Rihanna’s “Rated R” may have been a slight commercial career slip, but with “Loud,” the Barbados singer is back, uh, loud and clear. “Loud” lands at No. 3 on the Billboard 200, but even more impressively, Rihanna scores her second No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in three weeks. After “What’s My Name,” the second single from “Loud,” reached the summit, “Only Girl (In the World,” the album’s first single, peaked at No. 1, marking the only time a debut single from an album has reached the top after the next single. More importantly, “Only Girl” is her ninth No. 1, making her the most successful artist on the Hot 100 this millennium. We don’t know how long she’ll have that record, but it sure sounds impressive.
1. Rihanna (not ranked last week): As “Only Girl (In the World)” goes to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, she sets the record for the most chart toppers on the Hot 100 for any artist in the millennium. Another week, another record.
2. Kanye West (not ranked): He can’t get out of his own way every time he opens his mouth, except for when he steps into the studio and and records groundbreaking music. “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy” may finally get him all the recognition he so clearly believes he deserves.
3. Black Eyed Peas (not ranked): After years of turning to middle-aged white male rockers to supply the half-time entertainment, the Super Bowl names the Black Eyed Peas as headliners for the 2011 games. That’s so “2000 and late,” but better late than never.
4. Groupon (not ranked): Amid rumors of a purchase by Google, Groupon makes major moves into the music industry by offering Rihanna’s “Loud” through its daily promotional deals for $5.
5. NKOTBBSB (not ranked): Yes, after their show-closing performing on Sunday’s American Music Awards, tickets for New Kids on the Block and Backstreet Boys’ joint arena tour went on sale with the July 1 Los Angeles Staples Center date selling out. Looks like they still have the right stuff.
6. Justin Bieber (not ranked): He goes four for four at the American Music Awards. The Awards, however, are not so lucky—they garner the lowest ratings in their history. Coincidence?
7. Kenny Chesney (not ranked): After taking a year off to road, Chesney returns with a vengeance by setting records for most career stadium sellouts at both Foxboro’s Gillette Stadium and Philadelphia’s Lincoln Financial Field Stadium next year. This boy of fall just became a boy of summer.
8. The Beatles (No 1): In the Fab Four’s first week on iTunes, they sell more than 450,000 albums and 2 million individual songs worldwide. Rocky Raccoon may be the only one who doesn’t own music by the Fab Four.
9. Susan Boyle (No. 2): Despite tremendous competition, including eight new acts debuting in the top 10, Boyle continues to reign supreme on the Billboard 200, as her second week’s sales remain almost the same as her debut week. She’s the gift that keeps on giving.
10. Jackie Evancho (not ranked): Pint-sized singer with preternaturally big voice proves her “America’s Got Talent” success was no fluke as she debuts at No. 2 on the Billboard 200. Unlike “American Idol,” this reality show still sells albums for its contestants.
Music Power Rankings appear every Friday in The Beat Goes On.
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