Whitney Houston returns to the Billboard Hot 100 top 10 this week as her signature hit from 1992 -- it reigned for 14 weeks -- "I Will Always Love You" re-enters at No. 7, fueled by an enormous resurgence in digital sales (195,000, up 6723%, according to Nielsen SoundScan) and radio airplay (18 million audience impressions, up 915%, according to Nielsen BDS).
Houston places two other former No. 1s on the chart: "I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)" (from 1987) at No. 35 and "Greatest Love of All" (1986) at No. 41.
While historically, catalog or recurrent songs have not been eligible for inclusion on the Hot 100, this is not the first time Billboard has charted such activity. As recently as 2001, following the attacks of Sept. 11, the Hot 100 welcomed Lee Greenwood's 1984 country hit "God Bless the USA" and Houston's spine-tingling rendition of "The Star Spangled Banner," the latter of which had reached the chart's top 20 a decade earlier. At the time, the inclusion of these songs properly captured the musical mood as the nation reacted to that tragic day.
"As the digital age has progressed," says Billboard director of charts Silvio Pietroluongo, "with the immediacy it provides, the line has blurred between the relevancy of new and older recordings, which are for the most part equally accessible from one's home computer."
"Going forward we feel that it is the proper move to allow older titles posting enough activity to return to the Hot 100 if ranking in the chart's upper half." (Billboard's policy of removing descending songs from the Hot 100 after 20 weeks if ranking below No. 50 remains unchanged).
So I guess we'll be seeing Mariah's "All I Want For Christmas" every year on the Hot 100!!