So Kelly Clarkson’s “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)” logs another week at #1 on the charts, its second and Kelly’s sixth overall at pole position. But the story on the charts this week is a song making its first appearance on the Hot 100 in nearly two decades—Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You,” getting bought and played on the radio like it’s 1992 all over again, due to the attention brought by Whitney’s recent untimely death. Normally, songs that have already charted well in the past are not eligible to re-chart on the Hot 100, but Billboard rulemakers have decided to change the rules for Whit this time around.
“As the digital age has progressed, with the immediacy it provides, the line has blurred between the relevancy of new and older recordings,” explains Billboard director of charts Silvio Pietroluongo. “Going forward we feel that it is the proper move to allow older titles posting enough activity to return to the Hot 100 if ranking in the chart’s upper half.” Thus, “I Will Always Love You” is the #7 song in the country this week, and previous #1s “I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)” and “The Greatest Love of All” are also charting this week, at #35 and #41, respectively. It’ll be interesting to see what kind of effect this rule change will have on future chart installments—will we be seeing miscellaneous older songs re-charting due to use on Idol or Voice, or because they’re used in a commercial?
Speaking of used in a commercial, Fun. and Janelle Monae, whose “We Are Young” was used in a high-profile Chevy Sonic ad that debuted this Super Bowl, are the other big winners this week, as “Young” rockets from #41 all the way to #3 on the Hot 100 this week, falling just one behind Adele’s “Set Fire to the Rain.” Meanwhile, Madonna ranks her still-record 38th top ten single on the charts with “Give Me All Your Lovin’,” bounding 13-10 and giving Nicki Minaj her seventh top ten and M.I.A. just her second. Busy times on the charts this week, and expect Katy Perry to make things interesting next week with her likely digital #1 “Part of Me,” undoubtedly generating debate over whether it should count as a Teenage Dream #1 off the album’s re-issue. (It shouldn’t, and doesn’t.)