I think the Hot 100 alone is a dubious way of measuring the success of artists, considering how much the rules have changed over the years and how artists game the systems in place to land hits. I always go back to “Don’t Speak” being one of the biggest songs of 1996, and it didn’t even chart on the Hot 100 because it wasn’t released as a physical single.
I do think it’s interesting how relatively forgotten that era of Xtina is, for all its successes. You do see its impact on Ariana Grande and a few years back with Demi Lovato and Jessie J.
It's significant in context of the times I think. I don't necessarily find Christina Aguilera to be especially impressive in any chart capacity, but the chart climate they are speaking about is a bit nuanced. Christina (or more accurately her label) deserve kudos for exploiting it for those feats and achievements. Christina getting back to back number one's with Genie, Come On Over and What A Girl Wants is somewhat similar to Ariana Grande getting her strings of number ones in this climate.
What the original tweet fails to understand are the chart methods that Christina used to employ to achieve her results was a very different strategy than Jive's Britney, Backstreet Boys and N'sync used, as BetterForgotten notes above. Jive's strategy was to limit the singles success so more people would buy the album. If they couldn't buy the single, pre Napster they had to buy the full album to access/own/listen to the material outside of radio. As such people shouldn't be looking at Billboard's Hot 100 to measure the success of those particular artists. They should be looking at their album sales, Billboard 200 chart and comparing those sales to Christina's to see how successful they were in their commercial efforts.
Christina's strategy was to flood the single market to get more #1's similar to Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston, Destiny's Child and Micheal Jackson.
Basically this. Britney's singles never got physically released unless they were radio/airplay flops and Jive wanted to save face with a high Hot 100 peak. Jive knew that Britney could always get a sales hit so they timed releases to get her to chart higher if it benefited them. Britney only released 3 singles physically: Baby One More Time (her debut single), From The Bottom Of My Broken Heart (airplay was low) and Stronger (Airplay was low). After 2000 sales declined so significantly there was no reason to even release singles as the Hot 100 was basically just an Airplay chart until digital downloads were measured in 2005.
I think that was the last time soaps felt there was a possibility of a future, that they could capture new audiences who might be interested in exciting, progressive things. That’s all been put to bed now. The notes on “don’t be too specific” cited by Patrick Mulcahey are soooo telling.
It’s sad because we all love soaps, but they are so many stories that this genre couldn’t tell, even and especially in the good old days, and apparently still can’t tell. This is a genre trapped by the expectations of what it perceives to be its core audience. There aren’t any visionaries who are empowered as Agnes Nixon, who had faith in the intelligence and tolerance of her audience as well as confidence in her character-building and storytelling abilities, so that she could lead audiences places they didn’t think they could go. And even she had limitations imposed on her.