As Lady Antebellum’s “Need You Now” notches a second week at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, new efforts from Lil Wayne, Nick Jonas and Rob Zombie debut in the top 10 . . . Meanwhile, the Grammy Awards make major waves on the tally. Sales surge for winners and performers like Lady Gaga, the Black Eyed Peas, Taylor Swift, Zac Brown Band, Beyonce, Pink, Kings of Leon and Dave Matthews Band.
Lady Antebellum’s “Need You Now” stands tall at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 for a second week as the set shifts 209,000, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Last week, the album bowed atop the list with 481,000, the biggest sales week for country set since Taylor Swift’s “Fearless” opened at No. 1 with 592,000 copies in November 2008.
Lady A’s second week of 209,000 sold is down an expected 57% compared with its premiere week. Last year, most high-bowing country albums dropped between 55%-60% in sales in their second week. And, since Lady A performed the new album’s title track Jan. 31 on the Grammy Awards, the set’s second-week drop-off was softened.
The Grammy Awards hit a high note in the Nielsen ratings, with 25.8 million viewers—the most for the show since 2004 and up 35% compared with last year’s broadcast.
Speaking of the Grammy show, another of its performers, Lil Wayne, debuts at No. 2 with his oft-delayed “Rebirth” set, selling 176,000 copies. It’s the seventh top 10 album for the hip-hop king, who of course famously saw his last album, “Tha Carter III,” debut at No. 1 in 2008 with 1 million sold in its first week. “Rebirth” actually did better than initially projected, as last Tuesday (Feb. 2), industry prognosticators first estimated that the album was going to sell in the neighborhood of 125,000 to 150,000.
The Grammy love continues with the chart’s second-highest debuting album, Nick Jonas & the Administration’s “Who I Am” at No. 3 with 82,000. The Jonas brother didn’t perform on the Grammys, but he and his brothers Joe and Kevin did introduce another trio’s performance—Lady Antebellum’s. Nick’s proper solo debut also starts better than expected, as last week some observers had the album launching with around 60,000 to 65,000 copies.
The third and final debut in the top 10 is an artist who, while he wasn’t part of the Grammy Awards festivities, he’s been nominated multiple times previously—Rob Zombie. His “Hellbilly Deluxe 2” starts at No. 8 with 49,000. The set is the rocker/director’s first effort on Loud & Proud/Roadrunner after having spent almost 18 years with Geffen Records. Zombie’s last studio set, “Educated Horses,” opened at No. 5 with 108,000 in 2006.
As for the holdovers on the chart that populate the top 10 this week, all but one of them have an explicit connection to the Grammy Awards. (And even the one that didn’t—Susan Boyle’s “I Dreamed a Dream”—was joked about on the show by presenter/winner Stephen Colbert.)
“The Fame” by show-opener and two-time winner Lady Gaga is pushed down one spot to No. 4, but sells 79,000 (up 17%). Outside the top 10, her “Fame Monster” EP drops two rungs to No. 12 with 34,000 (up 8%). The “2010 Grammy Nominees” compilation climbs three slots to No. 5 with 71,000 (up 55%), while performer/winner the Black Eyed Peas’ “The E.N.D.” jumps four spots to No. 6 with 70,000 (up 76%). Taylor Swift, who won four trophies (two of them on air) and performed on the show, sees her album of the year winner, “Fearless,” rise from No. 13 to No. 7 with 53,000 (up 58%). The aforementioned Boyle falls five spots to No. 9 with 46,000 (down 21%). Finally, best new artist winner Zac Brown Band reaches the top 10 for the first time as “The Foundation” climbs 12 slots to No. 10 with 40,000 (up 82%).
Outside the top 10, the Grammys shine on a bevy of albums that make great strides up the chart. Among the most notable increases: Performer/winner Beyonce rises 21 rungs to No. 14 with “I Am . . . Sasha Fierce” (32,000; up 101%). Beyonce won two trophies during the broadcast, along with another four during the pre-show, for a total of six, marking the most by a female artist on one night in Grammy history. (Her total career haul? Sixteen, the third-most of all female artists.)
Pink’s show-stopping performance of “Glitter in the Air” aids the surge of her “Funhouse” album, which flies from No. 61 to No. 15 with 31,000 (up 234%). It also doesn’t hurt that Pink chatted and performed on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” Feb. 5. Kings of Leon, who won record of the year, jump from No. 39 to No. 24 with “Only by the Night” (24,000; up 66%). Album of the year nominee (and performer) Dave Matthews Band rises from No. 93 to No. 47 with “Big Whiskey and the GrooGrux King” (13,000; up 114%).
Overall album sales in this past chart week (ending Feb. 7) totaled 6.7 million units, up 3.3% compared with the sum last week (6.5 million) and down 8.3% compared with the comparable sales week of 2009 (7.3 million).
A LOOK AHEAD:
Expect the smooth sounds of Sade to overtake the No. 1 slot on the Billboard 200 next week, as industry sources project the group’s new effort, “Soldier of Love,” could sell between 375,000 to 400,000 by week’s end on Feb. 14. It will be the act’s second No. 1 album. Its first came way back in 1986 with “Promise.”
“Soldier of Love” is the first studio effort from the band—led by vocalist Sade Adu—since “Lovers Rock” was released in 2000. That set debuted and peaked at No. 3 on the Billboard 200 with 370,000 sold in its first week. Since its release, “Lovers Rock” has sold 3.9 million in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
The new album’s title track recently became Sade’s eighth top 10 hit on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, its first since “Kiss of Life” reached No. 9 in 1993. Sade played NBC’s “Today” and CBS’ “Late Show With David Letterman” yesterday (Feb. 9) and is scheduled to visit ABC’s “The View” today. Next week, Sade drops by “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” (Feb. 15), “Jimmy Kimmel Live” (Feb. 16) and “The Wanda Sykes Show” (Feb. 20).
Other albums headed for notable debuts on next week’s Billboard 200 include Jaheim’s “Another Round,” Josh Turner’s “Haywire,” TobyMac’s “Tonight” and Celtic Thunder’s “It’s Entertainment!”
Album units, current chart week: 6.7 million units
Up 3.3% from last week’s charts: 6.5 million units
Down 8.3% from the comparable week in 2009: 7.3 million units
This week: The top two albums on the Billboard 200 sell more than 100,000 copies.
This week last year on the Billboard 200: The Fray’s self-titled set arrived at No. 1 with 179,000, bumping Bruce Springsteen’s “Working on a Dream” from the top slot, as it slid to No. 2 with 102,000 (down 55%). Dierks Bentley’s “Feel That Fire” was the chart’s second-best bow, coming in at No. 3 with 71,000.
A LOOK AHEAD
Among the albums released this week, due on next week’s charts: Sade’s “Soldier of Love,” Celtic Thunder’s “It’s Entertainment,” TobyMac’s “Tonight,” Jaheim’s “Another Round” and Josh Turner’s “Haywire.”
Next week’s Billboard 200 competes with the same week in 2009 when: Taylor Swift’s “Fearless” returned to No. 1, selling 92,000 (up 44%), following her performance on the Grammy Awards (Feb. 8, 2009). Robert Plant and Alison Krauss’ “Raising Sand,” last year’s winner of the Grammy for album of the year, flew from No. 69 to No. 2 with 77,000 (up 715%). The highest debut on the list came from India.Arie’s “Testimony: Vol. 2, Love & Politics,” arriving at No. 3 with 75,000.