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Weekly Chart Notes: Britney Spears, ‘Country Strong,’ Louis C.K.

Spears expands the elite group of chart-topping debuts in the Billboard Hot 100's 52-year history to 18, as "Hold It Against Me" arrives at No. 1.

AND THE BRITNEY SONG IS ON: (To paraphrase Yoji “Pop” Asano, whose take on Miley Cyrus‘ “Party in the U.S.A.” proved one of the many highlights of last night’s “American Idol” 10th season premiere).

Britney Spears expands the elite group of chart-topping debuts in the Billboard Hot 100‘s 52-year history to 18, as “Hold It Against Me,” the lead single from her forthcoming seventh studio album, rockets in at No. 1.

Hold It Against Me by Rate New Music


With Spears having previously launched at the summit with “3,” she joins Mariah Carey as the only artists to begin at the Hot 100’s apex with more than one song. Carey made such grand entrances with “Fantasy” and “One Sweet Day” in 1995 and “Honey” in 1997.

Britney Spears’ ‘Hold It Against Me’ Soars Onto Pop Songs Chart

Here is an updated recap of the 18 titles to arrive in the chart’s coveted top spot:

Debut Date, Title, Artist
Sept. 2, 1995, “You Are Not Alone,” Michael Jackson
Sept. 30, 1995, “Fantasy,” Mariah Carey
Nov. 25, 1995, “Exhale (Shoop Shoop),” Whitney Houston
Dec. 2, 1995, “One Sweet Day,” Mariah Carey & Boyz II Men
June 14, 1997, “I’ll Be Missing You,” Puff Daddy & Faith Evans feat. 112
Sept. 13, 1997, “Honey,” Mariah Carey
Oct. 11, 1997, “Candle in the Wind 1997/Something About the Way You Look Tonight,” Elton John
Feb. 28, 1998, “My Heart Will Go On,” Celine Dion
Sept. 5, 1998, “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing,” Aerosmith
Nov. 14, 1998, “Doo Wop (That Thing),” Lauryn Hill
June 28, 2003, “This Is the Night,” Clay Aiken
July 10, 2004, “Believe,” Fantasia
July 2, 2005, “Inside Your Heaven,” Carrie Underwood
July 1, 2006, “Do I Make You Proud,” Taylor Hicks
Oct. 24, 2009, “3,” Britney Spears
May 22, 2010, “Not Afraid,” Eminem
Nov. 13, 2010, “We R Who We R,” Ke$ha
Jan. 29, 2011, “Hold It Against Me,” Britney Spears

Chart Beat: Britney Spears’ Lead Singles, Track-By-Track

Fueled by a No. 1 start for “Hold It Against Me” on Digital Songs, Spears has now charged onto the sales survey at No. 1 with the first singles from each of her last four albums, following “Gimme More” (from “Blackout,” 2007), “Womanizer,” (“Circus,” 2008) and “3” (“The Singles Collection”).

‘HOLD’ UP: Upon its Hot 100 coronation, “Hold It Against Me” becomes the sixth No. 1 with the word “hold” in its title.

The song follows the Beatles‘ “I Want to Hold Your Hand” (1964), Simply Red‘s “Holding Back the Years” (1986), Richard Marx‘s “Hold On to the Nights” (1988), Wilson Phillips‘ “Hold On” and Puff Daddy’s “Can’t Nobody Hold Me Down,” featuring Mase (1997).

WE’RE NO. 1!: Two of the producers of “Hold It Against Me” are familiar names. Lukasz “Dr. Luke” Gottwald and Martin Karl “Max Martin” Sandberg score their ninth and eighth Hot 100 No. 1s as producers, respectively.

The song’s other producer, Mathieu Jomphe, is a newcomer to the Hot 100 summit, although his professional name has appeared atop the chart since its inception.

Jomphe’s studio moniker? Billboard.

While Billboard enjoys his first Billboard No. 1, the Montreal native’s resume includes production credits on tracks by Ke$sha and Robyn.

Martin, meanwhile, co-produced the Hot 100’s second highest debut this week, Avril Lavigne‘s “What the Hell,” which soars in at No. 13, as well as the chart’s Greatest Gainer/Digital and Airplay, P!nk‘s “F**in’ Perfect” (57-30).
EXTRA STRENGTH: A week after “Country Strong” became the 18th movie soundtrack to reach the Country Albums top five, the film, starring Gwyneth Paltrow, Tim McGraw and Leighton Meester, becomes the first to yield two top five soundtracks on the chart.

“Country Strong: More Music From the Motion Picture” bounds 12-5, joining “Country Strong,” which rises 3-2.

While no prior movies generated two Country Albums top fives, one film franchise did. The soundtracks to the Clint Eastwood comedies “Every Which Way But Loose” and sequel “Any Which Way You Can” reached Nos. 2 and 5 in 1979 and ’81, respectively.

Another movie and its sequel produced two top 10 soundtracks on Country Albums. 1977’s “Smokey and the Bandit” and 1980’s “Smokey and the Bandit 2,” starring Burt Reynolds, Sally Field and Jackie Gleason, each burned rubber to No. 10.

LUCKY LOUIE: Louis C.K. scores his first Billboard No. 1, as “Hilarious” debuts atop the Comedy Albums chart.

The stand-up comedian and star of the FX breakout hit “Louie” peaked at No. 5 in his previous appearance on the list with “Chewed Up” in 2009.

The new album insightfully jabs that “everything’s amazing and nobody’s happy,” expanding upon a routine that became a viral sensation after Louis C.K. appeared on “Late Night with Conan O’Brien” in 2008:

DISINTEGRATION: After placing 16 titles on Alternative Songs with the Cure between 1989 and 2008, Robert Smith makes his solo debut on the chart.

Smith bows as a guest on Toronto band Crystal Castles‘ “Not in Love” at No. 31. Fellow Canadian act Platinum Blonde first recorded the song in 1983.

Smith has reached No. 1 as a solo artist on Dance/Club Play Songs. Junior Jack’s “Da Hype,” featuring Smith, topped the tally in 2004.

BRICKELL’S BACK: Like Smith, another alternative artist who notably enjoyed ’80s chart success in a group debuts as a solo act.

Edie Brickell‘s self-titled third solo album starts at No. 41 on Independent Albums. She had last charted with “Volcano,” which spent a week on the Billboard 200 at No. 199 in 2003.

The singer/songwriter, who married Paul Simon in 1992, arrived on Edie Brickell & the New Bohemians’ “Shooting Rubberbands at the Stars,” which reached No. 4 on the Billboard 200 and included the No. 7 Hot 100 hit “What I Am” in 1989.

Brickell could chart another new album in two weeks as a member of the Gaddabouts, whose self-titled debut is due Jan. 25. The set features material that Brickell wrote over the past decade, as well as songs she composed with the group (and instantly recorded).

The two albums were only coincidentally completed so close together. Says Brickell, “It’s like a horse race; both projects are kicking in the stall and I gotta let ’em run.”

‘PARADISE’ REVISITED: Here’s another of the Green Hornet’s powers: helping artists leap Billboard charts in a single bound.

Coolio‘s “Gangsta’s Paradise,” featuring L.V., debuts on Digital Songs following its usage in the trailer to “Green Hornet,” the Seth Rogen/Cameron Diaz film that opened to $34 million in box office receipts Jan. 12.

The song, which topped the Hot 100 for three weeks in 1995 (and is, thus, ineligible to return to the current-based survey), soars 24-12 in its third week on Rap Digital Songs.