Chart Moves: Audra McDonald Tops Four Billboard Charts, Buzzed-About Jungle Band Arrives
Also: A discounted Eminem charges back onto the chart, 'Now 50' crosses the half-million mark and the 'Wish I Was Here' soundtrack takes a bow.
This week on the Billboard 200 albums chart, "Weird Al" Yankovic earned his first No. 1, as Mandatory Fun bowed atop the list with 104,000 copies sold in the week ending July 20, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Yankovic led a debut-filled top four, joined by Jason Mraz, Rise Against and the Kidz Bop Kids.
Outside of the top four, there was -- as usual -- lots of action as well. Let's take a look:
-- Various Artists, Now 50 (No. 8): With another 23,000 sold in the week ending July 20, the album is the sixth to sell more than 500,000 copies in 2014 (520,000 to date). A year ago at this point, there were 18 half-million sellers.
-- Sia, 1000 Forms of Fear (No. 19): With a fall to No. 19 in its second week, Sia makes the biggest drop from No. 1 since the Feb. 2, 2013-dated chart, when Chris Tomlin's Burning Lights tumbled 1-22. Sia's album sold 14,000 in its second week, down 73 percent.
-- Soundtrack, Wish I Was Here (No. 43): The soundtrack, which features hand-picked songs by the film's director Zach Braff, opens with 8,000. Braff's ear for music also gave us the Garden State soundtrack, which spent 57 weeks on the chart and sold 1.5 million.
-- Eminem, Curtain Call (No. 80): The Google Play store dropped the price of this album to $3.99 during the tracking week, which Amazon MP3 then matched. Downloads comprise 72 percent of its total sales for the week (4,000, up 140 percent).
-- Jungle, Jungle (No. 84): Previously tipped as a Tomorrow's Hits artist back in June, the London band's album debuts with 4,000 sold. The group will launch a U.S. tour on Sept. 19 in Los Angeles, following an Aug. 2 appearance at the Lollapalooza festival.
-- Sturgill Simpson, Metamodern Sounds in Country Music (No. 129): Following Simpson's performance of the album's song "Life of Sin" on CBS' The Late Show With David Letterman (July 14), the set returns with a 79 percent gain (3,000 sold -- its second-largest sales frame). On Top Country Albums, it rebounds 28-17.
-- Audra McDonald, Lady Day At Emerson's Bar & Grill (No. 156): McDonald's Tony Award-winning turn as Billie Holiday arrives in album form, as the original Broadway cast recording sings out with 2,000 sold and debuts at No. 156. The six-time Tony winner also bows at No. 1 on four other charts: Heatseekers Albums, Jazz Albums, Traditional Jazz Albums and Cast Albums.
-- The Neighbourhood, I Love You (No. 188): The album was promoted in the iTunes store as part of its chart-topper sale, helping it re-enter at No. 188 with an overall sales rise of 43 percent (downloads gained by 55 percent). The set scores its first weekly gain since May 11.