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Mumford & Sons Make Grammy-Fueled Return to No. 1 on Billboard 200

As forecasted a week ago, Mumford & Sons' "Babel" jumps back to No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart in the wake of its Grammy Award win for album of the year on Feb. 10.

As forecasted a week ago, Mumford & Sons’ “Babel” jumps back to No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart in the wake of its Grammy Award win for album of the year on Feb. 10. The set — which rises 4-1 on the tally — sold 185,000 copies in the week ending Feb. 17, according to Nielsen SoundScan, posting a weekly gain of 242%.

The figure is a bit larger than initially projected by label sources. A week ago, “Babel” was looking to maybe sell 150,000 to 170,000 in the week after the Grammy Awards. Sale pricing by the iTunes Store — for Valentine’s Day — helped push “Babel’s” sales even bigger. “Babel” was marked down to $6.99 for a limited time by iTunes and was featured in an email blast sent to its customers.

In turn, the album scores a 260% gain in download sales — moving from 28,000 to 101,000 for the week. (The largest digital week for a non-debuting album since the week after Christmas, when Taylor Swift’s “Red” sold 131,000 downloads.)


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Physical sales for “Babel” last week were still robust, however — amounting to 55% of “Babel’s” sales for the frame.

“Babel” is also benefitting from two new deluxe editions of the album that were released on Feb. 5. The first, available exclusively at Target, includes three bonus live tracks. A second version, dubbed the “Gentlemen of the Road” edition, was widely-released and boasts a 12 extra live cuts.

Mumford & Sons performed twice during the Grammy Awards. The quartet sang the album’s lead single, “I Will Wait,” and later in the broadcast it performed as part of an all-star memorial tribute to Levon Helm. The former track sells 177,000 downloads (up 70%), bringing it back into the top 10 of Hot Digital Songs (12-7) for the first time since September.

This is “Babel’s” fourth non-consecutive week atop the Billboard 200. It spent its first three weeks at No. 1 last October.

In the top 10, in addition to Mumford at No. 1, all of the titles at Nos. 2-4, 6, 7 and 10 are impacted by the Grammy Awards.

The “2013 Grammy Nominees” compilation — featuring an array of Grammy-nominated songs — jumps 11-2 with 88,000 (up 136%). It’s the highest-charting week ever for the “Grammy Nominees” series, which launched in 1995. It also earns its best sales week since “Grammy Nominees 2007” moved 131,000 the week after the 2007 show. The franchise has logged 12 top 10 sets.

Bruno Mars benefits from his performance on the Grammy Awards as well, as his “Unorthodox Jukebox” set rises 8-3 with 86,000 (up 112%). Mars sang the album’s No. 1 Billboard Hot 100 hit “Locked Out Of Heaven” before segueing into a Bob Marley tribute featuring Sting, Rihanna, Ziggy Marley and Damian Marley. (In turn, Bob Marley & the Wailers’ greatest hits album “Legend” flies 99-34 with 20,000 — up 270%.)

Taylor Swift, who opened the Grammys with “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together,” rises 12-4 with “Red” (72,000; up 106%). Swift’s set also gains thanks to hefty promotion by Target. The retailer ran a TV commercial during the Grammys, touting its exclusive version of “Red.” Additionally, it was featured in Target’s weekly circular ad. Of “Red’s” sales last week, a whopping 86% were physical albums.


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Target also smiles on P!nk, as her “The Truth About Love” almost returns to the top 10 — climbing 23-11 with 47,000 (up 121%). Like “Red,” the Target version of P!nk’s album was advertised during the Grammys. P!nk was also seen in a second commercial during the show, as she starred in a new spot by Covergirl. Like Swift’s “Red,” P!nk saw the bulk of “Truth’s” sales last week from physical copies of the album (85% physical vs. 15% digital).

Three more Grammy Awards performers are found in the Billboard 200’s top 10. The Lumineers’ self-titled album has its best sales week yet, rising 10-6 with 67,000 (up 70%). fun.’s “Some Nights” climbs 14-7 (66,000; up 118%). Maroon 5’s “Overexposed” rises 20-10 (48,000; up 119%). Like Swift and Mars, “Overexposed” was marked-down to $6.99 at iTunes last week.

Last week’s No. 1 album, Josh Groban’s “All That Echoes,” slips to No. 5 with 72,000 (down 50%). The “Now 45” compilation slides 3-8 (63,000; down 27%) and Andrea Bocelli’s “Passione” falls 5-9 (48,000; down just 6%). Figure the latter’s slight decline is owed to gift purchases made for Valentine’s Day.

Over on the Digital Songs chart, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ “Thrift Shop” (featuring Wanz) reigns for a sixth week. It logs its best sales week yet, moving 412,000 downloads (up 6%). In a somewhat distant second place is Rihanna’s “Stay” (featuring Mikky Ekko), which drives 25-2 with 306,000 (up 358%). The song was performed on the Grammy Awards, while its music video also debuting during the tracking week.

Baauer’s red-hot “Harlem Shake” debuts at No. 3 on Digital Songs with 262,000 (up 1,359% from 18,000). The song — as featured in countless YouTube viral videos — was released commercially last June. It didn’t start to sell significant units until a week ago, when it moved 18,000 after the “Harlem Shake” meme began to take hold.

Bruno Mars’ “When I Was Your Man” is steady at No. 4 with 217,000 (up 36%), Justin Timberlake’s “Suit & Tie” (featuring Jay-Z) rises 8-5 (201,000; up 67%) and the Lumineers’ “Ho Hey” is stationary at No. 6 (192,000; up 30%). The latter two songs were both performed on the Grammy Awards.

Drake’s new single “Started From the Bottom” flies 32-8 with 168,000 (up 185%) after its first full week of sales. The song debuted last week (ending Feb. 10) after four days of impact, as it was released on Feb. 7.

Timberlake’s new song “Mirrors” enters the top 10 at No. 9 with 163,000, after it hit iTunes early on Monday morning, Feb. 11. The song — from his forthcoming “20/20 Experience” album — was either available as a stand-alone track purchase, or, as an instant-gratification download when a customer pre-ordered the album. (The customer was immediately charged for the track in either instance.)

Closing out the top 10 is & Britney Spears’ “Scream & Shout,” which falls 2-10 with 158,000 (down 3%).

Owed mostly to buzz generated by the Grammy Awards, the entire top 16 titles on the Digital Songs chart all sell in excess of 100,000. The last time that happened — not counting the Christmas holiday weeks — was last April, when Easter helped push the top 16 all to 100,000-plus sales.

Overall album sales in this past chart week (ending Feb. 17) totaled 6.81 million units, up 17% compared with the sum last week (5.81 million) and down 12% compared with the comparable sales week of 2012 (7.72 million). Year to date album sales stand at 39.12 million, down 6% compared to the same total at this point last year (41.70 million).
Digital track sales this past week totaled 29.43 million downloads, up 8% compared with last week (32.28 million) and down 9% stacked next to the comparable week of 2012 (32.23 million). Year to date track sales are at 200.41 million, down 1% compared to the same total at this point last year (202.78 million).

Next week’s Billboard 200 competes with the same week in 2012 when: Adele’s “21” was No. 1 — yet again — for a 22nd week (297,000; down 59%). The highest debut was fun.’s “Some Nights,” starting at No. 3 with 70,000.