With college basketball’s March Madness swinging into high gear, how about sweet feats by 16 acts – in no particular seeding – from this week’s Billboard charts?
“The Fame” celebrates its 100th non-consecutive week at No. 1 on Dance/Electronic Albums. With the chart having launched June 30, 2001, “The Fame” has reigned for 20% of the list’s 509-week history. The set first reached summit the week of Nov. 15, 2008.
Gnarls Barkley‘s “St. Elsewhere” ranks second with 39 weeks atop the chart in 2006-07.
On the Billboard Hot 100, Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” spends a fifth week – its entire chart life – at No. 1. The song is the first to debut at the apex and remain in charge for at least five frames since Elton John‘s “Candle in the Wind”/”Something About the Way You Look Tonight” spent its first 14 weeks at No. 1 in 1997-98.
Although “Firework” falls out of the Hot 100’s top 10 (10-14), “E.T.,” featuring Kanye West, flies 8-3 as the chart’s Digital Gainer. Perry has now linked 44 consecutive weeks with at least one title in the top 10, the Hot 100’s second-longest streak. She pushes closer to Ace of Base‘s record 48-week uninterrupted stretch, accomplished with “All That She Wants,” “The Sign” and “Don’t Turn Around” in 1993-94.
The troupe – and newly-crowned winners at Regionals – collects its ninth consecutive Billboard 200 top 10 – its entire output – as “Glee: The Music, Season Two: Volume 5” opens at No. 3. The set continues the ensemble’s perfect No. 1 attendance record on the Soundtracks chart, where the cast is nine-for-nine in going to the head of the class.
On the Hot 100, the “Glee” singers debut with four songs, extending their record to 124 total entries, now 16 ahead of Elvis Presley‘s 108. With a cover of Prince‘s 1986 leader “Kiss” among this week’s haul, the cast has returned 39 former No. 1s to the survey.
The band becomes the first act to post Alternative Songs No. 1s in the ’90s, ’00s and ’10s, as “Rope” rises 2-1. With eight No. 1s, Foo Fighters tie U2 for fourth-most leaders in the chart’s history.
The fellow alternative format cornerstones register their 10th top 10 on the Billboard 200, as “Collapse Into Now” debuts at No. 5. Dating to its first week in the top tier (Nov. 7, 1987), when “Document,” fueled by the band’s first Hot 100 top 10, “The One I Love,” rose 12-10, R.E.M. trails only Dave Matthews Band (11) for most top 10 sets among rock acts. Bon Jovi, Korn and U2 also boast 10 top 10s each in that span.
After charting its first title on Country Songs since 2002 six weeks ago, its cover of Waylon Jennings’ “Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way?,” Alabama returns as a featured artist on Brad Paisley‘s “Old Alabama” at No. 44. The new song is Alabama’s 75th entry, extending the band’s record for most appearances among groups in the chart’s 67-year history. Alabama first graced the list the week of July 23, 1977.
Beyond its 75 Country Songs entries, 32 of which reached No. 1, Alabama provided backing vocals on Lionel Richie‘s No. 10-peaking “Deep River Woman” in 1987 and lead singer Randy Owen added two solo singles in 2008.
The singer registers her second No. 1 on Country Albums with “Stronger.” She started atop the chart with “Real Fine Place” the week of Oct. 22, 2005. Along with lead single “A Little Bit Stronger,” the Greatest Gainer on Country Songs (14-13), the new set sports a cover of Rod Stewart‘s 1989 No. 4 Hot 100 pop hit “My Heart Can’t Tell You No.”
The country icon collects his 20th top 40 album on the Billboard 200, as “The Love of God” debuts at No. 31. The set represents Rogers’ second placement on the Christian Albums chart, where it launches at No. 2; “The Gift” spent four weeks at No. 1 in 1996-97.
The Piano Man opens atop Music Video Sales with his first No. 1, “Live at Shea Stadium: The Concert.” The New York Mets’ former home field provided more of a chart advantage than that of the crosstown franchise: Joel’s “Live at Yankee Stadium” peaked at No. 15 in 1990. (Joel first appeared on the list dated Oct. 25, 1986 – the night of “Game Six,” details of which this Boston Red Sox fan will not elaborate on).
While “I Should Be So Lucky” (No. 10) introduced her to Dance/Club Play Songs in 1988, the Australian superstar didn’t rule the ranking until “Can’t Get You Out My Head” in 2002. Minogue tallies her seventh No. 1, and fourth in-a-row, as Taio Cruz‘s “Higher,” on which she guests with Travie McCoy, lifts 2-1. The song is Cruz’s second Dance/Club Play Songs leader and McCoy’s first.
Mary J. Blige
The singer celebrates her 20th consecutive year charting at least one title on R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, as “Someone to Love Me (Naked),” featuring Diddy and Lil Wayne, debuts at No. 99. Since she first arrived the week of May 2, 1992, with her debut No. 1 “You Remind Me,” Blige’s 63 chart entries are the most among women. Among all artists, she trails only Jay-Z (99), R. Kelly (85) and Lil Wayne (76) in that span.
“Rolling in the Deep” dominates the Triple A adult alternative airplay chart for a seventh week, matching Sheryl Crow‘s “Soak Up the Sun” (2002) and Natalie Merchant‘s “Kind & Generous” (1998) for third-longest command by a female soloist. Sarah McLachlan‘s “Building a Mystery” leads with 10 weeks at No. 1 (1997), followed by Tracy Chapman‘s “Telling Stories (There Is Fiction in the Space Between)” (eight, 2000). U2’s “Beautiful Day” logged the chart’s longest reign (16 weeks, 2000-01) among all acts.
Charting on the Active Rock airplay survey since 2004, Christian rock quartet Skillet enjoys its first No. 1, as “Awake and Alive” roars 4-1. The song is the first of the chart’s 143 No. 1s, dating to the list’s May 31, 1997, launch, to feature female vocals, as Jen Ledger sings with the band’s John Cooper on the song.
Tenth Avenue North
The band likewise scores its first No. 1 on Christian Songs, as “You Are More” ascends 2-1. The power ballad “By Your Side” granted the group its previous highest peak (No. 2, 2009).
Having your own TV show doesn’t hurt. The host of Comedy Central’s “Tosh.O” makes his first appearance on the Billboard 200, as the stand-up comedy set “Happy Thoughts” bows at No. 27. By launching at No. 1 on Comedy Albums, Tosh bests the No. 7 peak of his lone prior charted album, 2005’s “True Stories I Made Up.”
The Yeshiva University band that previously turned Taio Cruz’s “Dyamite” into the Chanukah-themed “Candlelight,” which topped Comedy Digital Songs in December, returns to the chart with “The Purim Song” at No. 10. The track borrows the melody – and underdog determination motif – of P!nk‘s “Raise Your Glass.”