SEE THE DETAILS.
An e-mail I received this evening had a subject line that was partially cut-off by my e-mail reader:
I thought this was about a musical milestone I had been meaning to blog about but hadn't got around to.Turns out the full headline was "India's rare achievement in rocket technology." [And if you don't know about Ram Narayanan's famous mailing list, read all about it in this SAJAforum piece by Arun Venugopal from three years ago, "ACTIVISM: Ram Narayanan, Bilateral Booster."]
But the note did remind me that we should note here the musical milestone I was thinking of: a solo South Asian act hits #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart (the listing of the most popular songs in the US, as measured by radio play, sales and online streaming).
Jay Sean, a 28-year-old British singer/rapper/hip-hopper, whose real name is Kamaljit Singh Jhooti, has lit up the charts with an infectious song called "Down" (featuring a big name in the world of hip-hop, Lil Wayne). As of the week of Oct. 10, the song has been on the chart for 13 weeks (including six in the top 10).
The numbers in gray are last week's position (3); weeks on the Hot 100 (13); peak position (2).
There have been other acts with South Asian connections that have made it to the top of the U.S. charts: Norah Jones; M.I.A., Freddie Mercury, the late lead singer of Queen; Tony Kanal, bassist for No Doubt; Cliff Richard, who was born in Lucknow, India; Engelbert Humperdinck, who was born in Madras, India; Kim Thayil's band, Soundgarden, hit #30 on the Hot 100 with "Blackhole Sun," but was #1 on the Mainstream Rock chart for seven weeks. (anyone else I missed?)