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‘Glee’ Cast, Taylor Swift Add Hot 100 Milestones

The TV troupe pads its lead for the most visits in the chart's history. Meanwhile, Swift passes three legendary acts for sole possession of the 10th-most top 40 hits.

Two acts that didn’t appear on the Billboard Hot 100 until the last decade further solidify their noteworthy places in the chart’s 55-year history.

The cast of Fox’s “Glee” returns to the tally with its record-extending 207th entry, as its cover of the Bob Dylan-written “Make You Feel My Love” debuts at No. 84. Meanwhile, as “Everything Has Changed” (featuring Ed Sheeran) climbs 41-32, Taylor Swift moves past three iconic acts for sole possession of the 10th-most top 40 hits (42) in the chart’s archives.

Let’s look more closely at the acts’ latest accomplishments.


With the bow of “Make,” here’s an updated look at the acts with the most Hot 100 appearances:

207, “Glee” Cast
120, Lil Wayne
108, Elvis Presley
91, James Brown
80, Jay Z
74, Ray Charles
73, Aretha Franklin
71, the Beatles
67, Elton John
65, Drake

Not only does the “Glee” cast pad its record, it earns its first Hot 100 berth since February, ending its longest break from the chart. The ensemble first charted the week of June 6, 2009. It debuted 25 titles in 2009, a one-year record 79 in 2010 (more than all but four other acts have totaled in their entire careers) and 75 in 2011. As the cast underwent significant changes (and the series’ ratings began to decline), 26 of its songs charted in 2012, as its weekly releases began showing markedly lower sales sums. “Make” marks the troupe’s second Hot 100 hit this year; its version of Ne-Yo’s “Let Me Love You (Until You Learn to Love Yourself)” spent a week at No. 91 in February.

This week, however, the “Glee” cast reaps chart benefits (albeit bittersweet ones) following last week’s episode, “The Quarterback,” its touching tribute to Cory Monteith (aka, the show’s Finn Hudson), who died in July. The episode granted the series its highest ratings in more than a year.

“Make” debuts with download sales of 46,000, according to Nielsen SoundScan (its best weekly total since its Ne-Yo cover began with 48,000). The Dylan-penned ballad, previously recorded by Billy Joel, who took it to No. 50 in 1997 in its sole prior Hot 100 run, while Garth Brooks scored a Hot Country Songs No. 1 with it in 1998 and Adele later recorded it, is sung by Lea Michele, who was Monteith’s real-life girlfriend and his “Glee” character’s on-again, off-again love interest.

Of course, the usual caveat about the “Glee” cast’s Hot 100 discography: as the series’ model has been to release multiple tracks as audio souvenirs of each new episode, 173 of its 207 chart entries – or 84% – have spent a single week on the survey. And just one, “Don’t Stop Believin’,” its first Hot 100 hit and its highest-charting (No. 4), has spent as many as seven weeks on the chart.

Conversely, for example, 82 of Presley’s 108 hits – or 76% – spent seven weeks or more on the ranking. And, nearly half (45) remained on for at least 10 weeks.

(In between the “Glee” cast and Presley, it’s also worth noting that of Lil Wayne’s 120 Hot 100 outings, 76 – or 63% – have been in featured roles.)

Nevertheless, the “Glee” cast’s download sales stand at an enormous 42.2 million, according to SoundScan. EP “The Quarterback” also marks the act’s return to the Billboard 200’s top 10 for the first time in almost two years.


Meanwhile, with “Everything Has Changed” marking her 42nd ascent to the Hot 100’s top 40, Swift one-ups Marvin Gaye, Jay Z and the Rolling Stones, each with 41 such hits.

Here’s a recap of the acts with the most top 40 appearances on the Hot 100 through this week:

80, Elvis Presley
64, Lil Wayne
57, Elton John
51, “Glee” Cast
50, the Beatles
49, Madonna
46, Stevie Wonder
44, James Brown
43, Aretha Franklin
42, Taylor Swift
41, Marvin Gaye
41, Jay Z
41, the Rolling Stones

Swift, thus, moves closer to the mark for the most Hot 100 appearances among women, as her sum of 42 trails only Madonna’s 49 and Franklin’s 43.

As with the “Glee” cast (with 51 top 40 entries), Swift has mixed her multi-format popularity with the digital era, having, for instance, charted with multiple cuts leading up to and upon the releases of her last three studio albums; in prior decades (and per erstwhile chart rules), acts charted only with commercially-available singles most often promoted to radio. (Had iTunes existed in the Beatles’ heyday, for instance, perhaps each cut from, say, “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” might’ve charted?)

Also like the “Glee” actor/singers, Swift’s digital song sales are monstrous: 70.6 million, according to SoundScan, dating to her 2006 career launch.

In addition to her Hot 100 fortunes this week, Swift makes news on the Nielsen BDS-based Adult Pop Songs airplay chart. She tallies a fourth top 10 from her album “Red” on the list, as “Everything” rises 11-10. The set previously yielded the No. 7-peaking “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together,” “I Knew You Were Trouble.” (No. 1, one week) and “22” (No. 9).

The accomplishment doubles Swift’s prior best Adult Pop Songs top 10 total from an album; 2008’s “Fearless” generated “Love Story” (No. 3) and “You Belong With Me” (No. 2).