Billboard: Madonna, Yoko Ono, Gospel

Madonna notching her 40th No. 1, "Celebration," on Dance/Club Play Songs is an extraordinary achievement. Even Madonna seems to 'cherish' the honor, as evidenced on her official website.

Billboard's Dance/Club Play Songs chart is one of the few surveys in our menu that is not based on Nielsen SoundScan point-of-sale data or BDS-monitored airplay. Such methodology would be almost impossible for the chart, which is compiled from reports submitted by club DJs, many of whom spin and mix at multiple venues.

Sales and airplay do not contribute to Dance/Club Play Songs. Rather, Billboard compiles charts for that data separately: Hot Dance Singles Sales and Hot Dance Airplay.

As Billboard's dance charts manager, Gordon Murray, can attest to, the dance community is a tight-knit one, and the DJs contributing to the Dance/Club Play Songs chart take great pride in their responsibility to help shape a format that's so unique; unlike pop, adult, rock, R&B or country, for example, there are few dance-oriented radio stations (San Francisco's KNGY just defected to mainstream top 40 last week), so club play is a key barometer of the format's trends.

I posed your question to Gordon, and here is his deeper analysis of Dance/Club Play Songs:

"The chart is compiled from the playlists of a carefully screened and consistently scrutinized panel of U.S. club DJs (currently 140), even those in Hawaii and Puerto Rico. These playlists are reflective of what the DJs are playing to crowds on the dance floors each week in clubs. Because of the nature of this type of music, which is often mixed together and which can include many different remixes of the same song, there is no means of compiling the data electronically.

"As for Madonna, her achievement is particularly noteworthy because of the changing nature of club tastes and styles of music. What becomes mainstream popular music often starts out as more underground music, played first in the clubs before it is accepted by radio's larger audiences. So, for one artist to be able to change with the times and perhaps even set the trends to the extent that she has is, indeed, truly remarkable."

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