Brown good as gold — again

Young singer claims top pop artist crown for second time in three years

Chris Brown has done it again. For the second time in his young career, he's Billboard's top pop artist of the year.

Brown also took the crown on the Top Artists tally in 2006. His 2007 release "Exclusive" comes in at No. 13 on the year-end Top Billboard 200 Albums recap, and he places five titles on the Hot 100 Songs list: "No Air" (his duet with Jordin Sparks at No. 6), "With You" (No. 9), "Forever" (No. 10), "Kiss Kiss" (featuring T-Pain, at No. 19) and "Get Like Me" (David Banner featuring Brown, at No. 66).

It is only the fourth time one artist has notched three singles in the top 10 of the year-end songs list. The last time it happened was 1994, when Ace of Base did the trick with "The Sign" (No. 1), "All That She Wants" (No. 9) and "Don't Turn Around" (No. 10). The Bee Gees did it in 1978, and Elvis Presley shook up the list in 1956.

Billboard's year-end music chart recaps are based on data compiled during the chart year that began with the issue of Dec. 1, 2007, and ended with the Nov. 29 issue.

The 2008 runner-up pop artist of the year is Lil Wayne, who racked up the first million-selling week for an album since 2005. Weezy's Cash Money/Universal Motown set "Tha Carter III" bowed with 1,006,000 copies in June and finished at No. 3 on the year-end Top Billboard 200 Albums tally. Wayne also scores an eye-catching eight titles on the year-end Hot 100 Songs recap. His highest-ranked single is "Lollipop" (featuring Static Major) at No. 4.

Nos. 3-8 are female acts: Rihanna, Alicia Keys, Taylor Swift, Leona Lewis, Miley Cyrus and Jordin Sparks. They are followed by Cyrus' Hollywood labelmates Jonas Brothers at No. 9 and rapper T.I. at No. 10.

Keys crowns the Top Billboard 200 Albums roundup with her late 2007 J Records release "As I Am," and she owns two titles on the Hot 100 Songs recap: "No One" (No. 3) and "Like You'll Never See Me Again" (No. 47). Lewis has the second-highest-ranked single on the year-end Hot 100 Songs recap with her U.S. debut "Bleeding Love."

Lewis also is the year's top new pop artist — the first time a U.K. artist has achieved that distinction since 1997, when the Spice Girls came in at No. 1 on the Top New Artists recap.

The year's top song? The inescapable "Low" by Flo Rida featuring T-Pain. The Poe Boy/Atlantic hit spent 10 weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 — the most of any single during the eligibility year — and an overall total of 40 weeks on the tally.

The year-end Hot 100 Songs recap hosts a bevy of new artists who broke ground this year. Aside from Lewis, Flo Rida and Sparks, the list features young female singers Sara Bareilles (No. 7), Katy Perry (Nos. 14 and 36), Colbie Caillat (Nos. 21 and 67) and Estelle (No. 39). Gents are represented by Metro Station (No. 32), Colby O'Donis (No. 51), Matthew Santos (No. 63), Kevin Rudolf (No. 65) and "American Idol" runner-up David Archuleta (No. 76).

Veteran acts also made a splash during the year: Michael Jackson owns the No. 1 title on the Top Pop Catalog Albums recap with his 1982 album "Thriller." And two rock bands that made their Billboard charts debut in the '70s place high on the Top Billboard 200 Albums year-end recap: Eagles' late-2007 release "Long Road out of Eden" is at No. 4, while AC/DC's "Black Ice" is at No. 15. Both albums were sold exclusively in the U.S. by Wal-Mart.

Keith Caulfield is charts analyst for Billboard.