2019 American Music Awards

Billboard 200 Chart Moves: John Mellencamp Earns 19th Top 40 Album With 'Sad Clowns & Hillbillies'

Marc Hauser
John Mellencamp

Plus: Grateful Dead notch its 80th charting effort with its latest "Dave’s Picks" release.

On the latest Billboard 200 albums chart (dated May 20), Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN. notched a third week atop the list, earning 173,000 equivalent album units in the week ending May 4, according to Nielsen Music. Elsewhere in the top 10, there were new arrivals from Gorillaz, Mary J. Blige and Willie Nelson, along with the latest installment of the Epic AF compilation series.

The Billboard 200 chart ranks the week’s most popular albums based on their overall consumption. That overall unit figure combines pure album sales, track equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA).

Now, let’s take a closer look at some of the action on the latest Billboard 200 chart:

John Mellencamp featuring Carlene Carter, Sad Clowns & Hillbillies – No. 11 — John Mellencamp notches his 19th top 40-charting album on the Billboard 200 with the arrival of Sad Clowns & Hillbillies. The set, which features Carlene Carter, bows with 35,000 equivalent album units earned (of which nearly all were in traditional album sales). That sum of 35,000 copies sold is Mellencamp’s biggest sales week for any album since 2008, when Life Death Love and Freedom bowed with 56,000 sold.

Mellencamp clocked his first top 40 album almost exactly 36 years ago, when Nothin’ Matters and What If It Did reached the region on the list dated May 16, 1981. (That week, the album rose 41-39. It peaked at No. 37 a week later.)

Mellencamp made his Billboard 200 debut with the John Cougar album on Aug. 18, 1979. The set bowed at No. 185 and eventually peaked at No. 64 on Jan. 5, 1980. In total, Mellencamp has visited the top 10 a total of 10 times, and topped the list with his 1982 effort American Fool.

Lea Michele, Places - No. 28 — The singer/actress claims her second chart hit, as her sophomore album Places bows at No. 28 with 16,000 units (15,000 in traditional album sales). The former Glee star saw her first effort, Louder, debut and peak at No. 4 back in 2014 (launching with 60,000 sold).

Grateful Dead, Dave’s Picks Volume 22: Felt Forum – New York, NY, 12/7/71 - No. 34 — The latest archival release from the band is the 80th charting album for the group, stretching back to its 1967 self-titled album. In the past 50 years, Grateful Dead has the second-most chart hits, behind only Elvis Presley (with 103 since May of 1967).

New Found Glory, Makes Me Sick – No. 40 — The rock band brings its total of chart entries to an even dozen, as Makes Me Sick starts at No. 40 with 14,000 units (13,000 in traditional album sales). The act last charted in 2014 with Resurrection, which debuted and peaked at No. 25 with 14,000 sold.

Trombone Shorty, Parking Lot Symphony - No. 148 — The musician not only nabs his third entry on the Billboard 200 with Parking Lot Symphony, but also scores his fourth straight No. 1 on the Contemporary Jazz Albums chart. The set debuts atop the latter list with 5,000 sold. He previously hit No. 1 with Say That To Say This (No. 1 for six weeks, 2013), For True (No. 1 for 12 weeks, 2011 and 2012) and Backatown (No. 1 for 10 weeks, 2010 and 2011).


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