Album Sales Down 9% Despite Huge Kanye, 50 Tallies
It's an exciting week at the top of The Billboard 200 chart, as three of the year's most anticipated releases enter in the top three slots. But despite the hubbub over the Kanye West/50 Cent/Kenny CheIt's an exciting week at the top of The Billboard 200 chart, as three of the year's most anticipated releases enter in the top three slots. But despite the hubbub over the Kanye West/50 Cent/Kenny Chesney showdown, sales are still down 9% compared to the same week last year at 9.16 million.
As reported last night, West's "Graduation" (Def Jam) debuts at No. 1 with a whopping 957,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan, trouncing the 691,000 unit entry of 50 Cent's "Curtis" (G-Unit/Interscope) at No. 2. "Graduation" is the biggest selling album so far this year and is the 15th biggest sales frame since Nielsen SoundScan began tracking data in 1991.
The last album to move at least that many was, ironically, "The Massacre" by 50 Cent in 2005, with 1.1 million. Chesney's "Just Who I Am: Poets & Pirates" (BNA/Sony BMG Nashville) also kicks off with a big number, moving 387,000 to debut No. 3. It's the largest sales week for a country album since the May 2006 arrival of Dixie Chicks' "Taking the Long Way," which opened with 526,000 copies.
With such strong debuts, the soundtrack to Disney's "High School Musical 2" finally falls to No. 4 after four weeks at No. 1, moving 133,000 copies after a 19% sales slide. Another Disney soundtrack, Miley Cyrus' double-disc set "Hannah Montana 2 (Soundtrack)/Meet Miley Cyrus," slips 3-5 with 42,000 (-10%). Fergie's "The Dutchess" (Interscope) falls 2-6 with 41,000 (-17%), while Nickelback's Roadrunner effort "All the Right Reasons" climbs 8-7 with 35,000 (-4%).
With help from the popular single "Bubbly," Colbie Caillat's Universal Republic debut "Coco" rebounds 14-8 with a 25% sales surge at to 32,000. The "NOW 25" hits compilation slips 7-9 with 32,000 (-16%), while Justin Timberlake's "FutureSex/LoveSounds" (Jive) re-enters the top tier 12-10 with a 14% sales increase to 31,000; it was precisely this week one year ago that the effort bowed at No. 1.
Another big debut this week is the "Grey's Anatomy 3" soundtrack (Hollywood) at No. 16 with 27,000. Trisha Yearwood's "Greatest Hits" (MCA Nashville) lands at No. 22 with 22,000 and B5's "Don't Talk, Just Listen" (Bad Boy) starts at No. 27 with 19,000.