As Jay-Z scores his lucky 13th No. 1 on the Billboard 200 with “Magna Carta… Holy Grail,” extending his mark for the most leaders among soloists in the chart’s 57-year history, he likewise updates his already impressive resume on the Billboard Hot 100.
Let’s recap his latest notable achievements.
– As “Holy Grail” debuts on the Hot 100 at No. 8, Jay-Z racks his 20th top 10, extending his record for the most top 10s among rappers. Lil Wayne and Ludacris share second place with 18 each. In the Hot 100’s nearly 55-year history, Jay-Z is just the 15th act to tally at least 20 top 10s. (Madonna leads with 38.)
Meanwhile, “Grail” featured artist Justin Timberlake collects his 14th top 10. As he made six visits to the top tier in 1999-2002 as a member of ‘N Sync, Timberlake, like Jay-Z, has totaled 20 top 10s combining his group and solo efforts.
(And, as “Grail” works in the chorus of Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” elements of the song, which helped launch the grunge movement, return to the top 10. The original peaked at No. 6 in 1992. The band’s late Kurt Cobain, thus, receives his first top 10 writing credit since Nirvana’s version charted.)
– Seven cuts from “Magna Carta… Holy Grail” debut on the Hot 100, upping Jay-Z’s career hits total to 79. The haul lifts him into fifth-place for the most appearances in the Hot 100’s archives:
206, “Glee” Cast
119, Lil Wayne
108, Elvis Presley
91, James Brown
74, Ray Charles
73, Aretha Franklin
71, the Beatles
67, Elton John
63, Stevie Wonder
(Clearly, passing two R&B legends – Ray Charles and Aretha Franklin – on the list is reason enough to declare the week a win for Jay-Z.)
– How rare is it to debut at least seven titles on the Hot 100 simultaneously? The achievement has now occurred just six times, all in the digital download era:
11, David Cook (June 7, 2008)
10, Taylor Swift (Nov. 13, 2010)
8, Lil Wayne (Sept. 17, 2011)
7, Jay-Z (July 27, 2013)
7, “Glee” Cast (April 2, 2011)
7, “Glee” Cast (Oct. 23, 2010)
Cook arrived with his record sum after winning “American Idol,” as the show’s weekly track sales are withheld throughout the season so as not to tip voters as to which contestants are faring the best commercially. Following each season’s coronation, sales are released in bulk, leading to Cook’s unprecedented honor. Swift, Lil Wayne and Jay-Z have joined the list concurrent with album debuts, while the “Glee” Cast did so via its model of releasing several singles along with each new episode.
– Six tracks from “Magna Carta… Holy Grail” debut on the 25-position R&B/Hip-Hop Streaming Songs chart. Notably, they’re six of the first seven songs on the set chronologically, offering yet more evidence that the most-streamed songs appear earliest on an album. Chart Beat first noticed that consumer behavior is tied to album sequencing when the most-streamed songs from Mumford & Sons’ “Babel,” upon its arrival last year, closely mirrored the set’s track order.
– And, it’s a case of all in the (Carter) family, as “Part II (On the Run)” enters the Hot 100 at No. 81. Featuring Jay-Z’s wife, Beyonce, the song is the pair’s fifth collaboration to reach the chart and first since 2006. (Ten years ago this week, they were amid an eight-week reign with “Crazy in Love,” their lone co-billed No. 1.) As they didn’t marry until 2008, it’s, thus, their first Hot 100 hit as husband-and-wife. As Chart Beat reader Pablo Nelson of Berkeley, Calif., reminds us, Jay-Z has charted with his wife and daughter: “Glory,” featuring B.I.C. – aka, Blue Ivy Carter – rose to No. 63 on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs last year. It features the then-newborn’s cries and coos, making her the youngest artist ever to appear on a Billboard chart.
AN ALTERNATIVE VOICE: Lorde was too young to experience the late ’90s all-female Lilith Fair tour festivals herself, but her debut U.S. hit achieves an honor not earned since that era.
As “Royals” ascends 90-74 on the Hot 100, the 16-year-old New Zealander’s introductory track jumps 13-9 on the Alternative Songs radio airplay chart. Incredibly, the track marks the first appearance in the tally’s top 10 by a solo female sporting lead billing since Fiona Apple’s “Criminal” spent its 11th and final week in the top tier, after reaching No. 4, the week of Nov. 15, 1997. (Another way to frame how long ago that was? Lorde turned a year old the following day).
As “Royals” serves as Lorde’s first Alternative Songs chart entry, she’s the first lead solo female to reach the top 10 in a maiden chart visit since Meredith Brooks, whose “Bitch” rose to No. 4 the week of May 24, 1997.
While Lorde stakes a claim for the fairer sex on Alternative Songs, women’s voices haven’t been entirely absent from the chart’s upper ranks in the last decade-and-a-half. Such female-fronted groups as Evanescence (led by Amy Lee), Florence + the Machine (Florence Welch) and Paramore (Hayley Williams) have logged top 10s. Female soloists have also appeared as featured acts on such hits as fun.’s “We Are Young” (Janelle Monae) and Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used to Know” (Kimbra), while bands like Of Monsters and Men have mixed male and female vocals on their Alternative Songs top 10s.
DRAGONS’ FIRE: Imagine Dragons’ aptly titled “Radioactive” logs a 20th week at No. 1 on Rock Airplay, tying the record for the longest reign dating to the chart’s June 20, 2009, launch. Foo Fighters’ “Rope” first led for 20 weeks, beginning with its debut frame the week of March 12, 2011.
“Radioactive” ranks at No. 4 on the Hot 100 in its 46th week after reaching a No. 3 highpoint earlier this month.
EMBARRASSMENT OF RICHES: Bruno Mars continues his perfect streak of reaching the Pop Songs airplay chart top 10, as “Treasure” lifts 11-10.
The song is Mars’ 11th top 10 in as many appearances, extending his record for the most career-opening top 10s in the tally’s 20-year archives.
PARTY MIX: R&B songstress Ciara claims her first Dance/Club Play Songs No. 1, as “Body Party” jumps 3-1. Her prior single “Sorry” peaked at No. 6 in February.
At the chart’s opposite end, disco legend Sylvester, who passed away at age 41 in 1988, graces the chart again thanks to a remixed version of his No. 1 1978 club classic “You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real) 2013” (No. 50). He had last appeared on the ranking in 1987.
WONDER-FUL: Josh Groban brings a beloved R&B ballad to Adult Contemporary, as his cover of Stevie Wonder’s “I Believe (When I Fall in Love It Will Be Forever)” debuts at No. 30. The track is the second single from Groban’s album “All That Echoes,” following the No. 13-peaking “Brave.”
The song originally appeared on Wonder’s iconic 1972 set “Talking Book,” which yielded the Hot 100 No. 1s “Superstition” and “You Are the Sunshine of My Life.” Wonder performed all the vocals and instruments on his recording.
While Wonder’s version was not released as a single, “Believe” has been covered numerous times. Among its interpretations is George Michael’s, which served as the B-side to his 1992 Hot 100 No. 1 “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me” with Elton John.