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Chart Beat Thursday: Whitney Houston, Black Eyed Peas, Demi Lovato

Whitney Houston makes a grand re-entrance on R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, Black Eyed Peas set a Hot 100 record and Demi Lovato rocks the Billboard 200.

MANY HAPPY RETURNS: A host of veterans enjoy warm welcomes back to Billboard charts this week.

After co-hosting listening parties in Los Angeles, New York and London, attended by such collaborators as Alicia Keys and Swizz Beats and celebrities including Martha Stewart and Diane Sawyer, Whitney Houston blasts back onto R&B/Hip-Hop Songs with “I Look to You” at No. 27. The ballad, penned by R. Kelly, also bows on Adult R&B (viewable at billboard.biz) at No. 23.

The song is Houston’s 41st entry on R&B/Hip-Hop Songs and first since “Try It on My Own” wrapped up a 14-week stay exactly six years ago this week. “I Look to You” instantly becomes Houston’s highest-charting track since “Same Script, Different Cast,” with Deborah Cox, peaked at No. 14 in 2000.


The new single is the title cut to Houston’s seventh studio album, due Monday, Aug. 31.

Pearl Jam‘s “The Fixer” launches on Rock Songs at No. 2 after its first week at radio, netting an out-of-the-box audience of 13.5 million among 156 all-format rock stations. On Alternative Songs, the song starts at No. 11 and becomes the band’s 34th entry dating to the arrival of “Alive” on the chart dated Jan. 25, 1992. In the Alternative chart’s almost 21-year history, only U2 (37) has made more visits. Pearl Jam releases “Backspacer,” its ninth studio set, Sept. 20.

A third chart cornerstone bows just short of his astounding 50th anniversary on Billboard surveys. The iconic Smokey Robinson first charted in Billboard when the Miracles’ “Bad Girl” debuted on the Hot 100 dated Oct. 5, 1959. This week, 49 years and 10 months later, Robinson adds to his renowned legacy, as his cover of Norah Jones’ “Don’t Know Why” becomes his first hit in four years on Adult R&B, opening at No. 38. Robinson’s “Time Flies When You’re Having Fun” streets Aug. 25. (Fans are sure to enjoy a ‘Billboard Stars’ tribute feature to Robinson in the print issue of the magazine dated Aug. 29).

AT SEVENTEEN: The Billboard Hot 100 three weeks from now is shaping up to feature the Black Eyed Peas and Jason Mraz each breaking landmark records.

The Black Eyed Peas hold at No. 1 for a 17th straight week on the Hot 100 – 12 for “Boom Boom Pow” and, now, five for “I Gotta Feeling” – setting the record for the longest successive stay at the top by a duo or group in the chart’s 51-year history. The act passes Boyz II Men, which logged two reigns of 16 weeks. In 1994, “I’ll Make Love to You” held sway for 14 weeks and “On Bended Knee” followed directly with two frames on top. In 1995-96, Boyz II Men again led for 16 weeks with “One Sweet Day,” their collaboration with Mariah Carey.

The Peas’ run in charge ranks second among all artists to Usher’s 19-week streak in 2004, when “Yeah” (12 weeks) and “Burn” (seven) commanded the chart consecutively. The quartet’s chances of breaking Usher’s mark in three weeks look promising: “I Gotta Feeling” claims the Hot 100’s Great Gainer/Airplay award for a fifth consecutive week.

Should the Peas establish a new record, they may have to share the spotlight with Jason Mraz. “I’m Yours” this week spends a 67th week on the Billboard Hot 100, easing down 29-34. Two more weeks on the chart will tie the track with LeAnn Rimes’ “How Do I Live” for longest stay on the Hot 100, setting up a possible record-breaking week the following frame when “I’m Yours” could become the chart’s first septuagenarian song.

TV TEENS: The saying “a face made for radio” certainly doesn’t apply to the top two new entrants on the Billboard 200 this week, as both singers made their marks on television before releasing albums.

16-year-old Demi Lovato enters atop the Billboard 200 with her second album, “Here We Go Again.” Her first release, “Don’t Forget,” peaked at No. 2 in October. Lovato is set to reprise her role as Mitchie Torres in Disney’s “Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam,” due next year.

At No. 7, 19-year-old Jordin Sparks bows with “Battlefield,” besting the No. 10 debut and peak of her self-titled first album in December 2007, less than six months after she took the crown for the sixth-season of “American Idol.”

Both singers roar up the Billboard Hot 100 with the title cuts from their respective new releases. Sparks bounds 25-10 for her third top 10 on the Hot 100 and Lovato lifts 24-15.

‘NUMBER ONES’ NO. 1 AGAIN: While Lovato leads the Billboard 200, her set is not the best-selling album in America this week. After ceding the summit to Daughtry last week, Michael Jackson‘s “Number Ones” returns to the pinnacle of Top Comprehensive Albums (available at billboard.biz). The best-of collection has led the list, which ranks current and older releases, four of the last five weeks.

The Jackson name does appear anew on the Billboard 200, as the Jackson 5 makes its first appearance on the chart in a quarter-century. The group returns with “Love Songs” at No. 186. The Jackson 5 last graced the list with “14 Greatest Hits” on the chart dated Aug. 4, 1984.

TOP 40 HITS: Two titles make notable climbs into the top 40 on the Billboard Hot 100.

The Ting Tings rise 41-39 with “That’s Not My Name” in the song’s 24th week on the chart. That’s a lengthy journey, but it’s not a record. The song’s 24-week ascension is tied for seventh-longest to the chart’s top 40. Just as she holds the mark for most total weeks on the Hot 100 with “How Do I Live,” LeAnn Rimes also owns the record for longest ride to the top 40. Rimes’ “Can’t Fight the Moonlight” reached the top 40 in its 29th week in 2002, matching the odyssey of 2 Unlimited’s “Get Ready for This” in 1995.

Pushing 46-40 with “Ego,” Beyonce notches her 17th solo top 40 hit. She extends her lead as the female artist with the most top 40 titles this decade. Christina Aguilera, Ashanti and Pink share second place with 14 apiece in that span.

“Ego” is Beyonce’s fifth top 40 hit from “I Am…Sasha Fierce.” A sixth single, “Sweet Dreams,” meanwhile enters the Hot 100 at No. 97.

WHEN YOU THINK TIM McGRAW’S WIFE …: In the last 25 years, only two songs have placed in the top five of the Billboard Hot 100 and Country Songs simultaneously. Faith Hill’s “Breathe” doubled up on Feb. 26, 2000, ranking at No. 5 on both charts, and, for a second week, Taylor Swift‘s “You Belong With Me” scores such crossover kudos. Swift’s single earns a backwards bullet (3-4) on the Hot 100 and makes a reverse move of 4-3 on Country Songs.

Prior to Hill and Swift’s achievements, the last song to concurrently occupy the top five on both surveys belonged to Julio Iglesias and Willie Nelson. “To All the Girls I’ve Loved Before” ranked at Nos. 5 and 1, respectively, on the Billboard Hot 100 and Country Songs on the charts dated May 19, 1984.

Swift figures in another honor this week. Kellie Pickler‘s “Best Days of Your Life,” which she co-wrote with her good friend Swift, becomes her first top 10 on Country Songs, stepping 11-10 in its 37th week. That’s the fourth-longest climb to the top 10 since the chart converted to Nielsen BDS-monitored data in January 1990. Gary Allan’s “Right Where I Need to Be” (2001) and Josh Gracin’s “We Weren’t Crazy” (2008) took 40 weeks to reach the top 10. Hill’s “Let’s Make Love,” with Tim McGraw, cracked the top tier in its 39th week in 2000.

CHART KINGS: Kings of Leon continue to scale multiple charts, including Triple A (viewable at billboard.biz), where “Use Somebody” ascends 3-1. The song reaches the summit in its 25th week, marking the list’s longest climb to the top. Eric Hutchinson held the prior longevity mark, having completed a 22-week rise to No. 1 in December with “Rock & Roll.”

“Use Somebody” also becomes the quartet’s first top five on the Billboard Hot 100, where the song darts 11-5 in its 26th week. Only one title has taken longer to reach the Hot 100’s top 10 this year: Shinedown’s “Second Chance,” which rose 11-7 in its 28th week June 20.

The increased exposure of “Use Somebody” is spurring sales of the group’s breakthrough fourth album, “Only By the Night.” On the Billboard 200, the set climbs 10-8, its best rank since its debut at No. 5 on the chart dated Oct. 11, 2008.

MARIAH MOVES: Mariah Carey‘s “Obsessed,” possibly the Billboard Hot 100’s first song ever to reference Windex in its lyrics, cleans up on the Rhythmic airplay chart (accessible at billboard.biz). The cut advances 12-10 on Rhythmic, marking Carey’s 21st top 10 since the list launched in October 1992. She now stands within one of Ludacris’ record for most top 10s in the chart’s archives.

While we’ll need to wait to see if “Obsessed” can become Carey’s 19th No. 1 on the Hot 100, where it rebounds 20-17 after debuting at No. 11 two weeks ago, the lead track from “Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel” does lead another chart. The title tops the Yahoo! Video chart, now available on billboard.com, for a second consecutive week.

CHART BEAT BITS: Following the announcement of member Adam Yauch’s cancer diagnosis, Beastie Boys return to the Billboard Hot 100, as “Too Many Rappers,” featuring Nas, debuts at No. 93. The song is the trio’s first entry on the list since 2004 and its second since 1998’s No. 28-peaking “Intergalactic” …

Cheap Trick notches its highest-charting album on the Billboard 200 since 1990, as “The Latest” opens at No. 78. The band last placed higher with “Busted,” which peaked at No. 48 on the chart dated Aug. 25, 1990. “Latest” is the veteran band’s 18th title to appear on the Billboard 200 dating to its first, “In Color,” on Sept. 24, 1977 …

The “Mamma Mia!” soundtrack reaches its highest rank on the Billboard 200 since the chart dated April 11, soaring 127-62. The album peaked at No. 1 Aug. 23, 2008. The movie made its premium cable premiere on HBO two weekends ago (July 18) …

Two veteran acts don the Christian Songs and Gospel Songs crowns, respectively. On the former chart, “Revelation Song” becomes Phillips, Craig & Dean’s first No. 1. The act had previously peaked as high as No. 5 with “Here I Am to Worship” in 2004. On Gospel Songs, sister duo Mary Mary (Erica and Tina Campbell) earns its first No. 1 since “Heaven” in 2005, as “God in Me” vaults 6-1 …

Linked in the news much of 2009 for more unfortunate news, Chris Brown and Rihanna each make headlines on Billboard charts this week. Brown’s “Forever” returns to Digital Songs at No. 21 after a viral video of a jubilant couple dancing down the aisle at their wedding to the song became a YouTube sensation. On R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, Jay-Z, Rihanna and Kanye West arrive at No. 35 with “Run This Town.” The song is set to appear on Jay-Z’s album “The Blueprint 3,” due Sept. 11.