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Justin Timberlake Starts Atop Billboard 200, Earns Third-Largest Digital Week Ever

As reported yesterday (March 26), Justin Timberlake comes roaring in at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, selling 968,000 copies of "The 20/20 Experience," according to Nielsen SoundScan.

As reported yesterday (March 26), Justin Timberlake comes roaring in at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, selling 968,000 copies of “The 20/20 Experience,” according to Nielsen SoundScan. It’s the singer’s best sales week ever and the 19th-largest week for an album since SoundScan started tracking sales in 1991.
Timberlake’s last album, “FutureSex/LoveSounds,” debuted at No. 1 with 684,000 while his 2002 debut, “Justified,” bowed and peaked at No. 2 off a 439,000 start.
Impressively, “20/20” instantly becomes the year’s best-selling album, easily surpassing Mumford & Sons’ “Babel” (658,000).

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Released March 19, “20/20” exceeded initial industry sales forecasts of 500,000-plus, which were made a week before the album was released. By the time Sunday, March 24, rolled around—the final day of the sales week—those projections grew to 950,000-975,000.
To put “20/20’s” sales in further perspective: Last year, there were only 11 albums that sold more in all of 2012 than what “20/20” moved in a single week. Last year’s top seller was Adele’s “21,” with 4.4 million sold. The 11th-biggest was Maroon 5’s “Overexposed,” with 988,000.
Overall, Timberlake’s “20/20” also logs the third-largest sales week for a male singer in the SoundScan era, behind only Usher and Garth Brooks. Usher’s “Confessions” (2004) and Brooks’ “Double Live” (1998) sets debuted with 1.10 million and 1.09 million, respectively.
“20/20” was massive digital seller, too. The set sold 452,000 downloads in its debut frame, making it the third-largest week ever for a digital album. Only Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” (662,000 in 2011) and Taylor Swift’s “Red” (465,000 in 2012) sold more downloads in a single week.
With “20/20’s” arrival, Timberlake’s cumulative solo U.S. album sales cross the 9 million mark, rising to 9.2 million. “Justified” has sold 3.8 million while follow-up “FutureSex/LoveSounds” has moved 4.4 million.
Timberlake clearly scared away nearly all of the competition last week, as few major new albums went up against the pop star. In the top 10 this week, there’s only one other debut: Country singer Kacey Musgraves arrives at No. 2 with “Same Trailer Different Park,” selling 43,000 copies. She takes a bow at No. 1 on the Top Country Albums chart as well.

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As for the rest of the top 10: Bruno Mars’ “Unorthodox Jukebox” climbs 5-3 (41,000; down 3%), Luke Bryan’s “Spring Break . . . Here to Party” slips 3-4 (38,000; down 37%), and P!nk’s “The Truth About Love” zips 11-5 (36,000; up 26%).
P!nk’s album is profiting from the success of its third single, “Just Give Me a Reason,” featuring Nate Ruess. It climbs 21-16 on the Pop Songs airplay chart (known as Mainstream Top 40 on and flies to No. 1 (up five slots) on the Digital Songs chart (241,000; up 42%). It’s the third No. 1 on the Digital chart for P!nk, following “So What” in 2008 and “F**kin’ Perfect” in 2011.
Back on the Billboard 200, Imagine Dragons’ “Night Visions” returns to the top 10, rising 12-6 with 29,000 (up 3%). The album’s single “It’s Time” is bulleted at No. 11 on the Pop Songs chart, while another cut, “Radioactive,” spends a sixth straight week at No. 1 on Alternative Songs. The latter also rises 10-8 on Digital Songs this week, selling 108,000 (up 6%).
Last week’s No. 1 album, Bon Jovi’s “What About Now,” slides to No. 7 on the Billboard 200 with 29,000 (down 71%). The “Les Misérables” soundtrack rallies 59-8 with 28,000 (up 221%) after it was reissued with a CD’s worth of bonus songs. Mumford & Sons’ “Babel” is steady at No. 9 with 27,000 (down 11%), and Rihanna’s “Unapologetic” ascends 13-10 with 26,000 (down 5%).

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Over on the Digital Songs chart, the previously mentioned P!nk hits No. 1, while last week’s topper, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ “Thrift Shop,” slips to No. 2 with 234,000 (down 13%).
Rihanna’s “Stay,” featuring Mikky Ekko, is stationary at No. 3 with 222,000 (up less than 1%), while Mars’ “When I Was Your Man” is down 2-4 with 216,000 (down 6%). Pitbull’s “Feel This Moment,” featuring Christina Aguilera, is up 7-5 with 138,000 (up 1%), and Baauer’s “Harlem Shake” remains at No. 6 with 114,000 (down 22%).
Drake’s “Started From the Bottom” climbs 9-7 with 110,000 (despite a 6% decline in sales), Imagine Dragons’ “Radioactive” skips 10-8, and’s “#THATPOWER,” featuring Justin Bieber, debuts at No. 9 with 108,000. Closing out the top 10 is Timberlake’s “Suit & Tie” (featuring Jay-Z), slipping 4-10 with 101,000 (down 50%).
Overall album sales in this past chart week (ending March 24) totaled 6.1 million units, up 9% compared with the sum last week (5.6 million) and up 11% compared with the comparable sales week of 2012 (5.5 million). Year-to-date album sales stand at 67.5 million, down 6% compared with the same total at this point last year (71.7 million).
Digital track sales this past week totaled 24.8 million downloads, up 1% compared with last week (24.6 million) and down 3% stacked next to the comparable week of 2012 (25.6 million). Year-to-date track sales are at 328.2 million, down 2% compared with the same total at this point last year (334.6 million).
Next week’s Billboard 200 competes with the same week in 2012 when: Madonna’s “MDNA” debuted at No. 1 with 359,000, while Lionel Richie’s “Tuskegee” bowed at No. 2 with 199,000.