Tag Archives: NSYNC

ADAM’S TOP 40 FLASHBACK: May 27, 2001

This countdown really pops.

This countdown really pops.

It is time for yet another trip back into the archives on Adam’s Top 40 Flashback! Every Saturday, the day before my latest top 40 goes up for the week, I’ll be featuring a past countdown straight from chart files of Adam’s Top 40. They’re all here — the hit songs, the songs that flopped, and the songs that may be a little embarrassing to reflect on. Alright, let’s get a move on back to the good ol’ elementary school days (fifth grade!) and check out my favorite songs from this week in 2001…

Debuts:
40. NIKKA COSTA, “Like A Feather”
36. LFO, “Every Other Time”
35. CRAIG DAVID, “Fill Me In”
33. JANET JACKSON, “Someone To Call My Lover”

Biggest Mover(s):
SUGAR RAY, “When It’s Over” (25-16, nine spots)

10. JENNIFER LOPEZ, “Play” (down 2)
Album: J. Lo (2001, Epic Records)
Peak: #2 for three weeks

09. MANDY MOORE, “In My Pocket” (up 4)
Album: Mandy Moore (2001, Epic Records)
Peak: #5 for two weeks

08. *NSYNC, “Pop” (up 8)
Album: Celebrity (2001, Jive/Zomba Records)
Peak: #1 for two weeks

07. MADONNA, “What It Feels Like For A Girl” (steady, second week)
Album: Music (2000, Maverick/WBR Records)
Peak: #7 for two weeks

06. MATCHBOX TWENTY, “Mad Season” (down 2)
Album: Mad Season (2000, Lava/Atlantic Records)
Peak: #4

05. EDEN’S CRUSH, “Get Over Yourself” (down 3)
Album: Popstars (2001, 143/London-Sire Records)
Peak: #2 for two weeks

04. JESSICA SIMPSON, “Irresistible” (up 2)
Album: Irresistible (2001, Columbia Records)
Peak: #2

03. BACKSTREET BOYS, “More Than That” (up 2)
Album: Black & Blue (2000, Jive/Zomba Records)
Peak: #1 for one week

02. O-TOWN, “All Or Nothing” (up 1)
Album: O-Town (2001, J Records)
Peak: #1 for one week

01. CHRISTINA AGUILERA/LIL’ KIM/MYA/PINK, “Lady Marmalade” (steady, fifth week)
Album: Moulin Rouge! Music From Baz Luhrmann’s Film (2001, Interscope Records)
Peak: #1 for five weeks

Check back next Saturday for another Adam’s Top 40 Flashback countdown and don’t forget to follow the blog by using the tab below or find PGTC on social media by clicking the “Get Social!” tab at the top of the page.

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ADAM’S TOP 40 FLASHBACK: November 5, 2000

Showing some strength.

Showing some strength.

It is time for yet another trip back into the archives on Adam’s Top 40 Flashback! Every Saturday, the day before my latest top 40 goes up for the week, I’ll be featuring a past countdown straight from chart files of Adam’s Top 40. They’re all here — the hit songs, the songs that flopped, and the songs that may be a little embarrassing to reflect on. Alright, let’s get a move on all the way back to fifth grade (yikes!) and revisit the top songs from this week in 2000…

Debuts:
40. SADE, “By Your Side”
38. TONI BRAXTON, “Spanish Guitar”
37. FUEL, “Hemorrhage (In My Hands)”
35. O-TOWN, “Liquid Dreams”

Biggest Mover(s):
SHAGGY featuring RIKROK, “It Wasn’t Me” (22-14, eight spots)

10. DIDO, “Here With Me” (down 1)
Album: No Angel (2000, Arista Records)
Peak: #9

09. NINE DAYS, “If I Am” (up 2)
Album: The Madding Crowd (2000, 550 Music)
Peak: #8 for two weeks

08. VITAMIN C, “The Itch” (up 5)
Album: More (2001, Elektra Records)
Peak: #5

07. BRITNEY SPEARS, “Stronger” (up 7)
Album: Oops!… I Did It Again (2000, Jive Records)
Peak: #2 for four weeks

06. MATCHBOX TWENTY, “If You’re Gone” (up 1)
Album: Mad Season (2000, Lava/Atlantic Records)
Peak: #6 for two weeks

05. *NSYNC, “This I Promise You” (down 3)
Album: No Strings Attached (2000, Jive Records)
Peak: #2 for two weeks

04. DREAM, “He Loves U Not” (steady, third week)
Album: It Was All A Dream (2001, Bad Boy Entertainment/Universal Records)
Peak: #4 for three weeks

03. DESTINY’S CHILD, “Independent Women, Part I” (up 2)
Album: Charlie’s Angels: Music From The Motion Picture (2000, Columbia Records) and Survivor (2001, Columbia Records)
Peak: #1 for four weeks

02. BACKSTREET BOYS, “Shape Of My Heart” (up 1)
Album: Black & Blue (2000, Jive Records)
Peak: #2 for three weeks

01. RICKY MARTIN, “She Bangs” (steady, fourth week)
Album: Sound Loaded (2000, Columbia Records)
Peak: #1 for four weeks

Check back next Saturday for another Adam’s Top 40 Flashback countdown and don’t forget to follow the blog by using the tab below or find PGTC on social media by clicking the “Get Social!” tab at the top of the page.

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ADAM’S TOP 40 FLASHBACK: September 12, 1999 (15th Anniversary Edition)

Cherishing the first chart ever.

Cherishing the first chart ever.

After a little time off, we’re back with another round of way back wonders on Adam’s Top 40 Flashback! Every Saturday, the day before my new top 40 goes up for the week, I’ll be featuring a past countdown straight from chart files of Adam’s Top 40. They’re all here — the hit songs, the songs that flopped, and the songs that may be a little embarrassing to reflect on.

This is a very special edition of the Flashback as it marks the fifteenth anniversary of my first official top 40 chart. Back in the day, I would write the chart down with pen and paper as I listened to Kiss 108 in Boston or American Top 40 early on Sunday morning. Things have definitely changed since then… never did I think I would still be ranking my favorites weekly fifteen years after I first began my chart. Obviously, it’s been an amazing run that will continue onward. However, let’s go back once more to that very first top ten from this week in 1999:

10. *NSYNC featuring GLORIA ESTEFAN, “Music Of My Heart”
Album: Music Of The Heart: The Album (1999, Sony Music Soundtrax/Epic Records)
Chart History: Though this was Estefan’s only single to reach my top 40, the Florida quintet would go onto four #1 songs between 2000 and 2002. JC Chasez and Justin Timberlake both went top ten as solo acts.

09. ENRIQUE IGLESIAS, “Bailamos”
Album: Enrique and Music Inspired By The Motion Picture Wild Wild West (1999, Interscope Records)
Chart History: Four singles in total from Iglesias’s debut English effort climbed aboard my chart, though his biggest hit to date remains the 2001 single “Hero”, which made it to #1. He has not charted since the fall of 2011.

08. LOU BEGA, “Mambo No. 5 (A Little Bit Of…)”
Album: A Little Bit Of Mambo (1999, RCA Records)
Chart History: After the success of “Mambo”, followup “Tricky Tricky” also made my top ten. He’s not been top 40 since that song, though he’s had some minor success in parts of Europe with a handful of other single releases.

07. JENNIFER LOPEZ, “If You Had My Love”
Album: On The 6 (1999, WORK Group)
Chart History: Lopez was a mainstay on my top 40 for several years at the beginning; “Love Don’t Cost A Thing” remains her sole #1. Despite a well-received comeback a few years back, 2005’s “Get Right” was her last single to chart.

06. SUGAR RAY, “Someday”
Album: 14:59 (1999, Lava/Atlantic Records)
Chart History: The California group had a few other big singles after their summer classic. 2001’s “When It’s Over” gave them their highest peak to date, climbing up into the #2 spot. Their last top 40 came in 2005 with “Shot Of Laughter”.

05. TAL BACHMAN, “She’s So High”
Album: Tal Bachman (1999, Columbia Records)
Chart History: Bachman never repeated the crazy success of “High” in the U.S. nor in his native Canada, but a few singles were released after it, including the minor Hot AC entry “If You Sleep” in the spring of 2000. “Sleep” bubbled under my top 40 around then.

04. GOO GOO DOLLS, “Black Balloon”
Album: Dizzy Up The Girl (1998, Warner Bros. Records)
Chart History: Still huge on the charts at that point, the Dolls continued to break my top ten with “Broadway” and “Here Is Gone”, which went to #1 in 2002. A series of Hot AC hits have kept them around on my top 40 as recently as last year, going to #18 with “Rebel Beat”.

03. SMASH MOUTH, “All Star”
Album: Astro Lounge (1999, Interscope Records)
Chart History: It was an anthem that lit up the #1 spot at both CHR and Hot AC radio and even rose to #2 on Alternative radio. It’s been quite a while since the format’s spun them. Their cover of “I’m A Believer” spent four weeks at #1 on my survey in 2001. They last charted with “So Insane” in 2006.

02. 98 DEGREES, “I Do (Cherish You)”
Album: 98 Degrees and Rising (1998, Motown Records) and Notting Hill: Music From The Motion Picture (1999, Universal Records)
Chart History: Out of all the boy bands on my first top 40, this one ranked the highest, charting with a song that was first a hit on the Country survey a year prior for Mark Wills. The quartet’s version was heard across multiple formats and ties their highest peak on my chart with “Give Me Just One Night (Una Noche)”, a #2 in 2000.

01. CHRISTINA AGUILERA, “Genie In A Bottle”
Album: Christina Aguilera (1999, RCA Records)
Chart History: It’s a perfect piece of pop; what else can you say about “Genie”? It launched Aguilera into superstar status and gave her a string of hits on my top 40, including the #1 songs “Come On Over Baby (All I Want Is You)” in 2000 and “Beautiful” in 2003. Though the glory days are long behind her, she still goes top 40 from time to time as a featured act.

Check back next Saturday for another Adam’s Top 40 Flashback countdown and don’t forget to follow the blog by using the tab below or find PGTC on social media by clicking the “Get Social!” tab at the top of the page.

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ADAM’S TOP 40 FLASHBACK: March 17, 2002

This chart (tastes so sweet.)

This chart (tastes so sweet.)

Welcome back for another edition of Adam’s Top 40 Flashback! Every Saturday, the day before my new top 40 goes up for the week, I’ll be featuring a past countdown straight from chart files of Adam’s Top 40. They’re all here — the hit songs, the songs that flopped, and the songs that may be a little embarrassing to reflect on. By March of sixth grade, we were all itching to get out and head off to middle school. It was just a few months away. Meanwhile, here’s a look at my top 40 from March 17, 2002:

Debuts:
40. LENNY KRAVITZ, “Stillness Of Heart”
39. P. DIDDY featuring USHER and LOON, “I Need A Girl (Part 1)”
34. NO DOUBT, “Hella Good”
33. NICKELBACK, “Too Bad”

Biggest Mover:
ALICIA KEYS, “How Come You Don’t Call Me?” (40-27) (13 spots)

10. SHAKIRA, “Underneath Your Clothes”
After shaking her hips and rolling around in the mud until “Whenever, Wherever” became a worldwide hit and her debut English one as well, our favorite Columbian singer slowed it down a bit for her followup single. Luckily, it was also pretty big, going top ten on the Hot 100 and my own chart. Today, you’ll find her on The Voice and promoting her new album.

09. NELLY FURTADO, “…On The Radio (Remember The Days)”
Remember the days when Furtado ruled the airwaves? The performer’s 2000 debut, Whoa, Nelly! went 2x Platinum in the U.S. alone. After two pretty big hits here, “Radio” failed to secure much airplay, and missed the Hot 100 completely. Her next era, 2003’s Folklore, was severely under-appreciated worldwide, but became her biggest to date on my survey.

08. MICHELLE BRANCH, “All You Wanted”
18-year-old Branch became the newest superstar on Madonna‘s Maverick Records in the summer of 2001 with her top ten CHR and Hot AC single “Everywhere”, but “Wanted” did even better at both formats during this spring season. She last made my chart in 2011 with “Loud Music” and has been struggling to release an album, West Coast Time, since then.

07. KYLIE MINOGUE, “Can’t Get You Out Of My Head”
After five weeks at #1 on my chart, the U.S. comeback smash for this lovely lady was slowly falling down my top ten. It made waves across the world, and lifted Fever to Platinum status here. Minogue’s latest album is Kiss Me Once, in stores on Tuesday. First single “Into The Blue” looks to break the top 20 in the U.K., her biggest hit there in nearly four years.

06. ENRIQUE IGLESIAS, “Escape”
In 2002, Iglesias still had his trademark mole and could still deliver the hits on his own, like this track from his album of the same name. You may remember the video in which tennis star Anna Kournikova played his lover, which turned into a real-life thing. He’s still nursing the damage from three consecutive CHR radio flops from his latest effort, Sex + Love.

05. *NSYNC (featuring NELLY), “Girlfriend”
Whether you enjoyed the rap remix of this or not, it’s clear that it helped the boy band garner their third big single from the album Celebrity and showcased a more urban side to them. Unfortunately, it would also be their last appearance on the Hot 100. The five went on a “hiatus” shortly after the run for this and the subsequent PopOdyssey Tour wrapped up.

04. ALANIS MORISSETTE, “Hands Clean”
Under Rug Swept was the name of this singer and songwriter’s album at the time, but someone must’ve left the broom in the closet because it entered at #1 on the Billboard 200. “Hands” performed the best from it, though followup “Precious Illusions” also entered my chart. Morissette last made it on during the summer of 2012 with “Guardian”, peaking at #17.

03. PINK, “Don’t Let Me Get Me”
When in doubt, call out the head of your label and a fellow pop star and you may just get yourself a huge song. L.A. Reid and Britney Spears may have been her targets, but so was the coveted top spot. This was her second #1 following her contribution to 2001’s massive “Lady Marmalade” from the film Moulin Rouge. She recently performed at The Oscars.

02. IIO, “Rapture (Tastes So Sweet)”
When I was 12, I just wanted to dance… I think. Once again, the U.S. was late to the party with this global dance hit, and it peaked just outside the top 40 on the Hot 100. However, it was hot in the clubs and on my chart, where it was holding at its peak. It was the biggest single on my chart for the New York duo of Markus Moser and Nadia Ali, who left in 2005.

01. DARREN HAYES, “Insatiable”
From Savage Garden to his solo material, I’ve always loved Hayes’s music; he could sing the phone book and I would consider charting it. (Maybe that’s going a little too far.) It was this week in 2002 that “Insatiable” was atop my chart for a fifth frame as it also graced the AC and CHR radio surveys. Parent album Spin was one of my favorites that year. The 41-year-old Brisbane born performer last ranked on my top 40 in 2012 with “Stupid Mistake”, which got as high as #9.

Check back next Saturday for another Adam’s Top 40 Flashback and don’t forget to follow the blog by using the tab below or find PGTC on social media by clicking the “Get Social!” tab at the top of the page.

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ADAM’S TOP 40 FLASHBACK: January 16, 2000

Da ba dee, da ba "Bye".

Da ba dee, da ba “Bye”.

Welcome back for another edition of Adam’s Top 40 Flashback! Every Saturday, the day before my new top 40 goes up for the week, I’ll be featuring a past countdown straight from chart files of Adam’s Top 40. They’re all here — the hit songs, the songs that flopped, and the songs that may be a little embarrassing to reflect on. Second half of fourth grade meant that the Projects Fair was on the horizon; I’ll have you know that I had a fabulous report on firefighters. It was fun. Meanwhile, here’s a look at my top 40 from January 16, 2000:

Debuts:
40. SPLENDER, “I Think God Can Explain”
37. KID ROCK, “Only God Knows Why”
20. *NSYNC, “Bye Bye Bye”

Biggest Mover:
S CLUB 7, “Bring It All Back” (36-26) (10 spots)

10. SUGAR RAY, “Falls Apart (Run Away)”
We start off the top ten with this track from the California band and their third hit (fourth single overall) from their 14:59 era. “Falls” was produced by David Kahne and co-written by he and the group. It may not have had the longest shelf life on the charts, but it did make an impact and drove its parent album sales to over 3 million copies in the U.S. alone. They last made my top 40 in 2005.

09. SMASH MOUTH, “Then The Morning Comes”
Coming off a big #1 on the pop chart, “All Star”, Steve Harwell and the boys had to follow up their summer anthem with this chilled-out track just in time for fall and winter. Lifted from Astro Lounge, their only top ten album on the Billboard 200, the song rose to #11 on the Hot 100 and cracked the top 5 at CHR radio. Sadly, night had to fall on “Morning” and the band’s success diminished after it.

08. BLINK 182, “All The Small Things”
I was one of the many who had a chuckle or two when the music video for this used to air on Total Request Live, parodying recent clips at the time from the Backstreet Boys, Britney Spears and more. Plus, who can’t resist a good “na na na na” chorus? Simple, yet effective. “Small” remains their trio’s largest single to reach my chart, which they last entered in 2004 with the ballad “I Miss You”.

07. FILTER, “Take A Picture”
Hey man, nice song. The rockers out of Ohio burst onto the scene in 1995, but it wasn’t until 1999’s Title Of Record that they reached their commercial peak with this top 5 Alternative record. It was inspired by frontman Richard Patrick’s drunken adventures on a plane trip. This would be their only song to reach my chart, though they’re still together and reached the rock charts as recently as 2013.

06. ENRIQUE IGLESIAS, “The Rhythm Divine”
The Latin explosion in 1999 brought us a lot of great new acts and Iglesias was one of them with his English breakthough hit, “Bailamos”. This was the next release, which wasn’t nearly as big, but still made the top ten on my chart. The singer is still at work on his next album, another bilingual effort. Three English singles have been issued from it so far; the most recent is “I’m A Freak”, with Pitbull.

05. CELINE DION, “That’s The Way It Is”
Representing for Canada, Dion is the only performer from the Great White North in the week’s top ten. The song was co-written by Max Martin, which was unusual at the time because he was known for his work with teen pop acts. However, “Way” was yet another hit for the diva and helped her first greatest hits compilation, All The Way… A Decade Of Song, rise to #1. She last went top 40 in 2008.

04. SAVAGE GARDEN, “I Knew I Loved You”
It led the pop radio chart for five weeks and ranked on the Adult Contemporary for what seemed like an eternity; this was one big song you heard everywhere back in the day. It was also coming off a run atop my own list. The Australian duo would rank two other singles on my chart, “Crash And Burn” and “Affirmation”, before splitting in 2001. Darren Hayes charted as a solo act beginning in 2002.

03. BACKSTREET BOYS, “Show Me The Meaning Of Being Lonely”
There was about to be a boy band battle brewing on the survey with the high debut of *NSYNC‘s “Bye Bye Bye” and this quickly rising ballad, which was up to #3 after just six weeks on the chart. “Lonely” had a pretty dramatic, but memorable video, one that I remember seeing quite a lot on television. This would eventually hit #1 later that month before it was knocked out by “Bye” in February.

02. CHRISTINA AGUILERA, “What A Girl Wants”
Long before the Lotus rose and the Bionic woman claimed that she wasn’t herself on that particular night, Aguilera was deep in the heart of her debut era and continuing to shine with this light and fun single. Certified Gold, it went to #1 on the Hot 100 for two weeks, though it was kept out of the top spot on my own chart. She would rack up another two big singles from her self-titled album in 2000.

01. EIFFEL 65, “Blue (Da Ba Dee)”
In 1992, three friends based in Turin, Italy began their ride to a huge worldwide hit, a novelty song about a man stuck in a “blue world” emotionally and physically. It was addictive, and for three weeks in January 2000, it ruled my chart. Unfortunately, the song wore out quickly, and after a minor followup in “Move Your Body” (which did much better in Europe), their days on the U.S. scene were done. After two more moderately successful albums in their homeland, they broke up, but reformed in 2012 to tour.

Check back next Saturday for another Adam’s Top 40 Flashback and don’t forget to follow the blog by using the tab below or find PGTC on social media by clicking the “Get Social!” tab at the top of the page.

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TOP TEN: All Synced Up

It's gonna be them.

It’s gonna be them.

They were one of the biggest boy bands of the late 90’s and early 00’s, selling millions of records and playing to sold out dates around the world. They had t-shirts, bedspreads, lunch boxes… all the merchandise under the sun. They also managed to be pitted against the Backstreet Boys in the biggest boy band rivalry of all-time. Then, in 2002, the boys took a hiatus, with Justin Timberlake and J.C. Chasez pursuing solo efforts, and although there’s always been speculation that *NSYNC will reunite, there hasn’t been a rumor as loud as the one recently that the band will be back together and performing at the MTV Video Music Awards this Sunday. Cue the screaming girls! Before they (potentially but probably) hit the stage, let’s do a rundown of my favorite songs from the band, both singles and album tracks:

10. “MERRY CHRISTMAS, HAPPY HOLIDAYS”
Home For Christmas / 1998

While you were waiting for Santa Claus to sneak the presents under the tree, this original song from their holiday-themed album was a favorite both on MTV’s Total Request Live and on all-holiday music radio stations.

09. “I WANT YOU BACK”
*NSYNC / 1998

Ah, yes, the one the started it off for the boys here in the States. The cool pop track, co-written by Max Martin, caught on very quickly at radio, going to #5 on the pop airwaves, while cruising up to #13 on the Hot 100.

08. “MUSIC OF MY HEART” (with Gloria Estefan)
Original Soundtrack to Music Of The Heart / 1999

This is the band’s only collaboration on the list, a duet with Estefan. She also starred in the film with Angela Bassett and Meryl Streep. Due to strong physical sales, “Heart” went to #2 on the Hot 100 in the fall of 1999.

07. “HERE WE GO”
*NSYNC / 1998

Although never released as a single in the U.S., “Go” was a top ten success in Austria and Germany and went to #5 on the Swiss Singles Chart. It was also promoted in conjunction with the 1998 Disney film A Bug’s Life.

06. “I DRIVE MYSELF CRAZY”
*NSYNC / 1999

Originally titled “Thinking Of You”, this was the fourth U.S. single from *NSYNC. Unfortunately, they “made a mistake” releasing two ballads in a row; “Crazy” topped out at #12 on CHR radio and #67 on the Hot 100.

05. “TELL ME, TELL ME… BABY”
Celebrity / 2001

This is the highest non-single on the list, although one of the local stations sold it as the “second single” from Celebrity before it was officially announced as “Gone”. It’s as glossy as they come, fusing pop with dance.

04. “IT’S GONNA BE ME”
No Strings Attached / 2000

I’m sure you remember the video where they appeared as toy dolls, or at least for the “It’s gonna be May” meme that goes around every year. “Gonna” spent six weeks at #1 at CHR radio and also topped the Hot 100.

03. “TEARIN’ UP MY HEART”
*NSYNC / 1998

This was the first song I ever heard of theirs, mainly from seeing the video so much on the now defunct Fox Family Countdown. It’s a classic pop record. It tore up the radio charts too, going to #5 in the fall of 1998.

02. “POP”
Celebrity / 2001

This one came in with a bang and crashed just as quickly, which was too bad because it’s just an excellent song. Plus, member Lance Bass named his SiriusXM show after it, Dirty Pop. This landed at #5 on CHR radio.

01. “BYE BYE BYE”
No Strings Attached / 2000

Call it the “Holy Grail” of *NSYNC singles (I see what you did there, Adam) but it was ultimately the song that built the hype up that lead No Strings Attached to a debut week of over 2.4 million copies sold in the U.S. alone. I certainly couldn’t wait for it, and for a time, I knew most of the moves in the music video. I’ll have to brush off my steps and see how I can do. “Bye” went to #1 for ten weeks at CHR and top ten on the Hot 100.

For more on *NSYNC and everything ‘n the pop atmosphere, follow the blog below or hit the “Get Social!” tab to find out how you can connect with PGTC on social media. Also, don’t forget to watch the MTV Video Music Awards this Sunday at 9PM Eastern to see if the rumors are true!

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Leaders Of The Club: The Mouseketeers Go Mainstream (Again)

Those Disney darlings.

Those Disney darlings.

20 years ago, three tweens auditioned for the cast of The Mickey Mouse Club and from then on, music history would never be the same. Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera and Justin Timberlake rose to the top of the charts in the heat of the late 90’s bubblegum pop explosion with hit albums and singles, eventually branching out into reality television, film and other endeavors. I was 3 in 1993 when the trio first made their mark on the Club; the show was done the next year (though I saw it in repeats) and I’m betting a lot of people didn’t think those performers would do anything substantial. Heck, The Party, the quintet formed from cast members in the early 90’s, had only one top-40 hit and they were done. No big deal there.

Something was different with Aguilera, Spears and Timberlake. The latter two joined groups; one flopped and one flourished. I think you know which one is which. The two ladies then pursued solo careers, all three became superstars, etc. That was then. I’m now 23, and all three of them are top ten on iTunes’ top-selling songs chart, the first time that this has likely ever happened, or at least one of the first. As of the early morning, Timberlake’s “Suit & Tie” (featuring Jay-Z) stands at #5, Aguilera’s feature on Pitbull‘s “Feel This Moment” is holding down #8, and “Scream & Shout” by will.i.am and Spears is down to #9.

At CHR radio, “Moment” is the only one to not be within the top ten, but its large gains should put it there soon. (It’s currently #16; “Scream” is #4 and “Suit” is #10.) Since I like to focus on the radio aspect of the industry, I thought it would be interesting to point out the last time that all three singers were simultaneously in the top 40 and in the top 10 together on the format. Trust me, it’s been a while. Each singer has had their shares of ups and downs over the years, but this unification of the three so high on the charts nearly 15 years after each singer debuted at radio is certainly something to be celebrated.

According to the archives of Mediabase 24/7 data, this is the last published chart that all three singers appeared in together:

Mediabase CHR Chart – January 18, 2009
#04: Britney Spears“Womanizer”
#31: T.I. featuring Justin Timberlake“Dead And Gone”
#40: Christina Aguilera“Keeps Gettin’ Better”

In this example, Spears was on the decline after peaking at #1 for two weeks in late December and early January. “Dead” was in its second week in the top 40. The collaboration with T.I. would eventually peak at #4 in April. Aguilera’s “Better” quickly peaked at #11 for two non-consecutive weeks in late October and early November before quickly falling, though it spent several weeks in the 30’s (and this last week at #40) thanks to year-end chart airplay. All three would make the top 40 several times between then and their current songs, with Aguilera accumulating the last singles (2), followed by Timberlake (3; all featured appearances) and then Spears with 8. Often times, two of them would be in the top 40 at the same time, but nothing panned out between the three until now.

If you’re looking for the last survey where all three singers appeared as main-credited acts, then we’ll need to travel back even further to 2003:

Radio & Records CHR Chart – November 21, 2003
#11: Britney Spears featuring Madonna“Me Against The Music”
#15: Christina Aguilera featuring Lil’ Kim“Can’t Hold Us Down”
#40: Justin Timberlake“Señorita”

Spears once again comes in highest on this survey with her first single from In The Zone. It was at its peak, though it hit the #10 spot unofficially at midweek. Next release “Toxic” would return her to the top after a four-year absence. Aguilera’s song was trending downward after spending a month at #3 starting in mid-September. It was the fourth single from Stripped, the biggest of which was “Beautiful”, her fourth and last #1 on the CHR chart to date. This was the last week in the top 40 for “Señorita”, probably the least remembered release from Justified. It too was a fourth single, and spent two weeks at #5 in September. I wasn’t really a fan of it back in the day, though I’ve learned to like it over the years. He largely remained absent from the charts until 2006, then Spears had zero charting singles between late 2004 and late 2007, and Aguilera became really hit or miss after the Back To Basics era. In short, things didn’t match up until the beginning of 2009. You see how rarely these things happen.

Now, for the big question. When was the last time these three all appeared in the top ten together? Wait for it…

Radio & Records CHR Chart – June 16, 2000
#01: Britney Spears“Oops! I Did It Again”
#02: *NSYNC“It’s Gonna Be Me”
#09: Christina Aguilera“I Turn To You”

“You’re kidding me!” Nope, our three Mouseketeers haven’t been in the top ten together on the pop chart since the summer of 2000, nearly thirteen years. I remember it well. Spears was spending her last of three weeks at #1 with “Oops!” before Timberlake and his group would take over the #1 spot for six weeks. Both acts were riding high on albums that sold north of one million copies in their first week, with *NSYNC‘s No Strings Attached pulling in a record 2.4 million copies in sales during its first seven days on shelves. (Let’s not forget that a fourth member of the Club, JC Chasez, was also in the group.) Aguilera didn’t exactly see the same numbers, but her debut album put four singles into the top ten, “Turn” being her third. It peaked at #6 a few weeks earlier.

Do you feel old yet? I do. Those darn chart retrospectives. Hope you’ve enjoyed this look back in time and congratulations to Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera and Justin Timberlake for lasting this long on the charts, together for what could be the last time. M-I-C… see you real soon with more chart stories. (Follow me on Twitter: @AdamFSoybel.)

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THE FRIDAY FORTY: Top 40 Boy Bands of the Last 25 Years

Happy Friday! Welcome to a special edition of an occasional segment I’m putting together called The Friday Forty. Consider it a definitive list on all sorts of music-related topics (and much better than those VH1 lists!)

With newer boy bands all over the charts and older boy bands reuniting one after the other, I give you the list of the top 40 boy bands of the past 25 years as tabulated by myself. You may call them man bands or R&B groups, but in the end, these youngsters all comprised boy bands that we listened to on the radio or saw in concert. Rankings were based off of CHR airplay peaks from Radio & Records and Mediabase 24/7, and additional points were added in for #1 songs and main-credited solo or duo hits. Entries were not counted prior to January 1988, so some groups may not have their entire chart life counted. Also, worldwide success is not factored into this list; it’s solely U.S.-based data. With all that said, let’s get the chart started.

Just missing the top 40 are 3T, BoyzoneBrother BeyondDru Hill and Immature.

40. THE BOYS (One entry)
(Biggest hit: “Dial My Heart”, #16 in 1989)

39. H-TOWN (One entry)
(Biggest hit: “Knockin’ Da Boots”, #15 in 1993)

38. PERFECT GENTLEMEN (One entry)
(Biggest hit: “Ooh La La (I Can’t Get Over You)”, #13 in 1990)

37. WESTLIFE (Two entries)
(Biggest hit: “Swear It Again”, #21 in 2000)

36. THE CLICK FIVE (Two entries)
(Biggest hit: “Just The Girl”, #17 in 2005)

35. 5IVE (Three entries)
(Biggest hit: “When The Lights Go Out”, #15 in 1998)

34. 112 (Three entries)
(Biggest hit: “Peaches And Cream”, #15 in 2001)

33. TAKE THAT (One entry, plus two solo by Robbie Williams and one by Gary Barlow)
(Biggest hit: “Back For Good”, #9 in 1995)

32. SOUL FOR REAL (Two entries)
(Biggest hit: “Candy Rain”, #21 in 1995)

31. JAGGED EDGE (Three entries)
(Biggest hit: “Where The Party At?” [featuring Nelly], #11 in 2001)

30. ANOTHER BAD CREATION (Two entries)
(Biggest hit: “Iesha”, #21 in 1991)

29. MINT CONDITION (Two entries)
(Biggest hit: “Breakin’ My Heart (Pretty Brown Eyes)”, #10 in 1992)

28. BIG TIME RUSH (Three entries)
(Biggest hit: “Music Sounds Better With You” [featuring Mann], #26 in 2012)

27. JOE PUBLIC (Two entries)
(Biggest hit: “Live And Learn”, #2 in 1992)

26. NEXT (Three entries)
(Biggest hit: “Too Close”, #6 in 1998)

25. SOULDECISION (Two entries)
(Biggest hit: “Faded”, #6 in 2000)

24. SILK (Two entries)
(Biggest hit: “Freak Me”, #3 in 1993)

23. B2K (Four entries, plus two solo by Omarion)
(Biggest hit: “Bump, Bump, Bump” [featuring P. Diddy], #3 in 2003)

22. THE WANTED (Three entries)
(Biggest hit: “Glad You Came”, #1 in 2012)

21. NO MERCY (Three entries)
(Biggest hit: “Where Do You Go?”, #3 in 1996)

20. BLACKSTREET
Out of New York City, this quintet scored a #12 hit in early 1997 with “No Diggity”, which featured Dr. Dre. They remained hot on the R&B scene and scored two other top-40 hits on the pop survey, the last of them in 1999. They disbanded shortly afterwards, then came back for an album in 2003 before calling it quits again. Several members went onto solo success and hit records as a member of other groups.

19. NEW EDITION
After parting ways with Bobby Brown, the group managed a #8 peak with “If It Isn’t Love” in 1988 and three charting singles from a reunion in 1996. Solo efforts by Johnny Gill  and Ralph Tresvant were included in the total, though Brown’s solo efforts were not since he had left. If the countdown encompassed all of their releases, the group would’ve ranked much higher.

18. BELL BIV DEVOE
Speaking of New Edition, this side project by Ricky Bell, Michael Bivins, and Ronnie DeVoe was an instant success in 1990, with back-to-back top tens “Poison” and “Do Me!” Two other minor singles followed before the three took a break, eventually reuniting with their old band in 1996. They still perform together as a trio.

17. LFO
From Boston, the Lyte Funky Ones scored a big summer single with 1999’s appropriately titled “Summer Girls”. Of their six singles to make the airplay chart, “Every Other Time” was their biggest, reaching #10 in 2001. Though they attempted a comeback in 2009, it fizzled quickly. Lead singer Rich Cronin passed away in 2010.

16. BBMAK
These three Brits had a breakthrough in 2000 when they reached #8 with their first and biggest single, “Back Here”. Three other top-40 hits followed, the last one coming in 2002. All three members pursued music in some form after the band’s breakup, most notably Christian Burns, who took a solo dance route and Stephen McNally, who fronts a band called 10 Reasons To Live.

15. JONAS BROTHERS
With Disney aiding their career, these three brothers from New Jersey took the charts by storm in 2007 and accumulated four top-40 hits within a year. “Burnin’ Up” remains their biggest song, hitting #12 during the summer of 2008. Their last entry to date in 2009 brought their total to five, but the band is planning to release a new album this year. One minor solo single for brother Joe Jonas, “See No More”, is added into their total.

14. SHAI
The four men of this group all went to college together in Washington, D.C. and after passing on a demo tape to a local disc jockey who got it on air, their song blew up and became one of the only all a cappella singles to make the top 40: “If I Ever Fall In Love”, from 1992, reaching #3. Another single, “Baby I’m Yours”, hit the same position in 1993. After four pop hits, they charted several other songs on the R&B chart until 1996.

13. O-TOWN
Hey, hey, they’re not The Monkees, but this quintet formed on ABC’s Making The Band in 2000. Their first of five singles, “Liquid Dreams”, became a minor entry in early 2001, but it was their follow-up, a big ballad called “All Or Nothing”, that launched them into the #1 spot at CHR radio. They last hit the top 50 in 2003. One solo release by Ashley Parker Angel, “Let U Go” from 2006, is included in their total.

12. ALL-4-ONE
Hailing from California, this quintet has the distinction of releasing three covers in a row, which all went top three: in chronological order, the #2 “So Much In Love” (The Tymes) from 1994, followed by the #1 “I Swear” later that year and the #3 “I Can Love You Like That” in 1995 (both by John Michael Montgomery.) After an original song tanked in 1996, they were done on pop radio, and were dropped a few years later. They’ve been between labels since, with some small AC and R&B singles every few years.

11. JODECI
When two groups of brothers got together in North Carolina, their soulful sound gave them a string of pop and R&B hits. Taken under the wing of then-executive P. Diddy, the quartet put three singles from their debut album, Forever My Lady, into the top 40. It wasn’t until 1993 that they attained their only top ten hit, a live version of “Lately” from MTV Unplugged. It peaked at #6. After one more top-20 single in 1994, the group’s crossover success was done, but brothers K-Ci & JoJo made their mark several years later with songs like 1998’s “All My Life” (#2). Four of their singles were mixed into the total.

…and now, for the top ten boy bands on the chart.

"Feels good" to rank up here.

“Feels good” to rank up here.

10. TONY! TONI! TONÉ!

Oakland’s finest had been working on records for several years before they finally made it onto the pop survey in 1990 with the #15 “Feels Good”, from their album, The Revival. The trio had their greatest success in 1993 when they mixed new jack swing and soul on their #2 hit, “If I Had No Loot”, which was a followed by a slower song, “Anniversary”, which topped out at #5. After one more top-40 hit in 1994 and a minor entry in 1996, Raphael Saadiq left the group, but they still continue on today with a replacement singer. He’s seen some minor R&B hits, but a whole lot of critical success. He’s even currently appearing in a car commercial. The group hasn’t recorded any new material since the 90’s.

Still playing hard to get.

Still playing, but not hard to get.

09. HI-FIVE

Five friends from Texas came together in 1989, got signed to Jive Records, and I’m sure there were high-fives all around. The group only managed to place four songs onto the airplay chart, the fewest of any act in the top tier of this list, but the first three all went top ten: 1991’s “I Like The Way (The Kissing Game)” (#2) and “I Can’t Wait Another Minute” (#9), plus 1992’s “She’s Playing Hard To Get” (#4). After an additional top-20 single the next year, the quintet scored several other moderate R&B hits before disbanding shortly afterwards. Lead singer Tony Thompson died in 2007. They band returned in 2012 with new members and a self-released single, but it failed to chart.

Sealed with a "Kiss".

Sealed with a “Kiss”.

08. ONE DIRECTION

Surprised to see them so high? The five boys who came together on the U.K. version of The X Factor in 2010 have a made a significant mark on the charts in just under a year in the States. Both their debut album Up All Night and second release Take Me Home entered at #1 on the Billboard 200 album chart last year. Only one of their radio releases has gone top ten, however: “What Makes You Beautiful”, which peaked at #4 last June. Yet, each of their four followup releases have gone top twenty, and this has all happened within ten or eleven months. They’re huge. They just released a Comic Relief cover of Blondie‘s “One Way Or Another” this week. Unsurprisingly, it’s a smash. They’ll be around for a while.

Bopped 'til the dropped (off the charts.)

Bopped ’til the dropped (off the charts.)

07. HANSON

Take three brothers from Texas, given them six letters to play around with, and what do you get? A blockbuster hit. “Mmmbop”. It spent nine weeks at #1 from May to July 1997, and though radio wanted to get rid of it as quickly as they DJs put it on the air, you can’t help but recognize it as one of the key tracks that led to the growth of bubblegum pop in the late 90’s. The group had four top-40 hits following it, but not one matched the peaks that their biggest single rose to. (“Where’s The Love?” did hit the top ten, however.) After seven airplay entries ending in 2004, the boys are still together today recording on their own independent label.

Give them just one spot (un lugar.)

Give them just one spot (un lugar.)

06. 98 DEGREES

Things were just heating up with this four-man group from Ohio when their first single, “Invisible Man”, went to #10 in 1997. It wasn’t until 1999 that the group did considerably well on the teen circuit with songs like the #4 “The Hardest Thing” and the #5 “I Do (Cherish You)”. They reached their commercial peak by 2000 with Revelation and their last top ten, “Give Me Just One Night (Una Noche)” (#7) before their airplay and sales fell off quickly the next year. After the band broke up, Nick Lachey famously married Jessica Simpson, did a reality show, divorced, and wrote a whole album of breakup songs called What’s Left Of Me in 2006. The title track went to #5 and a followup to #25, both included in their total. The quartet is back together and releasing 2.0 in May on eOne Records.

Caught in a Badd romance.

Caught in a Badd romance.

05. COLOR ME BADD

Discovered by Robert Bell of Kool & The Gang, the quartet based out of Oklahoma made a name for themselves beginning in 1991 with the #2 single “I Wanna Sex You Up”, featured in the film New Jack City. The group has eight top ten singles to their credit, including one #1, “I Adore Mi Amor”, and another #2, “All 4 Love” (1992). After a failed album in 1998 that gave them their last of ten airplay charters, the group disbanded, but most went onto solo projects. The most successful of them, Sam Watters, produced and wrote/co-wrote singles for Anastacia, Jessica Simpson and Natasha Bedingfield. The three other members recently reunited and are looking to put out new music this year.

Can't block these boys out.

Can’t block these boys out.

04. NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK

After his success with New Edition, producer Maurice Starr decided to try his luck with a caucasian version of the band, originally signed as Nynuk before changing their name. Sales were slow to start, but after 1988’s “Please Don’t Go Girl” became a national top ten hit, the group hit superstardom. In 1989, they placed six songs into the top 40, including #1’s “I’ll Be Loving You (Forever)” and “Hangin’ Tough”. Step By Step and its title track soon followed in 1990, but after a backlash and accusations of lip syncing, the five members parted in 1994 after ten hits. After a reunion in 2008 which brought in two other top-40 entries, the New Kids plan on releasing an album in April called 10 before going on tour. Two solo singles apiece by Joey McIntyre and Jordan Knight also boosted their ranking.

It's gonna be them.

It’s gonna be them.

03. *NSYNC

Formed by Lou Pearlman in the mid-1990’s, they invaded Europe before capturing the hearts of millions of girls in the United States in 1998 with songs like “I Want You Back” and “Tearin’ Up My Heart”, both #5 hits. By 2000, they had hit their full potential with a huge #1 single for ten weeks, “Bye Bye Bye”, followed by “It’s Gonna Be Me”, which spent six weeks at the top. It propelled parent album No Strings Attached to 2.4 million copies in sales in its first week alone, a record which will likely never be beaten. Celebrity followed in 2001 with three additional top ten hits, bringing their total of top-40 hits to 11 before they broke apart in 2002. JC Chasez and Justin Timberlake pursued solo careers; the former has two top-40 singles to his credit, and the latter has eleven main credits (which are all included in the group’s total.) Timberlake’s also acted in several movies, including The Social Network.

Not quite the "end of the road."

Not quite the “end of the road.”

02. BOYZ II MEN

After looking up to New Edition all their lives, this quartet from Philadelphia got their big break in 1989 when the members of Bell Biv Devoe heard them at a local tour stop and were impressed. Michael Bivans eventually agreed to manage the group, leading to their 1991 debut album, Cooleyhighharmony, and the #5 smash “Motownphilly”. They were an overnight success, scoring three other top five singles by the end of 1992. They were perhaps best known for their songs that struck around for a while at the peak of the pop chart, even when the overall speed of the survey had a quick turnover. “End Of The Road” was #1 for six weeks in 1992, the same amount of time “On Bended Knee” stayed at the top in 1994 and into 1995. However, it was their duet with Mariah Carey, “One Sweet Day”, that managed the longest run at the top spot: eight weeks, from December 1995 to February 1996. Their last minor charting single came in 2000 and after a run of thirteen top-40 hits, they were finally done. They group downsized to a trio several years ago and made a few albums of cover songs. Their last original studio album, Twenty, came out in 2011.

All you could "Want" in a boy band.

All you could “Want” in a boy band.

01. BACKSTREET BOYS

Well, we’ve come to the cream of the pop, the top-ranking boy band of the latest twenty-five years based on airplay data. Another of Lou Pearlman’s acts, the quintet based out of Florida officially began their journey in 1993 and released their first single in the U.S., “We’ve Got It Goin’ On”, in the fall of 1995. It just dented the CHR top 40. After finding incredible success in Europe, the Boys gave it a second go in the States and produced a #2 hit in 1997’s “Quit Playing Games (With My Heart)”, the first of ten consecutive top ten hits from the group. In that impressive chain, two number one singles: 1999’s “I Want It That Way” and 2000’s “Show Me The Meaning Of Being Lonely”. Parent album Millenium sold 1.1 million copies its first week, a record at the time, and 9.5 million in its first year alone. Black & Blue opened with 1.6 million first week in the fall of 2000, but the singles had less of an impact on the charts and the album eventually sold less than half of what Millenium did. After going on a hiatus for several years, the band has put out several studio albums since 2005, but they clearly haven’t matched up in airplay or sales compared to their efforts at their peak. Nevertheless, they’ve been going strong as a group for twenty years now and have a total of 18 top-40 hits, and that’s something to be respected. They recently went the independent route for a Christmas single and plan to release new music in 2013. However, their legacy will always be their late 90’s hits, the videos, the TRL appearances, the pandemonium, etc. They truly deserve the #1 spot on the this list.

That’s going to do it for this Friday Forty. Hope you enjoyed this look back in boy band history, and let me know if I missed any along the way! Or, suggest a topic for the next Friday Forty! Leave a comment below or contact me on Twitter: @AdamFSoybel.

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That’s A Rap: The Obligatory (But Disposable) Rent-A-Rapper Break

You've gotta hand it to 'em.

You’ve gotta hand it to ’em.

You may try to hide from it, but it’s all over the radio. Rap music. The golden age of it may be long gone, but it won’t go away. So, how did the art of spitting a rhyme go from legendary to lackluster? One major reason in today’s music is the mainstream radio rule of the obligatory rent-a-rapper break. You’re listening to a harmless pop song, and then you hear some gruff voice out of nowhere take over, and then it’s back to the original song. Looking for street cred? Rent a rapper. Breaking America? Rent a rapper. Even if your song is perfection, it’s not going to be a hit unless you have a rapper. Why did it have to come to this predictable pattern? Let’s take a look back at how it developed.

The first rap break in a mainstream song was done by Debbie Harry in 1981’s “Rapture” by her group Blondie, toasting about men from Mars and eating cars, etc. As R&B music became more commonly accepted at radio in the mid-80’s, rap breaks appeared again on records like Chaka Khan‘s “I Feel For You”, featuring Grandmaster Melli Mel. By 1986, a movement began in which rappers interpolated other records into their own while they would freestyle over the beat. Run-D.M.C. and Aersomith scored a top-5 hit out of 1986’s “Walk This Way”, and rap trio the Fat Boys managed two top-20 hits, 1987’s “Wipe Out” (chorus by the Beach Boys, what an odd pairing) and 1988’s “The Twist”, featuring the original singer, Chubby Checker. This is when the disposable rap began, at least on the CHR format.

In 1990, two songs went to #1 that included rap breaks, but neither were issued with a rap-free edit. In February, Paula Abdul‘s “Opposites Attract” hit the top with a remixed version featuring two raps credited to the animated MC Skat Kat (vocals by Romany Malco and Derrick Stevens). Then, in July, Hawaiian-born balladeer Glenn Medeiros managed to push an uptempo number to #1, “She Ain’t Worth It”, featuring a rap by Bobby Brown. The latter example seems like a more obvious case of the record label really wanting a hit, but Brown was hot at the time, so, the song took off. Other songs that year that had an optional break for radio include “Alright” by Janet Jackson (added rap by Heavy D) and “Groove Is In The Heart” by Deee-Lite (album version featured a rap by Q-Tip.)

By 1992, the Jacksons struck again. “Jam” by Michael and “The Best Things In Life Are Free” by Janet and Luther Vandross were generally heard with their added rappers on them; Heavy D for the former and Bell Biv Devoe for the latter. (“Best” did have a rap-free edit, however.) With the fall of the CHR format beginning around this time, guest rappers also began to fall out of fashion as mainstream radio turned to alternative rock to balance out the airwaves.

For the last half of the decade, rap breaks came and went, but most remixed singles were heard in their original album versions at CHR. The driving force behind these was superstar Mariah Carey, known more for ballads than R&B material. By 1995, that was changed with the release of “Fantasy”, released with a new version featuring rapper Ol’ Dirty Bastard. It went to #1. The following year, “Always Be My Baby” got a remix on behalf of producer Jermaine Dupri, which included rapper Da Brat, hitting #2. The results were more mixed for 1999’s “Heartbreaker”, where the album version featured Jay-Z (an edit without him was issued.) A separate remix also featured Da Brat and Missy Elliott. Though it hit #1 on the Hot 100, it missed the top 20 at CHR radio, continuing a downward spiral for the singer at the format.

Other than Carey, songs like 1996’s “No Diggity” by BLACKstreet featuring Dr. Dre and 1998’s “No, No, No (Part 2)” by Destiny’s Child featuring Wyclef Jean became minor CHR crossovers, but much bigger hits on the Hot 100. The only rock band to experiment with the concept during this time period and succeed was Sugar Ray, who featured reggae singer/rapper Super Fly on their 1997 #1 hit, “Fly”. It wasn’t until the year 2000 that something seemed to click between rap and the teen audience.

It took a boy band out of Canada to reignite the disposable rap for popular radio. “Faded”, the debut hit for trio soulDecision, featured an optional rap break by rapper Thrust. It climbed to #6 on pop radio in October, signaling a new era in boy bandemonium: the rap remix. The Backstreet Boys did it with “The Call”, remixed by The Neptunes in 2001. It didn’t exactly help the song. However, a remix of *NSYNC‘s “Girlfriend” with a rap by Nelly did go top 5 in 2002. By that summer, boy bands were largely off the airwaves save for a few acts, both groups and members gone solo. For example, Justin Timberlake‘s first solo single, “Like I Love You”, which featured a rap break by The Clipse, went top 5 in late 2002.

Once the boy bands got going, the females followed. In 2001, pop group Dream had their second single, “This Is Me”, remixed with added raps by P. Diddy and Kain. The collaborative #1 remake of “Lady Marmalade” with singers Christina Aguilera, Mya and Pink featured a rap break from Lil’ Kim, who was often edited out. Aguilera would use rapper Redman on her 2002 single “Dirrty”. Competitor Britney Spears added Pharell to a remix of her 2002 single, “Boys”. Both were low charters, though the Spears record did worse. One of the more important figures of this era was Jennifer Lopez, who scored two #1 singles in a row with remixes featuring rapper Ja Rule that were played over the album version: 2001’s “I’m Real” and 2002’s “Ain’t It Funny”. Lopez’s next three releases to the format all included rappers. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Other artists to add raps during this period included Joe, Lenny Kravitz and No Doubt, who had two singles: 2002’s “Hey Baby”, featuring Bounty Killer and “Underneath It All”, featuring Lady Saw.

Things slowed down with CHR radio in crisis again, though some singers like Beyoncé and Ciara continually delivered hits with featured rappers between 2003 and 2006. The former scored #1 singles with 2003’s “Baby Boy”, featuring Sean Paul and 2006’s “Check On It”, featuring Slimm Thugg. The latter took “1, 2 Step”, featuring Missy Elliott, to the top in 2005. Lopez’s overuse of the technique proved to be her downfall in 2005; both singles from Rebirth underperformed. Teen singers got in on the action as well to mixed results. JoJo‘s 2004 single, “Baby It’s You”, added a rap by Bow Wow and went top ten. Jesse McCartney‘s 2005 single, “She’s No You”, awkwardly remixed with Fabolous, barely went top 30. Frankie J, The Pussycat Dolls and Usher also saw big hits during this period that included guest raps. Some bands, like Smash Mouth and Sugar Ray, desperately tried to get another hit by featuring rappers at this time, but both flopped. Something tells me you don’t remember 2003’s “You Are My Number One” (with Ranking Roger) and “Mr. Bartender (It’s So Easy)” (with ProHoeZak), respectively.

Rap breaks began to pick up again in mid-2006 just because so many were suddenly going to #1, thanks in part to the second coming of Timbaland. From May until October, four songs dominated that all had a featured rapper/production artist: “Hips Don’t Lie”, by Shakira featuring Wyclef Jean, “Promiscuous”, by Nelly Furtado featuring Timbaland, “Buttons”, by The Pussycat Dolls featuring Snoop Dogg and “SexyBack”, by Justin Timberlake featuring Timbaland. Timberlake would also hit #1 later in the year with “My Love”, featuring T.I., for four weeks. This continued in 2007 with hit singles by Fergie and Rihanna. In fact, the former artist’s ballad, “Big Girls Don’t Cry”, was reissued in a very unnecessary remix with reggae and rap artist Sean Kingston, which pretty much set the standard for most of the cash-in remixes going forward. This means we’re getting to the point where everybody needed a rap break to get airplay.

By 2008, not only were R&B singers like Ray J and Usher using the trick, but pop acts like Natasha Bedingfield (“Love Like This” with Kingston) and yes, even the Jonas Brothers, were including rappers on songs. Remember “Burnin’ Up”? Well, this continued in force, and then the labels decided that in order for us to suffer more, they would be exporting their already successful British singers into the United States with specially crafted “We need an American rapper on this” remixes. Thus, Jay Sean‘s 2009 single “Down” went to #1 with Lil Wayne tacked on, and Taio Cruz went to #1 in 2010 with “Break Your Heart” featuring Ludacris.

As for the American acts, don’t think they weren’t left out of this. Katy Perry went to #1 several weeks after that with “California Gurls”, featuring a rap by Snoop Dogg, and Usher took “DJ Got Us Fallin’ In Love” to #2 with a rap by Pitbull. Perry’s label noticeably issued digital remixes of many of her songs with added guest rappers in an attempt to secure a record amount of consecutive #1 singles for her. “E.T.”, “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)”, and “The One That Got Away” featured Kanye West, Missy Elliott and B.o.B., respectively. The former two went to #1; the last stalled at #3.

Now, Enrique Iglesias, still living off the royalties of “Hero” and his mole, heard these songs one day and I’m sure went “Oye! There’s my comeback hit!” Thus, it was that “I Like It”, featuring Pitbull and “Tonight” with another phoned-in rap by Ludacris both became big hits in 2010 and 2011. (All of Iglesias’s singles since those two have featured rappers, one other with Pitbull.) For some reason, this inspired Justin Bieber to call up his grandfather Luda and ask him for a rap and you could just see the dollar signs shining in his eyes, so Ludacris again was featured on Bieber’s 2011 hit, “Baby”.

Now, every good comeback deserves another one, so the formerly washed-up Jennifer Lopez, then a judge on American Idol, returned with 2011’s “On The Floor” with a familiar face, Pitbull. Three of her next four singles featured rappers, the biggest one being 2012’s “Dance Again”, again with Pitbull. Last year, pop/rock bands began to try again with rapped portions. Maroon 5‘s “Payphone”, with a break by Wiz Khalifa, went to #1. Additionally, “I Like It Like That”, by Hot Chelle Rae and featuring the New Boyz, made the top 20.

So, you’re probably wondering where we are at this point with current singles that utilize a guest rapper. Here’s everything in the current CHR top 50:
#04: Justin Bieber featuring Nicki Minaj“Beauty And A Beat” (no rap-free edit)
#12: Alicia Keys (featuring Nicki Minaj) – “Girl On Fire” (album version without rap)
#22: The Script featuring will.i.am“Hall Of Fame” (international edit without will.i.am)
#23: Justin Timberlake featuring Jay-Z“Suit & Tie” (rap-free edit issued)
#29: Olly Murs featuring Flo Rida“Troublemaker” (international edit without Flo Rida)
#46: Skylar Grey featuring Eminem“C’mon Let Me Ride” (no rap-free edit)

Additionally, one song just below the top 50 features Flo Rida on it: “Say You’re Just A Friend” by Austin Mahone. No rap-free edit is available on that one… yet.

So, as you can see, as much as we may desire them to get off the radio, the overexposed guest rapper who already a dozen hits on his or her own isn’t leaving anytime soon. The concept will always be floated around as a way to get a hit, even if it means selling out for the sake of it. Although it may go out of style for a few years, it always seems to come back around and picks up momentum in no time with the same names on every song. I usually prefer a rap-free version of a song, but that’s just me and my more pop/rock-driven tastes. If you have an opinion on this or if I missed any big examples, let me know in the comments or on Twitter: @AdamFSoybel.

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TEARIN’ UP MY CHART: The Return of Justin Timberlake (“Suit & Tie” + “The 20/20 Experience”)

He drives himself... crazy.

He drives himself… crazy.

EDIT: Both titles have been CONFIRMED. Check out a followup post here.

(EDIT: Myself and the members of the Pulse Music Board are guessing, based on Timberlake’s webpage, that the leadoff single from his album, which we think is entitled The 20/20 Experience, is a song called “Suit & Tie”. Timberlake has also tweeted out the hashtag #YouNeverKnow in reply to several tweets, as well as “AND, AS LONG AS I GOT MY SUIT AND TIE…”  and “I’MA LEAVE IT OUT ON THE FLOOR TONIGHT.” Is this the chorus of the single? Everything will be confirmed on Monday morning.) (My original tweet.) (Followup on PMB.)

Alright, calm yourself down, Pop fans. You still have a few days before the new Justin Timberlake track premieres, which is rumored to be featuring Jay-Z and Beyoncé. The song, which will make its debut on Monday at 12:01 AM, according to his website, will be the leadoff single from Timberlake’s forthcoming studio album, due in 2013. It is produced by Timbaland. (View the semi-announcement video here.) Before the song makes its glorious debut on the internet, let’s take a look at how the singer came in and dominated the music world.

Timberlake began in the boy band *NSYNC, who first broke onto the American scene in 1998 with hits like “I Want You Back” and “Tearin’ Up My Heart”. It was the group’s second release, however, that launched them into superstardom. No Strings Attached, released in the spring of 2000, sold 2.43 million copies in the first week and nearly 10 million before the year was done, and this was all in the United States alone. “Bye Bye Bye” and “It’s Gonna Be Me”, the effort’s first two single, became huge #1 hits on CHR radio. Though their followup, Celebrity, didn’t do nearly as well as its predecessor, it still kept the band on the charts and doing well at a time when the boy band bubble burst for acts like 98 Degrees, the Backstreet Boys and others.

By the end of 2002, Timberlake had gone solo with Justified, which debuted at #2 on the album chart. Lead single “Like I Love You” showed a more urban side to the singer, but it was further singles “Cry Me A River” and “Rock Your Body” (#1 at CHR radio) that established him as a force at mainstream radio. He additionally provided the chorus on the first major breakthrough record for the Black Eyed Peas, “Where Is The Love?”, which hit #1 in 2003. Though the album’s promotion was done by late 2003, Timberlake managed to stay on the radio as a feature on singles by Nelly in 2004 and Snoop Dogg in 2005, leading to his eventual return in 2006 with the 80’s-inspired FutureSex/LoveSounds and the #1 hit “SexyBack”. The album debuted at #1 in September with sales just under 700,000 copies in its first week and produced six singles, four of which hit the top spot on mainstream radio: the aforementioned lead single, “My Love”, “What Goes Around… Comes Around” and “Summer Love”. A fifth release, “LoveStoned”, hit the top 5.

Timberlake’s been primarily focused on acting during the last few years, most notably portraying Napster co-founder Sean Parker in The Social Network. Though he’s collaborated with Ciara, Jamie Foxx, and T.I. in the past few years, Timberlake hasn’t been credit on a top-40 hit since 2010, so it shall be interesting to see if radio and retail was easily embrace him again as they did many years before. In the meantime, watch out for more news as it comes right here on POP! Goes The Charts.

EDIT: Both titles have been CONFIRMED. Check out a followup post here.

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