Adam Lambert’s got legs, and other lessons learned this week on Billboard’s Hot 100
A Top 40 star is born. A rising star resurges. A former supernova loses some heat.
All this week on Billboard’s Hot 100. First, the good news.
American Idol isn’t just about finding the next big superstar. Some weeks it’s also about lighting a fire under existing ones. Two years ago, Neil Diamond landed the first No. 1 album of his career, Home After Dark, following a stint as an Idol mentor. Two weeks ago, Usher recaptured his crossover magic after mentoring and performing his new single, “OMG” (currently No. 8 on the Hot 100), on Idol.
Now another non-contestant is benefiting from Idol exposure. Adam Lambert, last season’s runner-up who mentored and performed on the show last week, becomes the first Idol alumnus to enter the Top 10 on Billboard’s Hot 100 since a little more than one year ago (when “I Told You So,” Carrie Underwood’s duet with Randy Travis, went to No. 9), as his “Whataya Want From Me” single soars from No. 23 to No. 10.
Whether or not he can maintain the momentum, he’s officially left season 8 winner, Kris Allen, whose “Live Like We’re Dying” peaked at No. 18 several weeks ago, in the dust.
Absence doesn’t always make the heart grow fonder. Maybe Lady Gaga has the right idea: Stay in their faces and don’t let them forget you. So far it’s worked for her. Christina Aguilera, on the other hand, seems to prefer the opposite approach, taking three and four years between albums, giving new stars just enough time to shove her into their shadow.
“Not Myself Tonight” has generated only a medium level of buzz since its debut at the end of March. This week, it enters the Hot 100 at No. 23, which, for some artists, would be reason enough to break out the bubbly, but for a star of Aguilera’s caliber, it’s a less than grand entrance after such a long time away.
Next week it could go either way. But if its down, it’s still not over. Aguilera’s upcoming performance on the Idol finale will no doubt shove the single in the right direction.
Patience is still a virtue, especially when it comes to breaking a UK-associated act in the U.S. This week, La Roux accomplishes what Robbie Williams has yet to do and what Kylie Minogue manages only a few times every 15 years or so. The duo’s third UK single, “Bulletproof,” which went to No. 1 in their native country in June of last year, continues its delayed transatlantic crossing, jumping from No. 48 to No. 36, making La Roux a chart rarity, a UK-based pop act in the Top 40.
The British invasion may be ancient history, but apparently, there’s still life in the motherland’s musical troops. Onward and upward!