Mariah, Madonna eclipse Elvis in Billboard charts

Recording artists Mariah Carey (L) and Madonna are shown in this combination of file photographs from 2007 and 2008 respectively. REUTERS/Files

NEW YORK (Billboard) - Two leading ladies of pop music, Mariah Carey and Madonna, surpassed the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll in the Billboard charts record book this week.

As expected, Mariah Carey moved past Elvis Presley and into sole possession of second place for most No. 1 singles in the rock era, as “Touch My Body” soared 14 places on the Billboard Hot 100 to become the 18th chart-topper of her career.

With her latest album, “E=MC2,” yet to hit retail, Carey might equal the Beatles’ record of 20 No. 1 hits before her set runs its course.

“Body’s” blast to No. 1 is fueled by a record-setting debut-week digital tally of 286,000 downloads. That sum, good enough for the No. 1 slot on Hot Digital Songs chart, surpasses the 277,000 downloads labelmate Rihanna opened with in the June 9, 2007, Billboard issue with her summer smash “Umbrella.”

Presley also was nudged from his standing as the recording artist with the most top-10 hits in the rock era, as Madonna surpassed him with her 37th top 10, “4 Minutes.”

The track, featuring Justin Timberlake, clocked a jump from No. 68 to No. 3. Prior to the establishment of the Billboard Hot 100 roster in 1958, the industry standard chart was the Best Sellers in Stores tally, where Presley scored his first 12 top 10s.

Like Carey’s “Touch My Body,” Madonna’s Hot 100 jump was spurred by stupendous download sales. “4 Minutes” tallied 217,000 digital sales in its first week of wide release (it had been available as a Verizon exclusive) to enter Hot Digital Songs chart at No. 2.

The success of Carey and Madonna’s singles marked the first time since Nielsen SoundScan began tracking digital sales in 2003 that two titles debuted simultaneously on Hot Digital Songs with more than 200,000 downloads each. The week also marked the best single-week digital tally in either artist’s career.