At last year's Grammy Awards, Adele took home six trophies, and also another honor: her best sales week ever. In the week following the ceremony, her 21 earned a 207% gain. It held at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 that week, moving from 237,000 copies sold to 730,000.
It's too early to know the full sales impact of this year's awards--Nielsen SoundScan's tracking week ended at the close of business on the night of the broadcast (Sunday, Feb. 10)--but this week's Billboard charts still feel the force of music's biggest night. And though it seems there's no runaway sales winner like Adele in 2012, retailers who spoke to Billboard predict a spread-the-wealth effect.
Mumford & Sons' "Babel," which won album of the year, is the biggest-selling album directly linked to the awards. It sold 54,000 in the week ending Feb. 10--a 50% gain compared with the previous week. It jumps 7-4 on the Billboard 200, and is set to return to No. 1 on next week's chart with potential sales of 150,000, according to industry sources.
Mumford & Sons' sales also benefited from two performance slots on the show. Along with leading an ensemble tribute to the late Levon Helm, the band also played Babel hit "I Will Wait." The song earns the largest unit gain on the Digital Songs chart, flying from No. 34 to No. 12 with 104,000--up by 48,000 units, a 116% increase.
In the top 50 of the Billboard 200, 18 albums had gains courtesy of a performance or telecast win. Bruno Mars' "Unorthodox Jukebox" dips 6-8 but with a gain of 10%, selling 41,000. The Lumineers' self-titled set dropped one slot with 39,000 (still up 21%). The "Grammy Nominees 2013" compilation climbs 14-11 (37,000; up 52%). Show-opener Taylor Swift gains by 20% with "Red" (10-12, 35,000). And fun.'s "Some Nights" rises 25-14 with 30,000 (up 87%) after winning two trophies (best new artist, song of the year) and a performance of "Carry On."
Ed Sheeran, who performed with Elton John, rises 28-32 with his "+" album (up 11%). Other gainers include Rihanna's "Unapologetic" (19-17; 24,000; up 27%), Adele's "21" (18-22; 22,000; up 14%), Hunter Hayes' self-titled set (37-27; 19,000; up 46%), the Black Keys' "El Camino" (41-29; 18,000; up 72%), Alabama Shakes' "Boys & Girls" (79-43; 13,000; up 149%) and Frank Ocean's "Channel Orange" (85-46; 12,000; up 140%). All of these acts performed on the show except Adele, who won the first award of the night and also presented album of the year.
Forecasters says there are big Grammy-related gains brewing for next week: Mars, the Lumineers and fun. all have the potential to sell more than 70,000 each, with Mars' effort flirting with 80,000. That would make 2013's Grammy boosts more widespread than last year's when only three albums tied to the broadcast sold in excess of 70,000 the week after the show, and two of those were by the same artist: Adele's "21" and "19," and the 2012 "Grammy Nominees" set.
Mumford & Sons, though, will be the biggest winner. One merchant tells Billboard that the band's Grammy spike will be more akin to that of Robert Plant and Alison Krauss' Raising Sand in 2009, when the duo won album of the year, and the title jumped from 9,000 units to 76,000, then proceeded to sell another 70,000 before dropping back down to a pace of 9,000.
Babel is also benefiting from two new deluxe versions that arrived Feb. 5. The first, available exclusively at Target, includes three bonus live tracks. A second edition, dubbed the "Gentlemen of the Road" set, was widely released and has 12 extra live cuts.
In terms of track sales, Rihanna's "Stay" (featuring Mikky Ekko) will be one of next week's biggest winners. The diva performed her latest single on the show and could end up as the week's top-selling download. Sources say it might sell 250,000-300,000 in the week ending Feb. 17. This past week, it moved 67,000 with a 289% gain to debut at No. 25 on the Hot Digital Songs chart. The song is also selling strongly courtesy of the buzz generated by the release of its video on Feb. 12. And Miguel's "Adorn" spiked 229%, moving 44,000 units--its best sales week yet.
In last year's post-Grammys week, 19 songs sold more than 100,000 each. Topping the Digital Songs chart that week was the debut of Katy Perry's "Part of Me" (411,000), which premiered on the telecast.
Retailers who spoke with Billboard had varied sales lifts in the first day-and-a-half following the 2013 awards show. Ish Cuebas, VP/divisional merchandise manager for music and new media at Trans World Entertainment, says Ocean's Channel Orange was enjoying the biggest boost at the Albany, N.Y.-based chain.
At Newbury Comics in Newton, Mass., head buyer Carl Mello reports that The Lumineers was having the biggest sales impact at the 29-unit chain, with the band selling double the amount of Mumford & Sons' Babel, which, along with fun., were the acts that were having the second biggest gains at the chain. After that, Mello says, came Mars' "Unorthodox Jukebox" and Mumford & Sons' "Sigh No More," but the Lumineers were outselling them by a factor of five.