Billboard Hot 100 Singles – Week of Feb.25, 2012

1. Kelly Clarkson, “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)”
2. Adele, “Set Fire To The Rain”
3. fun. f/ Janelle Monae “We Are You”
4. LMFAO, “Sexy And I Know It”
5. Flo Rida, “Good Feeling”
6. Rihanna f/ Calvin Harris, “We Found Love”
7. Whitney Houston, “I Will Always Love You”
8. David Guetta f/ Nicki Minaj, “Turn Me On”
9. Tyga, “Rack City”
10.Madonna, “Give Me All your Lovin'”

MUCH ‘LOVE’ (AND ‘LUV’): Just as they did during the ’80s and ’90s, Whitney Houston and Madonna again share space in the Billboard Hot 100’s top 10.

With late legend Houston’s “I Will Always Love You” returning to the tally at No. 7 and Madonna’s “Give Me All Your Luvin’,” featuring Nicki Minaj and M.I.A., rising 13-10, Houston and Madonna concurrently rank in the top 10 for the first time in more than 16 years.

The pair last charted in the top tier together the week of Jan. 27, 1996, when Houston’s former No. 1 “Exhale (Shoop, Shoop)” held at No. 2 (for the ninth of its 11 frames at the runner-up spot after its lone week at the summit) and Madonna’s “You’ll See” rebounded 10-8 after peaking at No. 6.

Over their iconic careers, the twosome held court in the top 10 together with multiple sets of prior hits.

In fact, the week of Houston’s first top 10 appearance – July 6, 1985 – when “You Give Good Love” rose 13-7, Madonna ranked at No. 10 with “Angel” (5-10). In a harbinger of their future pop culture impact, the then-budding superstars were the only solo women in the top 10 that frame, although Eurythmics’ “Would I Lie to You?” (No. 6) and ’til Tuesday’s “Voices Carry” (No. 9) each featured female lead singers (Annie Lennox and Aimee Mann, respectively).

Coincidentally, in both their first week in the top 10 together and their latest, Houston placed at No. 7 and Madonna, No. 10.

POWER OF TWO: Two additional Hot 100 chart weeks serve as an even shinier reflection of the divas’ dominance when their singles releases were automatic, surefire hits.

On the May 24 and 31, 1986, chart weeks, Houston’s “Greatest Love of All” and Madonna’s “Live to Tell” ranked at Nos. 1 and 2, respectively. The frames mark the only weeks that the pair claimed the Hot 100’s top two spots.

(Houston graciously stepped aside the following week (June 7), as “Love” dipped to No. 3 and “Tell” took over at No.  1).

That “Love ranks on this week’s Hot 100, re-entering at No. 41, clearly reinforces the timelessness of the song – and Houston’s everlasting appeal.

‘LIKE’ NEW: There’s more luvin’ for Her Madgesty this week, as her classic “Like a Prayer” enters Digital Songs at No. 38. After she performed it as part of her Super Bowl halftime extravaganza Feb. 5, it surges by 172% to 49,000 sold, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

The track debuted on the Hot 100 – also at No. 38 – the week of March 11, 1989. It went on to become the seventh of Madonna’s 12 No. 1s five weeks later.

MORE MATERIAL: The “Glee” cast augments Madonna’s momentous week, as it returns her “La Isla Bonita” – the new version features Ricky Martin – to the Hot 100 at No. 99. The original rose to No. 4 25 years ago.

While the pairing of Martin with a Madonna-written track marks their first Hot 100 collaboration, it’s not their first musical alliance. The artists duetted on the ballad “Be Careful,” an album cut on Martin’s breakthrough eponymous 1999 album. Madonna wrote the track with William Orbit, who had worked her with on her 1998 album “Ray of Light.”

The “Glee” cast also bows at No. 81 on the Hot 100 with its cover of LMFAO’s “Sexy and I Know It,” also featuring Martin. The song marks the troupe’s 58th charted remake of a former No. 1.

THREE’S COMPANY: Adele sports a post-Grammy Awards glow, as she places three titles in the Digital Songs top 10. “Set Fire to the Rain” slips 2-4 (although with a 14% gain in sales), “Someone Like You” rebounds 23-9 and “Rolling in the Deep,” which she performed at the event Sunday (Feb. 12) and which won coveted record and song of the year honors, blasts 39-10. All three songs previously topped the tally.

Adele is the first artist to place as many as three titles as a lead artist in the Digital Songs chart’s top 10 simultaneously since Michael Jackson did so following his death in June 2009. The week of July 11, 2009, the King of Pop owned a record six titles in the region:

No. 2, “Thriller”
No. 3, “Man in the Mirror”
No. 4, “Billie Jean”
No. 6, “The Way You Make Me Feel”
No. 7, “Beat It”
No. 9, “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough”

WHITNEY HELPED KELLY HOLD OFF KATY: Katy Perry’s “Part of Me” just misses this week’s Hot 100, debuting atop the chart’s Bubbling Under survey. With “Part,” the first single from Perry’s “Teenage Dream” reissue, “The Complete Confection,” projected to sell north of 400,000 downloads by the end of the current tracking period, the song is in line for a possible No. 1 bow on next week’s Hot 100.

Had three of Houston’s songs not re-entered this week’s chart, as astute reader kwall91 commented, “Part” would’ve debuted at No. 98 based on early sales and its first two days airplay (15 million audience impressions on 160 stations, according to Nielsen BDS). Or, had only one or two Houston titles re-entered, “Part” would’ve started at No. 99 or 100.

Why is that significant?

Had the song begun at either Nos. 98, 99 or 100 – and if it vaults to No. 1 next week – it would’ve passed Kelly Clarkson’s “My Life Would Suck Without You” for the largest leap to the Hot 100 pinnacle. “Suck” soared 97-1 the week of Feb. 7, 2009.

Instead, Perry may have to “settle” for a No. 1 bow. If “Part” does debut at No. 1, it will mark only the 20th title to launch atop the Hot 100 and the first since Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” bowed at No. 1 – as the chart’s 1,000th leader all-time – the week of Feb. 26, 2011.

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