Remember summer 2013, when Robin Thicke, 37, was riding high with “Blurred Lines,” the longest-charting No. 1 of the season? Its accompanying album became his first Billboard 200 No. 1, with sales of 177,000 copies in its first week, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
What a difference a year makes. "Paula," his hastily released July 2 follow-up album and brazen plea to win back estranged wife Paula Patton, has quickly become the year’s most high-profile flop. In the United States, the album debuted at No. 9, selling 24,000 copies out the gate, an 86 percent drop-off from "Blurred Lines"’ debut. On the July 26 chart, the set tumbles to No. 42 with sales of 7,000 — a 72 percent plunge.
While it’s easy to forget the middling sales of Thicke’s pre-“Blurred” life (2007’s "The Evolution of Robin Thicke" sold 20,000 in its Billboard bow), it’s also startling to see the momentum he built grind to such a halt. "Blurred Lines" topped the charts in 15 countries, but "Paula" barely cracked 150 copies in Australia, landing it at No. 207 on ARIA’s album charts.