Keys Well Ahead Of Dion In Race For No. 1
Alicia Keys is poised to earn her fourth consecutive No. 1 on The Billboard 200 as her new J album, "As I Am," is tops on Nielsen SoundScan's Building Chart, released today (Nov. 14).Alicia Keys is poised to earn her fourth consecutive No. 1 on The Billboard 200 as her new J album, "As I Am," is tops on Nielsen SoundScan's Building Chart, released today (Nov. 14).
If "As I Am" does bow at No. 1, Keys will become only the third act to see their first four albums debut atop The Billboard 200. Britney Spears did it with her first four releases between 1999 and 2003, while DMX's first five albums all started at No. 1 between 1998 and 2003.
Unweighted sales for "As I Am" through the close of business Tuesday (Nov. 13) from the Building Chart's panel of reporters stood at 160,000.
Billboard estimates that the merchants who report to Nielsen SoundScan's Building Chart -- Trans World Entertainment, Best Buy, Circuit City, iTunes, Border's, Target, Anderson Merchandisers, and Handleman Co. -- represent 79% of the U.S. retail market.
Keys' last release, 2005's "Unplugged," bowed at No. 1 with 196,000. Her first two studio albums, 2001's "Songs in A Minor" and 2003's "The Diary of Alicia Keys," also started at No. 1 with 236,000 and 618,000 units, respectively.
On the Wednesday Building Chart, Celine Dion's new "Taking Chances" (Epic) was in third place with 58,000, while Josh Groban's Christmas set, "Noel" (143/Reprise/Warner Bros.), showed continued strength at No. 2 (67,000). Two other new albums were among the top 10 sellers: the "Now 26" compilation and Led Zeppelin's hits set "Mothership" (Atlantic).
Keys is also outpacing Dion in terms of blog buzz, according to Nielsen BuzzMetrics.