August 19, 2009 / 11:35 PM / 10 years ago

Black Eyed Peas, Jason Mraz smash chart records

NEW YORK (Billboard) - The Black Eyed Peas and Jason Mraz will shatter two records for longevity on the Billboard Hot 100 when the singles chart is released Thursday.

Fergie of U.S. hip-hop group The Black Eyed Peas performs during the Isle of MTV concert in Floriana, outside Valletta, July 8, 2009. REUTERS/Darrin Zammit Lupi

With an eighth consecutive week at No. 1 for “I Gotta Feeling,” the Black Eyed Peas will have held the top slot for an unprecedented 20 straight weeks, having previously led the list for the preceding 12 frames with “Boom Boom Pow,” the lead single from its album “The E.N.D.”

Also entering the record books is singer-songwriter Mraz’s “I’m Yours,” which notches an extraordinary 70th week on the Hot 100. The track debuted on the May 3, 2008, chart and peaked at No. 6 nearly a year ago, on September 20, 2008. The song has resided within the top 40 of the list in all but the first 12 weeks of its chart life, dropping six rungs to No. 29 on the latest tally.

The Black Eyed Peas’ 20-week string atop the Hot 100 surpasses Usher’s run of 19 consecutive weeks achieved in 2004 with “Yeah!” and “Burn.”

On establishing the mark for longest successive stay at No. 1 in the Hot 100’s 51-year history, Peas member commented, “With this kind of success your ego wants to take all the credit, but your heart reminds your soul that it was your heart that had you slaving and creating in the studio making the music; breaking through comfort zones and tradition. In the fight between heart and ego, my heart always wins.”

Fellow Pea Fergie added, “It’s an amazing feeling to know that these songs have connected with so many people who have kept them alive for so long.”

For Mraz, his never-say-die single overtakes the weeks-on-the-chart mark held for nearly 11 years by LeAnn Rimes’ signature hit “How Do I Live.” That ubiquitous track spent 69 weeks on the Hot 100, ending with the October 10, 1998, chart.

Multiformat airplay is one of the reasons for the staying power of “I’m Yours.” It’s the only track to reach No. 1 on each of the following four radio-based charts: Mainstream Top 40/Pop Songs, Adult Contemporary, Adult Top 40, and Triple A. It has also appeared on Latin Pop, Smooth Jazz, and debuts this week at Rhythmic.

Concerning the song’s multi-genre appeal and long shelf life, Mraz said, “I think it’s because it borrows from every one of those formats. Or perhaps the song is genre-less. The first two and a half minutes have so little production you could almost classify it as spoken-word. Yet it’s rhythmic and melodic at the same time.”

Aiding its continued presence on the Hot 100 is the fact that “I’m Yours” ranks as the third-best-selling digital song (4.4 million downloads) since Nielsen SoundScan began tracking download sales in 2003.

Only recently did Mraz begin to realize that “I’m Yours” was nearing unprecedented chart territory. “I found out about six weeks ago that the song was on its way to breaking this record. I was moved. ... I’m still blown away — humbled by the success of my happy little hippie song.”

(Editing by SheriLinden at Reuters)

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