In the first full week following Michael Jackson's death on June 25, his catalog of solo albums shifted 800,000, according to Nielsen SoundScan. That's up a whopping 90% compared with the previous week, when his solo sets moved 422,000 . . . His "Number Ones" greatest-hits album is the top-selling set in the United States this week, with 339,000 sold. His classic "Thriller" album is the second-biggest seller, with 187,000 . . . We also have news about the latest albums from Brad Paisley, Rob Thomas, Wilco, Jeremih and Killswitch Engage, and updates on Halestorm, Tim McGraw, Toby Keith and Miley Cyrus.
Michael Jackson's catalog of solo albums sold a whopping 800,000 copies in the United States in the tracking week that ended at the close of business Sunday night (July 5), according to Nielsen SoundScan. That's an increase of 90% compared with the previous week, when his combined albums sold 422,000.
A jump in sales was expected, since this was the first full week of sales since Jackson's passing on June 25. Additionally, after most physical retailers swiftly sold out of available Jackson albums, Sony Music Entertainment and Universal Music Group were able to replenish brick-and-mortar stores with CDs last week to meet customer demand.
In turn, physical albums accounted for 82% of Jackson's sales last week—656,000 physical albums versus 144,000 digital albums. In the week previous, when Jackson's albums moved a total of 422,000, physical albums accounted for 43% of that sum (181,000) while digital albums made up the other 57% (241,000).
Jackson's "Number Ones" collection is the top-selling album in the United States, with 339,000 (up 215%), and will also be No. 1 on Billboard's Top Comprehensive Albums chart. "Thriller" will be No. 2 with 187,000 (up 86%) while the third-place set will be the newly released "Now 31" various-artists compilation, which will start with 169,000.
Also, Jackson will again dominate the Top Pop Catalog Albums chart. It tallies albums that are more than 18 months old, have fallen below No. 100 on the Billboard 200 and don't have a current radio single. Catalog albums are ineligible to appear on the Billboard 200, though they can chart on the Top Comprehensive Albums list.
Last week, Jackson had a record eight albums out of the top 10 on the Top Pop Catalog Albums chart, while a Jackson 5 compilation also found its way into the upper tier. This week, the entire top 10 is all Jackson, all the time. He alone has albums at Nos. 1-6 and Nos. 8-10 while a Jackson 5 title ("The Ultimate Collection") resides at No. 7.
On Billboard's Hot Digital Songs chart, Jackson will hold down five of the top 10 slots, with "Man in the Mirror" leading as his top-selling digital song of the week (159,000; down 3%). Overall, it ranks as the second-best selling song of the week, next to the Black Eyed Peas' "I Gotta Feeling" (215,000; up 6%).
Jackson's total song download sales this week—including his works with the Jackson 5 and the Jacksons—stand at 2.2 million downloads. Last week, the collected total was 2.6 million.
The aforementioned "Now 31" album debuts at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart — the 14th edition of the "Now" series to top the list — where it is followed by five more bows in the top 10. Brad Paisley's "American Saturday Night" starts at No. 2 with 130,000, giving the country star his fifth top 10 set. On the Top Country Albums tally, it's his fifth No. 1 . . . Rob Thomas' "Cradlesong" begins at No. 3 on the Billboard 200 with 122,000. His first solo set, 2005's ". . . Something to Be," entered at No. 1 with 252,000 . . . Wilco's latest, "Wilco (The Album)," gives the band a career-high sales week of 99,000 as the group's latest starts at No. 4 . . . Last week's Billboard 200 chart-topper, the Black Eyed Peas' "The E.N.D.," slips to No. 5 with 69,000 (down 21%). The self-titled debut from Jeremih follows close behind at No. 6 with 59,000 while Killswitch Engage's eponymous offering starts at No. 7 with 58,000.
The Jonas Brothers' former No. 1, "Lines, Vines and Trying Times," falls six slots to No. 8 this week with 42,000 (down 39%) while Eminem's "Relapse" slides four rungs to No. 9 with 39,000 (down 18%). Rounding out the top 10 this week is Lady GaGa's "The Fame," down two spots to No. 10 with 36,000 (down 3%).
Album units, current chart week: 6.9 million units
UP 11% from last week's charts: 6.2 million units
DOWN 8% from same week, 2008: 7.6 million units
This week: The top three albums on the Billboard 200 sell more than 100,000 copies.
This week last year on the Billboard 200: Lil Wayne's "Tha Carter III" returned to No. 1 with 156,000, displacing Coldplay's "Viva La Vida or Death and All Friends" from the top slot. The latter set slipped to No. 2 with 149,000. The chart's highest debut came at No. 4, where G-Unit bowed with "T.O.S. (Terminate on Sight)" (102,000).
Female-fronted acts are hard to come by on the Alternative radio airplay chart, so this week's debut from Halestorm is especially noteworthy. The band, led by Lizzy Hale, starts at No. 36 with "I Get Off." It's the Atlantic group's first Billboard chart hit, which has already risen to No. 8 on the Mainstream Rock chart . . . The last group with a lead female vocalist to score a top 10 hit was Paramore, who completed a 13-week run in the top 10 Feb. 28 with "Decode."
Miley Cyrus climbs to No. 1 on the Adult Contemporary chart as her hit "The Climb" rises 2-1 in its 17th chart week. Perhaps surprisingly, it's Cyrus first No. 1 single on any of Billboard's airplay charts. She's had two top five hits on the Mainstream Top 40 radio tally ("See You Again" and "The Climb") and even a No. 4 hit on the Hot Country Songs chart with "Ready, Set, Don't Go."
Speaking of the Country Songs chart, the tally greets two debuts within its top 40 this week. Tim McGraw's "It's a Business Doing Pleasure With You" enters at No. 35 while Toby Keith's "American Ride" starts at No. 38. It's the first time we've had two concurrent top 40 debuts since the chart dated Sept. 27, 2008, when Taylor Swift's "Love Story" and the Brad Paisley duet with Keith Urban, "Start a Band," debuted at Nos. 25 and 31, respectively . . . McGraw's "Business" is the first single from his forthcoming studio set "Southern Voice," due this fall. Keith's recently recorded "Ride" was rushed to radio and seemed a perfect fit for Independence Day-themed programming.
A LOOK AHEAD
Among the albums released this week, due on next week's charts: Maxwell's "BLACKsummers'night," the TV soundtrack "Hannah Montana, Volume 3," Vicente Fernandez's "Necesity De Ti," Paul Oakenfold's "Perfecto: Vegas," Son Volt's "American Central Dust" and the Jayhawks' "Music From the North Country."
Next week's Billboard 200 competes with the same week in 2008 when: Lil Wayne's "Tha Carter III" held at No. 1 with 125,000 (down 20%) while the chart's top debut came from Beck's "Modern Guilt" at No. 4 (84,000).