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The film hasn't opened yet, but a song from the soundtrack to Rent was the top debut on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart in the week that ended August 7. "Seasons of Love" (Warner Bros.), credited to the cast of Rent, was at number 68. Available exclusively at iTunes for a limited time, it is also a new entry on the Hot Digital Songs chart at number 25. The film is scheduled for release in November.
"Seasons of Love" was written by late Rent playwright Jonathan Larson when it was a stage musical. That makes "Seasons of Love" the first song from a Broadway musical to appear on the Hot 100 since Madonna's cinematic version of "Don't Cry for Me Argentina." That song, from the musical Evita, peaked at number 8 in 1997. There have been two top 15 hits that were based on Broadway songs. Jay-Z's "Hard-Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem)" sampled "Hard-Knock Life" from Annie and peaked at number 15 the week of March 27, 1999. Earlier this year, "Rich Girl" by Gwen Stefani featuring Eve peaked at number 7. The song was constructed around "If I Were a Rich Man" from Fiddler on the Roof. (Fred Bronson, via Reuters)