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Elton John makes
his debut on the country charts

Elton John makes
his debut on the country charts

It was just a couple of weeks ago that Elton John generated chart news by scoring two simultaneous top five singles in the United Kingdom. This week John adds another first-time accomplishment to his long list of chart achievements by making his initial appearance on Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart. It's a case of a Brit helping a Britt.

On one of his tours of Australia, Elton heard a recording by a teenage singer from Newcastle, Catherine Britt, and invited her to one of his shows in Sydney. Backstage after the show he asked if she was interested in signing with an American record label. Britt told Elton she didn't have any contacts in the United States and didn't know where to start. The next day, thanks to Elton, she had three label offers, and within a week she was in Nashville, signing with RCA.

Britt made her debut on the Hot Country Songs list with "The Upside of Being Down," which opened at number 57 the week of August 14, 2004, and peaked at number 36 the week of November 13. Now 20, she sees her second chart entry, a duet with Elton on "Where We Both Say Goodbye," opening at number 49. While this marks Elton's first appearance on the country chart as an artist, he has previously been listed on the survey as a songwriter. Coincidentally, Tim McGraw's version of "Tiny Dancer" peaked at number 49 the week of February 15, 2003. (Fred Bronson, via Reuters)

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