danny Elfman” makes a similarly strong start on Soundtracks at No. 6. It enters the Billboard 200 at No. 89.

The Disney movie, directed by Tim Burton and starring Johnny Depp and Anne Hathaway, totaled $116 million in U.S. theaters last weekend, marking the best opening for a winter release in box office history.

HERO UP THE POP CHARTS: Peter Gabriel‘s covers set “Scratch My Back” debuts at No. 1 on the indie- and small chain-driven Top Tastemakers chart (viewable at billboard.biz). Billboard 200 chart manager Keith Caulfield points out that the set is Gabriel’s first No. 1 on a Billboard album chart since “So” led the now-defunct Top Compact Disks tally for eight weeks in 1986. (That chart, discontinued 20 years ago this month, highlighted CD sales at a time when vinyl was still consumers’ main physical product of choice).

Gabriel had recorded No. 1s on airplay charts since 1986. “Digging in the Dirt” and “Steam” each commanded Alternative Songs in 1992, and Afro Celt Sound System‘s “When You’re Falling,” featuring Gabriel, topped Triple A in 2001.

The lead cut from “Scratch My Back” returns Gabriel to Hot Singles Sales after more than 17 years, as “The Boy in the Bubble” enters at No. 11. Paul Simon‘s original version of the song, from his landmark “Graceland” album, peaked at No. 86 on the Hot 100 23 years ago this week.

On the Billboard 200, “Scratch My Back” starts at No. 26. Gabriel had last appeared on the chart with the best-of album “Hit,” which peaked at No. 100 during a three-week run in November/December 2003.

The renowned rocker’s last studio album of new material, “Up,” debuted and peaked at No. 9 in October 2002.

With “Nomah” now retired from the Red Sox, Boston has found a new fan favorite.

Rookie rapper Sam Adams (born Samuel Wisner) bows on the Billboard 200 at No. 73 with his debut EP, “Boston’s Boy.” The set, released on the independent 1st Round label, concurrently starts on Rap Albums at No. 7, Independent Albums at No. 9 and Digital Albums at No. 10.

Lead single “Driving Me Crazy,” which incorporates Annie Lennox‘s 1992 No. 14 Hot 100 hit “Walking on Broken Glass,” debuts on the Heatseekers Songs chart at No. 13.

“We’re not trying to sit back for a second from this point on,” says Adams, a senior at Trinity College in Hartford, Conn. “We’re sitting down with 15 to 20 major labels in the next few weeks, so chilling isn’t really an option.”

From Lawrence, Mass., just north of Boston, Godsmack makes its third appearance on the Hot 100, as “Cryin’ Like a Bitch” begins at No. 74. The band peaked one place higher with its first entry, “Straight Out of Line,” in 2003, and “Speak” reached No. 85 in 2006. The band collects its 10th top 10 (11-6) on the Heritage Rock airplay chart with its current single, which introduces its fifth studio album, “The Oracle,” due May 4 …

Uncle Kracker
returns to the Adult Contemporary top 10, as “Smile” lifts 11-9. The singer-songwriter previously reached the top tier with the No. 7-peaking “Follow Me” (2001) and No. 1 “Drift Away,” which ruled for 28 weeks (2003-04), the longest reign in the chart’s 49-year history …

Kelis notches her third No. 1 on Dance/Club Play Songs, as “Acapella” ascends 2-1. The song also debuts at No. 11 on the billboard.biz-exclusive Hot Dance Airplay chart. The performer previously presided over Dance/Club Play Songs with her signature song “Milkshake” in 2003 and “I’m Not in Love” in 2004 …

From Coldplay‘s catalog, “The Scientist” draws its first ink on Digital Songs, bowing at No. 56 after finalist Katelyn Epperly performed the song on “American Idol” March 3. The original version reached No. 5 on Triple A and No. 18 on Alternative Songs in 2003 …

Sarah Silverman debuts at No. 14 on Comedy Albums with the whopping 99-cut collection “Songs of the Sarah Silverman Program: From Our Rears to Your Ears!” Clearly, the actress/comedienne is selling out. Of her new album, that is! (to flatteringly attempt an imitation of her humor).