CHART WATCH: Winning Streak: Katy Perry Goes 4-For-4

Written by Hunter Schwarz on . Posted in Music

Lady Gaga finally gives up the No. 1 spot after six weeks as “Born This Way” drops to No. 4. In its place is Katy Perry’s “E.T.” featuring Kanye West. This gives Perry her fifth No. 1 and her fourth from 2010′s Teenage Dream album. Her perfect record – four for four – puts her in an elite club. Excluding compilation albums, Teenage Dream is only the ninth album in chart history to be home to more than three No. 1 songs.

What makes Perry’s feat all the more impressive is that her album is nearly seven months old. That’s a lifetime in the world of pop. Sure, Britney Spears sent “Hold It Against Me,” Femme Fatale‘s first single, to No. 1, but the follow-up, “Till The World Ends,” spent a single week in the top ten (and don’t be surprised if it doesn’t return). Getting a splashy debut with the first single from a new album is relatively easy if the record label plays their cards right. A big enough artist with a large enough fan base will snap up anything the moment it’s released. What’s a lot more difficult is scoring four No. 1s. If you can do that, there’s a lot more at work than just overeager fans.

Perry shot the proverbial whip cream from her breasts last June when “California Gurls” feat. Snoop Dogg slid to No. 1 and remained there for six weeks. It was arguably the song of the summer – yet another gimmicky song from the former Christian singer. “Teenage Dream” followed in September with two weeks at No. 1, and as I described it last year, it burrowed its way into our public consciousness by being a Katy Perry song for people who hate Katy Perry. By December, “Firework” began it’s four week stint at the top, and it hasn’t stopped being played at every possible sporting event, movie trailer and dance video game possible. The royalty checks on that one won’t stop coming for a long time. With “E.T.” at No. 1, Teenage Dream is the first album since Usher’s 2004-dominating Confessions to pull out four chart toppers and the first album by a female to do so since Mariah Carey’s self titled debut in 1990.

So while Katy Perry the popstar isn’t yet in the same league as say, Lady Gaga or even Britney Spears when it comes to pop cultural importance, her songs are. Love her or irrationally hate her, her songs have crossed over to become an integral part of the soundtrack to the early ’10s. And that’s the least you could expect from an album with four No. 1 hits. Below are a list of the nine albums that had more than three No. 1s:

Saturday Night Fever – Various Artists (1977-1978)
“How Deep Is Your Love” (The Bee Gees)
“Sayin’ Alive” (The Bee Gees)
“Night Fever” (The Bee Gees)
“If I Can’t Have You” (Yvonne Elliman)

Bad – Michael Jackson (1987-1988)
“Just Can’t Stop Loving You” feat. Siedah Garrett
“The Way You Make Me Feel”
“Man In The Mirror”
“Dirty Diana”

Whitney – Whitney Houston (1987-1988)
“I Wanna Dance With Somebody”
“Didn’t We Almost Have It”
“So Emotional”
“Where Do Broken Hearts Go”

Faith – George Michael (1987-1988)
“Father Figure”
“One More Try”

Forever Your Girl – Paula Abdul (1989)
“Straight Up”
“Forever Your Girl”
“Cold Hearted”
“Opposites Attract” with the Wild Pair

Rhythm Nation – Janet Jackson (1989-1990)
“Miss You Much”
“Black Cat”
“Love Will Never Do (Without You)”

Mariah Carey – Mariah Carey (1990-1991)
“Vision of Love”
“Love Takes Time”
“I Don’t Wanna Cry”

Confessions – Usher (2004)
“Yeah!” feat. Lil Jon & Ludacris
“Confessions Part II”
“My Boo” feat. Alicia Keys

Teenage Dream – Katy Perry (2010-2011)
“California Gurls” feat. Snoop Dogg
“Teenage Dream”
“E.T.” feat. Kanye West

The Saturday Night Fever soundtrack was the first to do so, and although it’s four No. 1s were by two different artists, all four songs were written by the Bee Gees. A decade later, Michael Jackson’s Bad broke the record when five of the album’s songs went No. 1. Interestingly enough, one of Bad‘s most enduring songs, “Smooth Criminal,” was not among its five chart toppers. 1987-1991 were a time of relatively high turnover on the Hot 100, so it’s not surprising that six of the nine albums occurred during this time period. The drought was broken in 2004 by Usher’s Confessions. However, that isn’t without an asterisks because the fourth No. 1, “My Boo” featuring Alicia Keys, was only on the reissued edition of the album, which makes Perry’s accomplishment even more noteworthy.

I wouldn’t have guessed Katy Perry would be pulling off this chart feats back when she debuted in 2008 with the tacky “I Kissed A Girl.” She seemed destined to be a one hit wonder, propelled to her 15 minutes of fame with a single gimmicky song. Teenage Dream has kept that from happening, and unfortunately, I don’t think this is the last we’ll be hearing of her.

Here’s what’s happening on the rest of the Hot 100:

  • Kanye West wasn’t on the album version of “E.T.” but Perry and Capitol’s decision to include him on the single gives the rapper his fourth No. 1. He previously reached the summit with “Slow Jamz” feat. Twista and Jamie Foxx, “Gold Digger” feat. Jamie Foxx and “Stronger.”
  • Rihanna is a heartbeat away from her 10th No. 1 as “S&M” moves 3-2. With “E.T.” and “S&M” in the top two slots, that very well could be first time the No. 1 and No. 2 songs each had only two letters in their titles.
  • Chris Brown is proving his detractors wrong. Naked mirror pictures and throwing chairs out windows is actually good for sales. Not only does he land his first No. 1 album this week, but “Look At Me Now” feat. Lil Wayne and Busta Rhymes reaches a new high of No. 7.
  • As previously mentioned, Britney Spears’ new single isn’t doing so hot. Blame its lackluster No. 20 debut on a botched digital release, but this week it only inches up 23-22. Perhaps after actually promoting her album and performing the song on several shows this week, the song can see a bigger jump next week.
  • Viral sensation Rebecca Black might have become famous for all the wrong reasons, but a hit is a hit. “Friday” moves 72-58 as the song saw a sales increase this week.

Here’s this week’s top ten:

  1. “E.T.” – Katy Perry feat. Kanye West (first week at No. 1, airplay gainer)
  2. “S&M” – Rihanna
  3. “F**k You” – Cee Lo Green
  4. “Born This Way” – Lady Gaga
  5. “Just Can’t Get Enough” – Black Eyed Peas
  6. “No Sleep” – Wiz Khalifa (debut)
  7. “Look At Me Now” – Chris Brown feat. Lil Wayne & Busta Rhymes
  8. “F**kin’ Perfect” – Pink
  9. “Down On Me” – Jeremih feat. 50 Cent
  10. “On The Floor” – Jennifer Lopez feat. Pitbull

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