From the arrival of Lady Gaga‘s “Born This Way” to the “Glee” cast’s toppling of a King (of Rock & Roll) to Katy Perry matching an achievement by another King (of Pop), 2011 brought several notable chart records.
In part two of Chart Beat’s look back at the biggest Billboard chart headlines of the year, we recall the top highlights of July through December.
The final “Harry Potter” movie roared to a record-breaking opening, scoring the highest-ever worldwide debut ($481.5 million). On the Billboard 200, the film franchise similarly went out on a high note, as the soundtrack to “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2” became its highest-peaking edition with a No. 25 start. “Special thanks must go to the woman whose incomparable imagination literally changed the world, Jo Rowling,” Warner Bros. Group president Jeff Robinov said of the series’ author/creator.
Katy Perry ‘s “Teenage Dream” joined Michael Jackson‘s “Bad” as the only albums to generate five Billboard Hot 100 No. 1s, as “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)” became the set’s fifth topper, following “California Gurls,” the title track, “Firework” and “E.T.” “Hitting No. 1 is always a great moment, but when it turns into a small piece of history, you’re reminded of how many millions of people are connected to each other by even one tiny event,” Perry told Billboard upon achieving the feat. “Thank you to everyone who helped make this happen. Ever since I was nine years old, singing into my hairbrush, I’ve dreamed very big dreams, but today is bigger than my dreams.”
Ahead of his crowning of the Billboard 200 the following week with “Tha Carter IV,” Lil Wayne became the first artist in the Nielsen Music era (since 1992) to simultaneously hold the top three spots on Billboard’s R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. DJ Khaled’s “I’m on One,” featuring Lil Wayne, Drake and Rick Ross, reigned for an eighth week, as Kelly Rowland’s former leader “Motivation” held at No. 2. Weezy completed his history-making trifecta as “How to Love” ascended 4-3.
As Maroon 5‘s “Moves Like Jagger,” featuring Christina Aguilera, reached No. 1 on the Hot 100, Mick Jagger became the first artist to have ruled the Hot 100 and be name-checked in the title of a topper by another act. Jagger additionally entered the elite company of musicians named in the titles of Hot 100 No. 1s, joining Ludwig van Beethoven (“A Fifth of Beethoven,” Walter Murphy & the Big Apple Band, 1976), Duke Ellington (“Sir Duke,” Stevie Wonder, 1977) and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (“Rock Me Amadeus,” Falco, 1986).
Sept. 17, 24
George Strait climbed closer to Eddy Arnold‘s record for most top 10s in the 67-year history of Billboard’s Country Songs chart, as “Here for a Good Time” rose 11-9. The song marks Strait’s 84th top 10 on the tally, a sum second only to Arnold’s 92. The next week, Strait scored his record-extending 24th No. 1 on Country Albums, as parent set “Here for a Good Time” partied in at the penthouse. Merle Haggard and Willie Nelson rank second with 15 No. 1 albums each.
With the Billboard 200 re-entry of “1” at No. 4, the Beatles extended their top 10 span on the chart to 47 years, seven months and two weeks, besting the Rolling Stones for the longest such span among groups. That week, the Fab Four shared space in the top tier with Lil Wayne, Adele and Red Hot Chili Peppers. Among the Beatles’ competition their first week in the top 10, Feb. 8, 1964? The Singing Nun, Peter, Paul & Mary and the Beach Boys.
Oct. 1, 8
At 85 years and two months, the iconic Tony Bennett became the oldest living artist ever to grace the Hot 100, as “Body and Soul,” with the late Amy Winehouse, bowed at No. 87. Bennett passed George Burns, who was 84 years and two months-old when the wryly titled “I Wish I Was Eighteen Again” wrapped its chart run in 1980. A week later, “Duets II” launched atop the Billboard 200, marking Bennett’s first leading album and making him the senior-most living act to crown the chart.
Rihanna roared to a 20th Hot 100 top 10 faster than any other soloist, as “We Found Love,” featuring Calvin Harris, darted 16-9. Having first graced the list dated June 11, 2005, she reached the milestone in a span of six years and four months, besting Madonna for the quickest collection of 20 top 10s among solo acts from an artist’s first Hot 100 appearance. When “Love” became Rihanna’s 11th Hot 100 No. 1, she joined Mariah Carey (18), Madonna (12) and Whitney Houston (11) as the only women with as many toppers.
Justin Bieber ‘s “Under the Mistletoe” debuted atop the Billboard 200, becoming the first holiday album by a male to debut at No. 1 in the 55-year history of the chart and just the eighth seasonal set to reign. “Mistletoe” is the 17-year-old’s third Billboard 200 No. 1, making him the first soloist to earn three No. 1s before his 18th birthday. Previously, he was tied with LeAnn Rimes, who notched two No. 1s in 1997 (before she turned 16). This week, the album’s “Mistletoe” enters Pop Songs at No. 40. It’s the radio airplay chart’s first holiday hit in 12 years.
Billboard’s top artist of 2011 made chart headlines into December, as Adele‘s “21” rose 5-3 on the Billboard 200, marking the album’s 39th consecutive week in the list’s top five, its entire chart run since it debuted at No. 1. The streak rewrote the record for the most weeks an album has inhabited the top five from its bow over Michael Jackson’s “Bad,” which racked 38 straight frames in the top five in 1987-88. The feat was merely the latest in a year of honors for Adele, whose “Rolling in the Deep” charted on a record 12 Nielsen BDS-based airplay charts on its way to becoming the top song of 2011 and whose “Someone Like You” became the first No. 1 featuring only vocals and piano accompaniment in the Hot 100’s 53-year history. “The same things I’ve always liked still satisfy me,” Adele told Billboard. “My team’s the same and my group of friends (is) the same. Of course, I’m bowled over by people’s response to ’21,’ (but) I go home and my best friend laughs at me, rather than going to a celebrity-studded party to rub shoulders with people who know me but who I don’t know. I’m Z-list when it comes to that.”