Bieber's Back at No. 1 On Billboard 200

A Justin Bieber Birthday Card, from
Pamela Littky

Justin Bieber's "My World 2.0" returns to No. 1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart for a fourth non-consecutive week at the top. But he does so with just a little over 60,000 copies sold according to Nielsen SoundScan, marking the second-lowest week at No. 1 since SoundScan's sales information began powering the Billboard 200 in May of 1991.

Last week it seemed likely that the No. 1 album this week -- initially predicted to be Lady Antebellum's "Need You Now" -- was going to sell less than 60,000, immediately rendering it the lowest-selling No. 1 in the SoundScan era. The record low at No. 1 came in January of 2007, when the "Dreamgirls" soundtrack spent its second of two weeks at No. 1 with a shade more than 60,000 sold. ("My World 2.0" and "Dreamgirls" are both stated to have sold 60,000 in this story because Billboard rounds SoundScan's sales figures to the nearest thousand. However, "My World" sold more than "Dreamgirls," but not by much.)

Things are much rosier over on the Digital Songs chart this week, where Katy Perry's "California Gurls" (featuring Snoop Dogg) debuts at No. 1 with 294,000 downloads sold. It's Perry's best debut sales week for a single and will certainly garner her a top five debut on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart when it's released on Thursday (May 20) morning. If it debuts as forecasted, it will be Perry's fourth top 10 hit and highest debut on the sales/airplay-hybrid Billboard Hot 100 chart.

Last week's Digital Songs No. 1, Eminem's "Not Afraid," falls to No. 4 with 202,000 (down 47%), while Usher's "OMG" is steady at No. 2 with 240,000 (though it's up 13%). The second-highest entry on the Digital Songs chart belongs to the "Glee" TV cast's rendition of Rick Springfield's classic Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 single "Jessie's Girl." The new "Glee" version enters at No. 10 on Digital Songs with 105,000 sold.

Back on the Billboard 200 albums chart, the previously mentioned Lady Antebellum set "Need You Now" holds at No. 2 with 54,000. It's down 44% in sales, a not surprising decline since it's the week after the Mother's Day shopping week. Any album appealing to women takes a dive this week, following nifty gains the week previous thanks to gains owed to Mom.

New York rock band the National arrive at No. 3 with its fifth full-length album "High Violet," selling 51,000 -- its best week ever. The act's last set, "Boxer," debuted and peaked at No. 68 in 2007. AC/DC's companion album to "Iron Man 2" climbs four rungs to No. 4 with 48,000 (down 11%) while the Dead Weather debuts at No. 5 with "Sea of Cowards," selling 45,000. It's the second album in less than a year for the act, which dropped "Horehound" last July and debuted at No. 6 with 51,000 copies.

Carole King and James Taylor's "Live at the Troubadour" descends just two slots to No. 6 in its second week with 44,000 (down only 43%) and Usher's "Raymond v Raymond" rises three rungs to No. 7 with a little over 43,000 (down 16%). 18-year old singer Charice bounds onto the chart at No. 8 with her self-titled debut, selling 43,000 copies. The young singer visited both "The Oprah Winfrey Show" and QVC last week.

Last week's No. 1 album, Godsmack's "The Oracle," falls to No. 9 with just under 43,000 -- down 63%. Right behind Godsmack is a new entry from rock band As I Lay Dying and its "Powerless Rise" set, bowing at No. 10 with 38,000. The act's last set, "An Ocean Between Us," debuted and peaked at No. 8 with 39,000 in 2007.

Overall album sales in this past chart week (ending May 16) totaled 5.32 million units, down 12% compared to the sum last week (6.07 million) and down 9% compared to the comparable sales week of 2009 (5.82 million). Year to date album sales stand at 115.1 million, down 10% compared to the same total at this point last year (127.9 million).

Digital track sales this past week totaled 22.2 million downloads, up 2% compared to last week (21.9 million) and up 7% compared to the comparable week of 2009 (20.9 million). Year to date track sales are at 444.2 million, up less than 1% compared to the same total at this point last year (445.3 million).


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