Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga’s jazzy new duets album, Cheek To Cheek, debuts at No. 1 on the Billboard 200. It’s the second No. 1 for Bennett and the third for Gaga.
The standards album, released Sept. 23 on Streamline/Interscope/RPM/Columbia Records, sold 131,000 copies in the week ending Sept. 28, according to Nielsen SoundScan. It also hits No. 1 on both the Jazz Albums and Traditional Jazz Albums charts.
88-year old Bennett is the oldest living act to earn a No. 1 album, beating a record he set himself back in 2011. That year, a then 85-year old Bennett scored his first No. 1 album with Duets II (which included a collaboration with Gaga on “The Lady Is a Tramp”).
Gaga previously led the list with ARTPOP, less than a year ago, and Born This Way, in 2011.
There was a tight race for No. 1 on the Billboard 200, as three albums were vying for the pole position. Cheek To Cheek edges out Kenny Chesney’s also-arriving The Big Revival at No. 2 (130,000). Last week’s No. 1, Barbra Streisand’s own duets album, Partners, slips to No. 3 with 127,000 (down just 35 percent).
For Chesney, The Big Revival is his 12th top 10 effort and follows 2013’s No. 1 debut Life On a Rock (153,000 sold in its first week). On the Top Country Albums chart, The Big Revival comes in at No. 1 — Chesney’s lucky 13th leader.
As for Streisand, her second-week decline is the lowest for a No. 1 debuting album since the week ending Feb. 16, when the Now 49 compilation slid by only 21 percent. Remarkably, Streisand has the smallest second-week drop for an album by an artist in almost four years. The last artist album to hold up better in its second week — after a No. 1 debut — was Susan Boyle’s Christmas release The Gift, in the week ending Nov. 21, 2010. It actually rose by 5 percent in sales in its sophomore frame, likely owed to the set’s seasonal appeal.
The top three albums each sell more than 125,000 — the first time three titles have sold at least 125,000 in the same week since the frame ending Dec. 22, 2013.
Following the breakthrough success of Alt-J’s debut full-length album, the Mercury Prize-winning An Awesome Wave, the band has returned with its second effort, This Is All Yours. The trio’s set debuts at No. 4 on the Billboard 200 (their first top 10 album) and No. 1 on Top Rock Albums. And, with 68,000 sold in its first week, it is Alt-J’s biggest sales week by far. (An Awesome Wave’s largest frame was 6,000.)
A cappella group Pentatonix scores its largest sales debut, and highest chart position, as PTX: Vol. III (EP) bows at No. 5 with 46,000. The quintet has previously visited the top 10 twice, with 2013’s PTXMAS (EP) (No. 7 peak) and PTX: Vol. II (No. 10). Another Pentatonix album is on the way, as That’s Christmas To Me arrives on Oct. 21.
Chris Brown’s X slides 2-6 in its second week, selling 37,000 (down 75 percent) while the Guardians of the Galaxy soundtrack climbs 11-7 with 30,000 (up 16 percent).
Singer/guitarist Joe Bonamassa’s new Different Shades of Blue — his first entirely self-written album — arrives at No. 8 with 26,000 sold. It’s his highest charting album, first top 10, and biggest sales week ever. The handsome first week is owed to significant pre-release promotion (dating back 10 weeks), and visibility on iTunes and Amazon. (48 percent of its first week sales came from Internet retailers, like Amazon, while 24 percent were owed to digital retailers.)
Different Shades of Blue is the highest-ranking blues album in almost two years. The last blues set to reach the top 10 was Gary Clark Jr.’s Blak and Blu, which debuted and peaked at No. 6 on the chart dated Nov. 10, 2012.
Maroon 5’s V descends 7-9 with 26,000 (down 24 percent). The former No. 1 album has sold 305,000 copes in four weeks.
Closing out the top 10 is Jennifer Hudson with her new album, JHud, debuting at No. 10 with 24,000. It’s the Grammy Award and Academy Award-winner’s third top 10 album — the entirety of her releases. She previously hit No. 2 — twice — with her self-titled 2008 debut and follow-up I Remember Me in 2011.
Over on the Digital Songs chart, Meghan Trainor’s “All About That Bass” reclaims the No. 1 slot, rising 2-1 with 253,000 (down 10 percent). Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off” falls 1-2 with 224,000 (down 24 percent).
“Bang Bang,” by Jessie J, Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj is a non-mover at No. 3 with 125,000 (down 13 percent), Tove Lo’s “Habits (Stay High)” rises 5-4 with 109,000 (up 1 percent) and Iggy Azalea’s “Black Widow,” featuring Rita Ora, falls 4-5 with 104,000 (down 14 percent).
Jason Aldean’s new “Tonight Looks Good On You” debuts at No. 6 with 90,000, while Nicki Minaj’s “Anaconda” descends 6-7 with 89,000 (down 13 percent). Clean Bandit’s “Rather Be,” featuring Jess Glynne, dips 7-8 with 87,000 (though it’s up by 5 percent). Aldean has a second single in the top 10, as “Burnin’ It Down” is stationary at No. 9 with 77,000 (down 1 percent).
Kendrick Lamar’s new single “I” debuts at No. 10 with 76,000.
Overall album sales in this past chart week (ending Sept. 28) totaled 4.4 million units, up 1 percent compared with the sum last week (4.36 million) and down 14 percent compared with the comparable sales week of 2013 (5.14 million). Year to date album sales stand at 175.71 million, down 14 percent compared to the same total at this point last year (205.18 million).
Digital track sales this past week totaled 18.02 million downloads, down 1 percent compared with last week (18.17 million) and down 11 percent stacked next to the comparable week of 2013 (20.29 million). Year to date track sales are at 848.49 million, down 13 percent compared to the same total at this point last year (974.6 million).
Next week’s Billboard 200 competes with the same week in 2013 when: Justin Timberlake’s The 20/20 Experience – 2 of 2 debuted at No. 1 with 350,000. The previous week’s leader, Drake’s Nothing Was the Same, fell to No. 2 with 148,000.