Hot Shot Debuts Coldplay makes an impressive Hot Shot Debut on The Billboard Hot 100 with “Viva La Vida,” which starts at No. 15. The song is one of two Coldplay tracks to enter the chart’s top 40 this week — a rare feat and the first occurrence in the Nielsen era — as official radio single “Violet Hill” bows at No. 40. A download of “Viva” was offered with preorders of Coldplay’s forthcoming album, “Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends,” and shifted 101,000 copies as a result, giving it a No. 6 debut on Hot Digital Songs.
Over on The Billboard 200, Neil Diamond has something to crow about as “Home Before Dark,” the chart’s Hot Shot Debut prizewinner this week, becomes the first No. 1 of his 42-year chart career. The set moves 146,000 units its first week out — Diamond’s biggest debut sales week since SoundScan began tracking in 1991. The singer’s “American Idol” appearance two weeks ago helped fuel the lofty debut for “Home.”
Toby Keith also makes an impressive Hot Shot Debut grab this week as “35 Biggest Hits” enters Top Country Albums at No. 1, becoming his first best-of set to take the summit. The double-disc package also cracks The Billboard 200 at No. 2, moving 103,000 copies. “Hits” includes Keith’s current single, “She’s a Hottie,” which steps 16-15 on Hot Country Songs.
On Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums, the Hot Shot Debut belongs to Mint Condition’s “E-Life,” which starts at No. 8. This is the group’s first top 10 since “Life Aquarium” in 1999 and grants label Image its best-ever view of the chart, surpassing the No. 9 bow of Tamia’s “Between Friends” in 2006.
Greatest Gainers: Rascal Flatts wins the Greatest Gainer trophy on The Billboard 200 for “Still Feels Good,” which jumps 78-38. The album, now in its 33rd week, sees an 85% sales increase to 17,000.
On Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums, it’s Ledisi who sews on Greatest Gainer stripes, as “Lost and Found” climbs 28-14 in its 37th week. The Mother’s Day holiday helps the album to a 64% sales gain.
Blake Shelton earns the Greatest Gainer trophy on The Billboard 200 for “Pure BS,” which rockets 58-14 in its 54th week. A reissue of the album with three new tracks — including a cover of Michael Buble’s “Home” — results in a whopping 1,083% sales gain for the effort, to 14,000.
On The Billboard Hot 100, it’s Gavin DeGraw who takes Greatest Gainer/Digital honors for “In Love with a Girl,” which steps 34-24. The song sees a 27% sales bump to 51,000, earning it the No. 15 slot on Hot Digital Songs. Meanwhile, DeGraw’s self-titled album debuts at No. 7 on The Billboard 200 — his first top 10 — with sales of 66,000. The Greatest Gainer/Airplay title goes to Keyshia Cole for “Heaven Sent,” which leaps 83-59. The song also cracks the top 10 on Hot R&B Songs with the largest position leap (18-8) by any artist in eight months.
Pacesetters: Jill Scott is another leading R&B lady to reap the rewards of the Mother’s Day season, as “The Real Thing: Words and Sounds Vol. 3” climbs 49-30 to earn the Pacesetter award. The album, now in its 33rd week, sees a 69% sales jump.
It’s Brad Paisley who sets the pace on The Billboard 200 with “5th Gear.” The title steps 83-41 in its 47th week with sales of 15,000, a 76% increase.
Rascal Flatts takes its second trophy of the week with a Pacesetter award on Top Country Albums for “Still Feels Good,” which shimmies 17-9. The album is in its 34th week on this tally.
— Susan Visakowitz with additional reporting by Keith Caulfield, Raphael George, Katie Hasty, Wade Jessen, Geoff Mayfield and Silvio Pietroluongo