Sade's "Soldier of Love" (Epic/Sony Music Entertainment) secures a fourth week atop Billboard's European Albums chart. But there's a surprise on Hot 100 Singles where, in a close-fought race, Belgian singer-songwriter Stromae's "Alors On Danse" (Mosaert/Vertigo/Universal) jumps 13-1 to unseat Ke$ha's "Tik Tok" (RCA/Sony Music Entertainment).
"Soldier of Love" spends another week at No. 1 in France and Hungary, at No. 2 in Sweden and No. 5 in Denmark, but falls 1-2 in the Belgian region of Wallony, 2-3 in Switzerland, 3-5 in Portugal, 2-6 in Italy, 3-6 in Austria, 4-6 in Spain and 4-7 in Germany. It stays at No. 21 in the United Kingdom
"The Fame" (Interscope/Universal) is steady at No. 2 overall for Lady Gaga, despite slipping 1-2 on the U.K. chart with 35,000 new sales. In its 60th week, it's up 10-8 in Portugal but slips 4-5 in Switzerland, 6-7 in Austria and 5-8 in Germany.
Johnny Cash has a posthumous pan-European top three album, as "American VI: Ain't No Grave" (American/Lost Highway/Universal) climbs 17-3. That outdoes the No. 6 debut and peak of its predecessor, the fifth in the Rick Rubin-produced series, which had a total of three weeks in the top ten in 2006. "American VI" is down 9-29 in the United Kingdom, where last week it debuted with 16,000 sales, but compensates with debuts at No. 1 in Austria, No. 3 in Germany and No. 6 in Sweden, plus a 4-2 climb in Holland. It also holds at No. 2 in Denmark and No. 3 in Norway.
Black Eyed Peas' "The E.N.D. (The Energy Never Dies)" (Interscope/Universal) and Alicia Keys' "The Element of Freedom" (J/Sony Music Entertainment) are each down a place on European Albums, to No. 4 and No. 5 respectively. "The E.N.D." is steady at No.2 in Portugal and climbs 17-10 in Spain, while Keys' set is up 5-4 in Holland and remains at No. 3 in the United Kingdom, with 31,000 new sales.
There's a fresh burst of activity for Michael Jackson's "This Is It" soundtrack (Epic/Sony Music Entertainment). The release of a special 2-DVD edition sends the title back up 15-6, after improving 15-3 in France, 7-4 in Italy and 8-7 in Wallony, staying at No. 3 in neighboring Flanders. In the United Kingdom, the "This Is It" album drops 24-42, but the DVD remains top of that separate Official Charts Company DVD listing, on which Jackson's "Moonwalker" is down 2-3 as Andre Rieu's "Live In Vienna" disc debuts at No. 2.
Unheilig's "Grosse Freiheit" (Universal) holds at No. 7 overall, holding at No. 1 in Germany and No. 4 in Austria. English ingénue Ellie Goulding, who won the Critics' Choice title at the BRIT Awards Feb. 16 ahead of the release of her debut album "Lights" (Polydor/Universal), sees it debut at No. 8 on European Albums and No. 1 in the United Kingdom, with sales of 36,000. Its lead single "Starry Eyed" stays at No. 4 there.
German favorite Peter Maffay's "Tattoos (40 Jahre Maffay)" (Sony Music Entertainment) climbs back 12-9 on the aggregate chart after a 3-2 move in Germany, where it was No. 1 for three weeks last month. Muse's "The Resistance" (Helium 3/Warner Music) closes out the pan-European top ten, dipping 9-10.
Stromae, from Brussels, has been ascending Hot 100 Singles for several weeks, rising 49-25-22-13 and now reaching the summit with the help of a No. 1 debut in France, a 3-1 climb in Germany and a 16-10 rise in Austria. "Alors On Danse" won a photo finish for the European crown over Ke$ha, in the closest battle on the pan-European chart for some time.
The narrowest winning margin of recent years came early last year, when Katy Perry's "Hot N Cold" (Virgin/EMI), at No. 1, was almost inseparable from the runner-up, "Broken Strings" (Polydor/Universal) by James Morrison featuring Nelly Furtado.