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Pre-‘Glee,’ Britney By-The-Numbers

Britney Spears' music infuses tonight's episode of Fox's "Glee," which additionally shines the spotlight on Cheerio Brittany.

Britney Spears‘ music infuses tonight’s (Sept. 28) episode of Fox’s “Glee,” entitled “Britney/Brittany.” The hour brings to the forefront the character of cheerleader Brittany, portrayed by Heather Morris.

“When Brittany and the gang try to convince Mr. Schuester (Matthew Morrison) to let them do a Britney Spears number, he is reluctant to go that edgy,” reveals Columbia Records, which releases and promotes the series’ music.

As excited as “Gleeks” are for the episode, none may be more fervent than Spears. “Can’t wait for GLEE tomorrow night,” she Tweeted yesterday. “I’m going to tweet along as it airs on the West Coast so we can watch together.”


As a version of CliffsNotes for tonight’s episode, Chart Beat recounts notable feats that Spears has achieved while impacting Billboard charts.

WOMANIZER: Spears made her maiden Billboard 200 entrance the week of Jan. 30, 1999, when “…Baby One More Time” opened at the summit. The set would spend six weeks at No. 1, becoming Spears’ first of five leading albums. Dating to her chart arrival, her five No. 1s are the most among women. Miley Cyrus, Alicia Keys and Madonna follow with four Billboard 200 toppers each in that stretch.

FIRST ‘TIME’: Spears simultaneously banked her first week at No. 1 on the Hot 100 dated Jan. 30, 1999, when her debut single, the title track from “…Baby One More Time,” reached the top. Spears became the first female artist to rule the Hot 100 with a debut single and the Billboard 200 with a debut album in the same week since the Singing Nun (an artist that Mr. Shue might consider more agreeable than Spears) managed such double domination more than a quarter-century earlier.

STRONGEST: Since she first appeared on the Pop Songs airplay tally the week of Oct. 24, 1998, Spears’ 24 chart entries at her home radio format are the most among all artists. Eminem (22) ranks second in that span, followed by Akon, Ludacris, Nelly and Rihanna, each with 21.

GIMME MORE: Since Nielsen SoundScan began tracking U.S. album sales in 1991, Spears ranks as the 15th-best-selling album artist, with 31.5 million units sold. Among women, her album sales are the fourth-best, trailing only the sums of Mariah Carey (No. 3, 52.6 million), Celine Dion (No. 5, 51.1 million) and Shania Twain (No. 12, 33.9 million).

‘3’ TO 1: Of the 990 songs to top the Hot 100 in the chart’s 52-year history, just 17 have bowed at No. 1. Spears scored the most recent such lofty launch by a female artist when “3” soared in at No. 1 in October 2009. The track additionally sports the shortest title of any Hot 100 leader.