“Lady GaGa Scores Hot 100 Milestone,” a Billboard headline trumpeted yesterday upon the release of the new Hot 100.
What could this milestone be? you might ask yourself. Biggest self-aggrandizer since 50 Cent to reach the top slot? Most similar-sounding pair of hits since Rick Astley? Most successful pantsless act?
As it happens, GaGa’s achievement has to do with her Billboard batting average: two chart hits, two No. 1’s. This week, “Poker Face” follows January’s smash “Just Dance” into the top slot. She’s the first act to step up to the plate, swing just twice, and hit two homers since Christina Aguilera’s first pair of hits, “Genie in a Bottle” and “What a Girl Wants,” topped the Hot 100 in 1999–2000.
That’s nice for the Lady and all, but it masks a more notable achievement: her slowness in achieving those hits. The amount of time “Dance” and “Poker” took to reach No. 1 is literally unprecedented in recent chart history.
In a sea of hits that explode up the charts based on faddish bursts of iTunes sales, GaGa’s chart pattern is contrary to everything going on in pop music promotion right now, recalling the more languid runs by songs in the ’70s through the mid-’90s. It’s almost enough to make an old-school chart geek like me root for her. More »