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Chart Beat Wednesday: Dirty Heads, Toni Braxton, Alicia Keys

With concurrent climbs into the top bracket, Alicia Keys and Toni Braxton tie Mary J. Blige's mark for most Adult R&B top 10s among women.

HEADS UP: Southern California reggae rockers the Dirty Heads collect a No. 1 with their first entry on the Alternative Songs chart, as “Lay Me Down” rises 3-1. The song features Rome of Sublime, which spent three weeks atop the list with “What I Got” in 1996. (Rome did not join Sublime until last year).

With the Dirty Heads signed to the Executive Music Group, “Lay Me Down” becomes just the fifth leader on Alternative Songs – of 278 total in the chart’s 21-year history – released and promoted to radio by an independent label. Here is a recap of the five such No. 1s, three of which have reigned in the last year:


Title, Artist, Label, Year
“Lay Me Down,” the Dirty Heads featuring Rome of Sublime, Executive, 2010
“1901,” Phoenix, Glassnote, 2010
“Panic Switch,” Silversun Pickups, dangerbird, 2009
“What It’s Like,” Everlast, Tommy Boy, 1998
“Come Out and Play (Keep ‘Em Separated),” the Offspring, Epitaph, 1994

“We, as indie labels, have everything to lose, yet have everything to gain,” says Executive founder/president Jacob Capricciuolo. “Indie labels are personally vested, which creates a passion and aggressiveness to succeed above the corporate machine.

“Definitely not to discredit our hard-working corporate individuals and partners, but most indie labels have a do-or-die mindset. We can also draw from a stable of former major label promoters and create a team right for a specific job. Nothing restricts us from changing our business model any day, hour, minute or second.

“In everything we do, it’s personal.”

HIGH FIVE: When George Strait climbed 12-9 on Country Songs three weeks ago with “I Gotta Get to You,” he became the first artist in the history of Billboard charts to collect a top 10 on a survey in 30 consecutive years. This week, the song pushes 6-5, granting the Country Music Hall of Famer a top five title in a 29th consecutive year.

Strait’s top 10 streak on Country Songs began in 1981 with “Unwound,” which peaked at No. 6. In 1982, Strait started his run of top five entries with “If You’re Thinking You Want a Stranger (There’s One Coming Home),” which reached No. 3.

“I Gotta Get to You” is Strait’s record-extending 73rd top five on Country Songs. Conway Twitty ranks second with 66 top five titles, followed by Eddy Arnold (64) and Merle Haggard (61).

Of Strait’s first 72 top five songs, 44 have reached No. 1, seven have peaked at Nos. 2 and 3 each, nine have peaked at No. 4 and five have reached a high point of No. 5.

With twin ascensions into the top 10, Alicia Keys and Toni Braxton tie the mark for most top 10s among women in the more than 16-year history of Billboard’s Adult R&B chart.

Keys rises 12-8 with “Un-Thinkable (I’m Ready),” the chart’s Greatest Gainer, while Braxton bounds 15-10 with “Hands Tied.” The songs mark the 14th top 10s for each artist on the tally, matching Mary J. Blige‘s sum. Also with 14 top 10 titles is Joe. Among all artists, only Gerald Levert (21 top 10s), Luther Vandross (18) and Brian McKnight (16) have made more visits to the top tier.

“Un-Thinkable (I’m Ready)” is the third Adult R&B top 10 from Keys’ album “The Element of Freedom.” “Hands Tied” is Braxton’s first top 10 since the No. 7 “Please” in 2005. Her current hit introduces her sixth studio album, “Pulse,” released yesterday (May 5).

Braxton led the inaugural Adult R&B chart dated Sept. 18, 1993, with “Another Sad Love Song.”

COMPLETE BEAT: As previously reported, B.o.B soars onto the Billboard 200 at No. 1 with his debut album, ” B.o.B Presents: The Adventures of Bobby Ray.” On the Billboard Hot 100, B.o.B gives way to another acronym, as “Nothin’ on You” cedes the top spot to “OMG” by Usher featuring will.i.am. With will.i.am’s group the Black Eyed Peas and fellow member Fergie having already led the latter list, the quartet joins a select number of acts that have led the Hot 100 and included multiple members that have reached No. 1 in solo ventures. Check tomorrow’s posting of Chart Beat for details, as well as highlights of Billboard’s entire selection of sales and airplay charts.