Across the pop, R&B and rap genres, among top singles and albums, 50 Cent dominates the 2003 Year in Music charts.
The rapper from Queens, N.Y. has the No. 1 song of the year for 2003 with “In Da Club” (Shady/Aftermath/Interscope), which spent nine weeks atop the Hot 100. The song also ranks at No. 1 on the Top R&B/Hip Hop Singles & Tracks and the Hot Rap Tracks charts.
His album “Get Rich Or Die Tryin”’ is the No. 1 title of the year on the Billboard 200. It also closes the year at No. 1 on the Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums chart. That showing earns 50 Cent honors as the ranking Top Pop Artist, Top R&B/Hip Hop Artist and Hot Rap Artist of the year.
Thanks to 50 Cent, hip-hop has its first song of the year on the recap of the Billboard Hot 100 since 1995.
Even though rap has dominated this chart for the past few years, the top songs of 1996 through 2002 have come from other genres: Europop (“Macarena” by Los Del Rio in 1996); British pop/AC (”Candle in the Wind 1997” by Elton John in 1997); R&B (“Too Close” by Next in 1998); pop/dance (“Believe” by Cher in 1999); country crossover (“Breathe” by Faith Hill in 2000) and rock (“Hangin’ by a Moment” by Lifehouse in 2001 and “How You Remind Me” by Nickelback in 2002).
The last hip-hop song to take top honors for an annual survey was “Gangsta’s Rap” by Coolio Featuring L.V., eight years ago.
50 Cent is one of eight acts to register in the year-end top 10 for the first time.
Sean Paul ranked No. 74 last year with his debut single, “Gimme the Light.” This year, he has the No. 3 song with the chart-topping “Get Busy” (VP/ Atlantic). That makes him the highest-ranking Jamaican on a Hot 100 annual recap. In 2001, Shaggy missed the top 10 even though he had two No. 1 hits, “It Wasn’t Me” and “Angel.” In 1995, Ini Kamoze ended up at No. 24 with “Here Comes the Hotstepper.” In 1975, Carl Douglas had the No. 14 song of the year with “Kung Fu Fighting.”
Beyonce and Jay-Z have the No. 4 song of the year with “Crazy in Love” (Columbia). Both are in the year-end top 10 for the first time. But Destiny’s Child -- the trio comprising Beyonce, Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams -- has ranked in the top 10 previously.
“When I’m Gone” (Republic/Universal) gets 3 Doors Down its debut in the year-end top 10 at No. 5. Previously, its best showing was the No. 15 placing of “Kryptonite” in 2000.
St. Louis rapper Chingy has the No. 7 song of the year with “Right Thurr” (Disturbing Tha Peace/Capitol), one of two debut songs to make the top 10. The other is “Bring Me to Life” (Wind-up) at No. 10. That song is the first chart entry for Evanescence as well as its featured artist, Paul McCoy.
Aaliyah’s “Miss You” (Blackground/Universal) is No. 8, giving the artist her first top 10 placing, two years after her death. At No. 9, “Picture” (Lava) puts Kid Rock and Sheryl Crow in the annual top 10 for the first time.
The only returning veterans in the top 10 are R. Kelly and Matchbox Twenty. Kelly has his highest year-end placing yet, as “Ignition” (Jive) grabs the No. 2 spot. In 1997, Kelly was sixth with “I Believe I Can Fly.”
Matchbox Twenty has been in the year-end top 10 three of the past four years. It matched its highest ranking, as “Unwell” (Atlantic) finishes sixth. That is the same position it held in 2001 with “If You’re Gone.” The previous year, it was No. 9 with “Bent.”
With 50 Cent, Kelly and Paul finishing win, place and show, this is the first time since 1992 there has been an all-male top three at year’s end. Boyz II Men, Sir Mix-a-Lot and Kris Kross took the top three spots 11 years ago.
“American Idol” continued to exert its influence on the charts, after Kelly Clarkson’s initial success in 2002. Three “Idol” finalists, including the winners of the first and second seasons, occupy slots in 2003’s year-end top 100.
Clarkson was No. 39 last year with “A Moment Like This.” Now she is No. 44 with that single’s follow-up, the more radio-friendly “Miss Independent” (RCA). Clay Aiken claims the No. 47 song with his debut release, “This Is the Night” (RCA). Ruben Studdard ranks at No. 88 with his remake of Westlife’s “Flying Without Wings” (J).
On the Hot 100 Singles Sales recap, where Clarkson ruled last year with “A Moment Like This,” Aiken dominates with “This Is the Night”/”Bridge Over Troubled Water.” Studdard is the runner-up with “Flying Without Wings”/”Superstar.” Also, “Superstar” is the best-selling R&B/hip-hop single of the year.
50 Cent repeats his Hot 100 triumph on the recap of The Billboard 200, where his album “Get Rich or Die Tryin”’ is No. 1. One of his mentors, Eminem, had last year’s top album, “The Eminem Show.”
This year is the first time since 1994 that the same act has the No. 1 single and album of the year. Nine years ago, Swedish quartet Ace of Base captured both spots with a single and an album titled “The Sign.”
The double-teaming of 50 Cent and Eminem marks the first time that a solo male artist has had the top album of the year for two consecutive years since 1988-89, when George Michael’s “Faith” and Bobby Brown’s “Don’t Be Cruel” were the respective champs.
In a sign of the continuing split between what consumers want to buy and what radio wants to play, the recap of the Billboard 200 has a little something for everyone, while hip-hop dominates the Hot 100. That genre claims just two slots in the album review: 50 Cent’s No. 1 album and the top soundtrack of 2003, “8 Mile” (Shady/Interscope).
The second-biggest album of the year is a holdover from 2002. Norah Jones’ “Come Away With Me” (Blue Note) ranked No. 30 last year, but that was before her Grammy triumph and the ascension of her CD to pole position on the Billboard 200. It’s the first time a female artist has landed in the top two of the album recap since 1999, when Britney Spears claimed second place with her debut album, “... Baby One More Time.”
One would also have to return to 1999 to find the last time Shania Twain placed an album in the top three. Her “Come On Over” (Mercury) landed in third place that year, as “Up!” does for 2003. Twain is one of three country acts in the top 10, an improvement on the past three years.
The soundtrack to “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” was the only country album in the top 10 of 2002, and there were no country albums in the top 10 in 2000 or 2001. This year, the Dixie Chicks rank No. 4 with “Home” (Monument/Columbia), the trio’s second time in the annual top 10. Its “Wide Open Spaces” was the No. 8 album of 1999, while “Fly” ranked No. 11 in 2000. The third country act in this year’s top 10 is Tim McGraw, who is No. 9 with “Tim McGraw and the Dancehall Doctors” (Curb). It’s the first McGraw album to make the annual top 10.
Avril Lavigne’s “Let Go” (Arista) is No. 5, after ranking No. 14 last year. She is the fourth female act in the top five, her gender’s best showing since 1997, when the Spice Girls, Celine Dion and Jewel were in the top five alongside No Doubt, featuring lead vocals by Gwen Stefani.
With “Meteora” (Warner Bros.) at No. 6, Linkin Park is the only act to repeat from last year’s top 10. “Hybrid Theory,” the group’s debut, placed fifth in 2002. At No. 7, “8 Mile” is the lone soundtrack in the top 10 and ranks one notch lower than the No. 6 ranking of “O Brother” last year.
Evanescence is the third act to rank in the top 10 with a debut chart entry, after Jones and Lavigne. “Fallen” (Wind-up) is the No. 8 album of the year. Completing the top 10 is Christina Aguilera’s fifth chart entry, “Stripped” (RCA). It’s her second time in the annual top 10; her self-titled debut ranked No. 8 in 2000.