A s expected, Ke$ha opens at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 with her debut album "Animal," shifting 152,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan. The newcomer's set replaces Susan Boyle "I Dreamed a Dream," which drifts to No. 2 with 93,000 (down 32%) after a six-week run at the top of the heap. Young fans of Ke$ha must be delighted to see the 22-year old party-hearty girl bump the soaring sounds of the 48-year old Scottish reality TV star.
With 152,000, "Animal" actually sold better than first projected. Initially, some industry sources thought it was going to sell around 100,000 copies in its first frame. That prediction came as a result of how "Animal" sold a boatload of downloads in it first two days of release. Albums that initially sell big download numbers generally tend to trail off quicker as the week progresses. Thus, some industry projectors figured "Animal" would sell around 100,000.
As it turns out, "Animal" held up very well all week long, especially at digital download stores. It also helps that set carried an attractive developing artist list price of $9.98, and it was on sale for less than that at the big physical retailers. Additionally, both the Amazon MP3 and iTunes stores sold it for only $6.99.
In total, 76% of the album's first-week sales came from download retailers. That's the largest weekly digital percentage share for an album at No. 1 on the Billboard 200.
As for the rest of the top 10 this week, Lady Gaga's "The Fame" gets bounced down one rung to No. 3 with 66,000 (down 20%) while Alicia Keys' "The Element of Freedom" (62,000; down 22%) and Mary J. Blige's "Stronger With Each Tear" (47,000; down 25%) each also drop one spot, respectively, to Nos. 4 and 5.
The "Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel" soundtrack climbs one position to No. 6 with 44,000 (down 13%), Taylor Swift's "Fearless" falls two spots to No. 7 (38,000; down 36%) and the Black Eyed Peas' "The E.N.D." holds steady at No. 8 (36,000; down 24%). Closing out the top 10 are Justin Bieber's "My World," falling three places to No. 9 (34,000; down 34%) and Lady Gaga's "The Fame Monster," down one notch to No. 10 with 31,000 (down 30%).
Overall album sales in this past chart week (ending Jan. 10) totaled 5.92 million units, down 24% compared to the sum last week (7.76 million) and down 5% compared to the comparable sales week of 2009 (week ending Jan. 11; 6.25 million).