dispatches from the pop scene...minus the corn syrup.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Chart Rigger Timeline, Part Two: 2006

Chart Rigger turned five last week. To commemorate the occasion, here now is Part Two of a year-by-year timeline of some of the more significant events in pop history over the past half decade—today being from the year 2006. (Read Part One: 2005.) All items mentioned are derived from actual blog posts on the site, tough, obviously, not everything will get a mention. But if there's an extremely glaring omission—and by all means, let me know in the comments if there is—well, I probably just didn't give a flying leap at the time.

Anyway, on to 2006:

* JANUARY 2006: High School Musical—starring virtually unknown actors Zac Efron, Vanessa Hudgens and Ashley Tisdale—airs on the Disney Channel. Arctic Monkeys' Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not becomes the U.K.'s fastest-selling debut album by a band after moving 360,000 copies. Fledgling rapper Kevin Federline unveils the universally-reviled "PopoZao." Six years after splitting, Savage Garden's Best Of is released, and Darren Hayes tells a Malaysian newspaper he'd never work with former bandmate Daniel Jones again "unless it would cure cancer." Los Angeles publication Frontiers includes Chart Rigger—which has now been online for a full year—in its roundup of "11 Essential Gay Blogs."

* FEBRUARY 2006: British pop institution Smash Hits announces it will cease publication after 28 years. Climactic High School Musical song "Breaking Free" jumps from #86 to #4 on the Billboard Hot 100. Gorillaz and Madonna open the Grammys with a "Feel Good Inc./Hung Up" mashup. I post the very first YouTube video to appear on Chart Rigger—Divine's "I'm So Beautiful."

* MARCH 2006: Daniel Powter cements his one-hit wonder status by landing "Bad Day" atop the Hot 100. Pete Wentz's Sidekicked is hacked, and photos of his package (not too bad!) end up online. High School Musical spawns the first TV soundtrack to top the Billboard Top 200 Albums chart since Miami Vice. Director Lee Daniels casts Mariah Carey as a waitress in Tennessee, which later only plays on one screen before disappearing (though it's actually finally due out today on DVD!) Daniels will go on to cast Carey once more—in the award-winning 2009 film Precious.

* APRIL 2006: Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy" becomes the first song to top the U.K. chart based on digital sales alone. American Idol contestant Mandisa, who Chart Rigger declares looks like six Christmas trees in one, disses the gays in The Advocate and is promptly voted off the show once the story breaks. Back on the other side of the pond, Gareth Gates, who in 2001 came in second to Will Young on the very first season of Pop Idol, is dropped by Sony. Meanwhile, the newly-reunited Take That (minus Robbie Williams) set out on their first U.K. tour in over a decade.

* MAY 2006: Britney Spears appears on Late Night With David Letterman and confirms that she's pregnant again. Taylor Hicks wins American Idol. Barbadian singer Rihanna tops the U.S. chart for the first time with "SOS." Brandon Flowers announces that the next Killers album will leave behind the Smiths and Pet Shop Boys influences for Bruce Springsteen. Meanwhile, Pet Shop Boys score their 21st U.K. Top 10 hit with "I'm With Stupid," and, yes, Gnarls Barkley are still #1 for a ninth and final week with "Crazy."

* JUNE 2006: Shakira's "Hips Don't Lie" and Nelly Furtado's "Promiscuous" duke it out on the charts. Eventually both reach #1 on the Hot 100. Backstreet Boys issue a statement saying that Kevin Richardson has left the group. Paris Hilton lands a Top 20 single when "Stars Are Blind" enters the U.S. chart at #18. Reports surface that ownership of London's Astoria Theatre has changed hands, and that famous club night G-A-Y's days are numbered. More trouble: the BBC announces that after 42 years, Top Of The Pops is leaving the air. My cats Miss Pussy and Cracker make their first appearance on Chart Rigger.

* JULY 2006: It's a gay ol' month as Darren Hayes publicly comes out, announcing on his website that he married Richard Cullen the month prior in London. A week later, former *NSYNC member Lance Bass comes out in a People magazine cover story. On a less classy note, George Michael is busted (again) for public sex—or something (I've lost track). As for music, Lily Allen tops the U.K. chart with debut single "Smile," while the final episode of Top Of The Pops airs on July 29.

* AUGUST 2006: To commemorate MTV's 25th anniversary, Chart Rigger posts its first-ever "banterview" between D'luv and Moogaboo. Fergie tops the U.S. chart with "London Bridge." Christina Aguilera releases Back To Basics. Kelly Clarkson turns up at L.A.'s Metal Skool in capri pants (and with the lead singer of Yellowcard) and belts out Guns N Roses' "Sweet Child O' Mine" while completely hammered. The whole thing is inevitably uploaded to YouTube. The month ends on a sultry note, as Justin Timberlake earns his first #1 single as a solo artist with "SexyBack."

* SEPTEMBER 2006: Beyonce releases second solo album B'Day. Scissor Sisters top the U.K. chart with "I Don't Feel Like Dancin'." Chart Rigger does a Clay Aiken banterview and the Claymates strike back—to hilarious effect—in the comments.

* OCTOBER 2006: After a long slog up and down the chart, "When You Were Young" finally becomes the Killers' second Top 20 in the U.S. when it peaks at #14. The band signs my Sam's Town CD at the Virgin Megastore. Alas, at this point they've been replaced by my new obsession—U.K. band The Feeling (who I meet a week after the Killers at a Borders bookstore appearance in Hollywood). In the U.K., Robbie Williams' Rudebox album comes and flops.

* NOVEMBER 2006: Producer George Martin and his son Giles revamp the Beatles' back catalog for the Cirque du Soleil theatrical production Love. The first soundtrack to appear from Miley Cyrus-starring Disney Channel series Hannah Montana tops the Billboard Top 200 Albums chart. "My Love" becomes Justin Timberlake's second #1 single in a row. U.K. girl group All Saints reunite and land a Top 10 hit in their home country with "Rock Steady." However, a much more significant British institution smashes expectations a few weeks later when Take That release "Patience," their first single in 10 years. It tops the U.K. chart and stays at #1 for four weeks.

* DECEMBER 2006: Take That's comeback album Beautiful World tops the British chart. Leona Lewis wins The X Factor. Back in the States, Beyonce's third B'Day single "Irreplaceable" hits #1, where it will stay for ten weeks. Gwen Stefani releases second solo album The Sweet Escape. Chart Rigger labels Fergie's "London Bridge" the Worst Single Of 2006, and Zac Efron, Vanessa Hudgens and Drew Seeley's High School Musical jam "Breaking Free" the Best Pop Single Of 2006.

* The Chart Rigger Timeline, Part One: 2005

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