Charts: Sia Debuts at No. 1,On Her Own Terms

The singer's faceless promotion for "1000 Forms of Fear" yields her best sales week yet and first chart-topper

Singer-songwriter Sia nabs her first No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 - and her best sales week ever - as "1000 Forms of Fear" debuts atop the list. The new album, released on Monkey Puzzle through RCA Records, sold 52,000 copies in the week ending July 13, according to Nielsen SoundScan. The album was released July 8.

The 52,000 haul is Sia's best frame, but a fairly tepid figure for a No. 1 album in general.

The artist took a rather unconventional route to promoting her album: She opted not to show her face during TV performances of album single "Chandelier" and didn't pose for traditional photo shoots. Instead, she performed on TV with her back to the camera while a dancer (or dancers) interpreted the song - as seen recently on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Late Night With Seth Meyers and Jimmy Kimmel Live! The promotion of the album effectively launched with her 2013 Billboard cover story. She was pictured on the Nov. 2 issue with a bag over her head that read, in part, "This artist is responsible for over 12 million track sales … and doesn't want to be famous."

Sia previously charted twice on the Billboard 200, with 2008's No. 26- peaking "Some People Have Real Problems" and 2010's No. 37 hit "We Are Born." ("Some People" logged Sia's previous biggest sales frame, when it launched with 20,000.) Prior to that, she reached the Heatseekers Albums chart with 2006's "Colour the Small One" (No. 14). Sia is probably best-known as the female voice on David Guetta's "Titanium" and Flo Rida's "Wild Ones," both of which were top 10 hits on the Billboard Hot 100. She also co-wrote hits for Rihanna ("Diamonds"), Ne-Yo, Beyoncé and Britney Spears. "Chandelier," meanwhile, rises 17-13 and is her first Hot 100 hit as a lead artist.

Sia is the latest in a line of acts that have seen great benefits from low-key (or faceless) promotional runs. Lana Del Rey's "Ultraviolence" debuted at No. 1 without a single American TV performance, while the still-faceless Daft Punk scored its best sales frame ever and first No. 1 when "Random Access Memories" topped the chart in 2013. And early that year, David Bowie notched his SoundScan-era biggest sales week (and highest-charting album ever) for the No. 2-debuting "The Next Day" without doing a single interview or performance.


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