The Band Perry makes a robust start at No. 2 on the chart this week, as its second album, "Pioneer," debuts with a stronger-than-expected 129,000. It also launches at No. 1 on the Top Country Albums chart -- their first No. 1 on that tally.
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Last week, industry forecasters had pegged "Pioneer" to bow with more than 110,000. It would seem that excitement generated by the trio's performance on the high-rated Academy of Country Music Awards (April 7) helped drive sales even higher. The group performed its current single "Done" on the show, which earned 15.38 million viewers according to Nielsen -- the most-watched ACMs since 1998.
While the ACMs were on Sunday, the final day of the SoundScan tracking week, some impact from the awards are still felt in this week's charts. We'll see the full power of the show on next week's tallies, after a week of sales has been registered post-show.
"Pioneer's" start is the best sales week yet for the Band Perry, which saw its self-titled debut bow and peak at No. 4 on the Billboard 200 in 2010 with 53,000. The smash set has gone on to sell 1.5 million in the U.S. and was the No. 6 best-selling country album of 2011.
The Band Perry also ignites on the Digital Songs chart, where a number of other ACM-related jumps are registered. "Done" reenters at No. 28 with 67,000 downloads sold (up 178%) while Florida Georgia Line's "Cruise" rallies 42-3 (248,000; up 372%). Florida Georgia Line benefits from two ACM wins and a performance of "Cruise" on the show. In addition, a new remix of the tune (with Nelly) was commercially released last week -- it accounts for 75% of "Cruise's" overall sales for the week.
Back on the Billboard 200, Tyler, the Creator's "Wolf" arrives at No. 3 with 89,000, marking the Odd Future member's best sales week yet. His last set, "Goblin," debuted and peaked at No. 5 in 2011 off a 45,000 start.
Blake Shelton, who co-hosted the ACM Awards with Luke Bryan, slips 3-4 with "Based on a True Story" (82,000; down 59%) while Lil Wayne's "I Am Not a Human Being II" falls 2-5 (68,000; down 69%).
New Kids on the Block score its sixth top 10 album as "10" starts at No. 6 with 51,000. It gives the quintet three top 10s in a row, following 2008's "The Block" (No. 2) and the collaborative "NKOTBSB" (No. 7 in 2011, with Backstreet Boys).
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Rock band Killswitch Engage fires up at No. 7, debuting with "Disarm the Descent" (48,000). It matches the band's previous chart high, logged when its last effort, a 2009 self-titled set, also launched at No. 7 (58,000). On Top Rock Albums, the new album bows at No. 1 -- its first leader on the tally.
Rounding out the top 10 are Imagine Dragons' "Night Visions" (holding at No. 8 with 37,000; down 20%), P!nk's "The Truth About Love" (7-9 with 37,000; down 24%) and Bruno Mars' "Unorthodox Jukebox" (9-10 with 36,000; down 24%).
Speaking of Mars, his single "When I Was Your Man" sails to No. 1 on the Digital Songs chart (up from No. 4 last week) with 340,000 downloads sold (up 45%). The song was sale priced in both the iTunes and Amazon MP3 stores last week for $0.69 -- down from the standard $1.29 price of most current hits. It's the first week for "Man" at the top, and it follows Mars' last single, "Locked Out of Heaven," which spent three weeks at No. 1 in December and January.
Last week's Digital Songs No. 1, P!nk's "Just Give Me a Reason" (featuring Nate Ruess), is pushed down to No. 2 with 280,000 (down 2%). As mentioned earlier, Florida Georgia Line's "Cruise" flies 42-3.
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis' "Thrift Shop" (featuring Wanz) slides 2-4 (211,000; down 25%) while Rihanna's "Stay" (featuring Mikky Ekko) is steady at No. 5 (207,000; down 9%). Mackelmore & Lewis' "Can't Hold Us" (featuring Ray Dalton) jumps 9-6 (186,000; up 37%) and Imagine Dragons' "Radioactive" dips 3-7 (163,000; down 31%).
Justin Timberlake's "Suit & Tie" (featuring Jay-Z) descends 7-8 (145,000; down 21%) and Icona Pop's "I Love It" (featuring Charli XCX) hits the top 10 for the first time, climbing 11-9 with 131,000 (up 10%). It's the song's eighth straight weekly sales gain.
Closing the top 10 on Digital Songs this week is Pitbull's "Feel This Moment," featuring Christina Aguilera, falling 8-10 with 124,000 (down 18%).
Overall album sales in this past chart week (ending April 7) totaled 5.65 million units, down 13% compared with the sum last week (6.51 million) and down 12% compared with the comparable sales week of 2012 (6.39 million). Year to date album sales stand at 79.67 million, down 5% compared to the same total at this point last year (84.23 million).
Digital track sales this past week totaled 28.31 million downloads, up less than 1% compared with last week (28.30 million) and down 3% stacked next to the comparable week of 2012 (29.12 million). Year to date track sales are at 384.78 million, down 1% compared to the same total at this point last year (390.44 million).
Next week's Billboard 200 competes with the same week in 2012 when: Lionel Richie's "Tuskegee" jumped to No. 1 in its third week on the chart, selling 129,000 (up 35%). It was Richie's first No. 1 since 1987, when "Dancing on the Ceiling" spent two weeks at the top.