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‘Elusive’ Sales for Mariah Carey’s New Album

The debut of "Me. I Am Mariah … The Elusive Chanteuse" is Mariah Carey's smallest opening for a non-holiday studio effort since SoundScan started tracking sales in 1991.

Mariah Carey collects her 17th top 10 album on the Billboard 200 chart as “Me. I Am Mariah … The Elusive Chanteuse” enters at No. 3 with 58,000 sold in the week ending June 1 (according to Nielsen SoundScan). Her last non-holiday studio effort, 2009’s “Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel,” also debuted at No. 3, but with 168,000.

The debut of “Elusive” is Carey’s smallest opening for a non-holiday studio effort since SoundScan started tracking sales in 1991. Her previous low came when 1991’s “Emotions” launched at No. 4 with 156,000. Carey has tallied six No. 1 albums between 1991 and 2008. 

“Chanteuse” was released on May 27 by Def Jam Records — nearly five years after her last non-holiday studio album, 2009’s “Memoirs of An Imperfect Angel.” Notably, this is her longest gap between studio projects. 

“Chanteuse” was tentatively earmarked for a release in March 2013, but was then pushed to July 23, then to May 6, 2014 and finally May 27. The promotion for the new set arguably started in August 2012 with the release of the single “Triumphant (Get ‘Em),” a song which does not appear on “Chanteuse.” The new album’s most recently charting single on the Billboard Hot 100 was “You’re Mine (Eternal),” which spent one week on the list, peaking at No. 88 (on the March 1-dated chart).

The set previously logged a No. 15 hit with “#Beautiful,” featuring Miguel,” in June 2013. Comparably, the “Memoirs” album launched with the No. 7-peaking single “Obsessed.” (Carey holds the mark for the most Hot 100 No. 1s, 18, among soloists. Among all acts, only the Beatles, with 20, have more.)

Between “Triumphant” and “You’re Mine (Eternal),” Carey released a few other singles with varying results.

In early 2013, she bowed the track “Almost Home” from the film “Oz the Great and Powerful.” It reached No. 20 on the Adult Contemporary airplay chart, and does not appear on “The Elusive Chanteuse.” After that, “#Beautiful” became a significant hit, reaching No. 15 on the Hot 100 and No. 3 on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs. Then, in November of last year, Carey issued the song “The Art of Letting Go,” which missed the Hot 100, but did reach No. 46 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.