Bow down bitches!!! Beyonce is the undisputed queen of music right now. With no advanced album promotion, no physical copies to purchase and a full week of sales to tabulate, Beyonce still sold an insane amount of her surprise visual album, breaking iTunes sales records along the way. In just the first three hours of release, the 32-year-old sold 80,000 copies. That’s almost what Britney sold in an entire week for Britney Jean and that came with a huge marketing push.
With Billboard’s weekly reporting period over, the numbers are in. B broke the US first-week sales record by selling 617,213 downloads. It’s worldwide haul was an insane 828,773. The total was no doubt buoyed by the fact singles weren’t available to download. It was all or nothing to enjoy the Beyonce experience. Apple reports that her self-titled album hit No. 1 in 104 countries, including the US. Can you imagine what she could’ve achieved if she had an entire week? Who rule the world? Not just girls, but Beyonce.
First the good news. Britney Spears has the best-selling new album on this week’s Billboard Top 200. The bad news is that Britney Jean debuts at No. 4. Even worse, the 107,000 units sold represents the worst opening bow of the superstar’s career. Even her debut album, …Baby One More Time, sold more in 1999 with 121,000 units. Her previous two studio albums, Circus and Femme Fatale, sold 505,000 and 276,000 copies respectively.
With a Planet Hollywood Vegas residency beginning, the 32-year-old singer won’t have time to tour and promote her new album. The million dollar question is, should she cut her losses or go into overdrive to salvage this era? This bitch just needs to work harder, especially if she wants that Maserati or Lamborghini.
One Direction topped the Billboard Top 200 during the lucrative Thanksgiving weekend. Their latest, Midnight Memories, sold a whopping 546,000 copies. By debuting at No. 1, they’re the first group in history to see all of their first three albums bow at No. 1. Boy band fever is alive and well.
Even more impressive is the fact the sales of their albums keep going up- Up All Night and sophomore effort Take Me Home moved 176,000 and 540,000 respectively. Billboard notes that Midnight Memories makes One Direction only the third pop group in the SoundScan era to sell 500K+ in multiple one-week frames. Any guesses on who the other two are? Why ‘N Sync and Backstreet Boys of course.
Given the shopping madness that occurred last week, numerous albums saw a sales bump. Katy Perry‘s Prism improved 252 percent, jumping from No. 11 to No. 5. Even though Lady Gaga’s Thanksgiving special was a ratings turkey, ARTPOP gained 154 percent, selling 116,000 copies. Check out the rest of the Top 10 below.
Katy Perry scored her second No. 1 album of her career. Prism moved 286,000 copies, making it the largest sales week this year for a female artist. It sneaked past Miley Cyrus’ Bangerz which debuted with 270,000. Prism’s first week total also beat her previous album, Teenage Dream, which notched 192,000 units back in 2010.
Also making a Top 10 debut this week were Simon Cowell’s Fifth Harmony. The quintet sold 28,000 copies to land at No. 6. It’s pretty impressive given they only had an EP with six songs, two of which were released months ago. As sad as it is, they’re the highest-charting act born from the U.S. edition of The X Factor. Emblem3 who released a full-length album earlier this year landed at No. 7. Not a bad start for the ladies. Check out a recent performance of them covering Spice Girls below.
It took seven tries for Rihanna, but Selena Gomez scored a Billboard Top 200 chart topper on her first try as a solo artist. To be fair, the former Wizards of Waverly Place actress did release three albums as part of Selena Gomez & the Scene, none of which reached the top. Regardless, congrats to the 21-year-old entertainer for achieving this career milestone.
Stars Dance bows in at No. 1 with 97,000 copies underneath its belt according to Nielsen Soundscan. It displaces Jay Z’s Magna Carta … Holy Grail which dropped 40 percent to 77,000 units for a three-week total just shy of 735,000. According to Billboard, Gomez is the youngest female artist to hit No. 1 since Taylor Swift accomplished the feat in 2010. Did you purchase the album? What are your favorite cuts?
Gomez will launch a world tour promoting her hit album on August 14 in Vancouver, BC. If you’ve missed any of the videos released from Stars Dance, check them out below.
Only time will tell if Little Mix can reach the same heights the Spice Girls did during their hey day, but for now the quartet are off to a better start than Ginger, Scary, Sporty, Baby and Posh Spice. Even though their debut album DNA has been available on the other side of the pond for months now, the UK X Factor winners only officially released it last week to North American buyers. Looks like the decision paid off.
Buoyed by the single “Wings,” Jesy Nelson, Perrie Edwards, Leigh-Anne Pinncok and Jade Thirlwall’s debut effort landed at No. 4 on the Billboard 200 albums chart. That marks the highest debut ever for a British female group’s first album, surpassing the No. 6 arrival of Spice Girls’ Spice in 1997. It also marks the highest start for any female group since 2006 when Danity Kane’s self-titled set landed at No. 1.
Though it landed a couple notches better than the Spice Girls, I’m sure the girl power quintet sold more units during its first week. Little Mix only moved about 50,000 copies. Definitely a sign of the times. As they say, it’s not a sprint but a marathon. Little Mix has to work extremely hard pimping their debut album to match Spice‘s 28 million sales worldwide. Til this day, that Spice Girls album is still the biggest-selling album by a girl group in music history.
If you don’t know the awesomeness that is Little Mix, I’ve embedded all their videos from their debut effort below, along with their best X Factor performance. Congrats to Little Mix for a solid start in North America.
Initially, industry experts predicted The 20/20 Experience would move around 500,000 units. An impressive number already. However, said experts definitely underestimated the power of the 32-year-old entertainer’s fanbase. As each day went by, projections were modified to 700,000 to 800,000 and then the unthinkable happened… a million copies was within reach. Guess that week-long stint on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon paid off.
Rihanna is sorta the Susan Lucci of the music industry when it comes to album sales. The 24-year-old singer can churn out hits and score Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 singles after another, but can’t seem to do the same when it comes to her albums. With six previous tries, Robyn Rihanna Fenty hasn’t topped Billboard’s Top 200 album chart yet. But will lucky number seven prove lucky for the “Diamonds” singer?
Before we get to RiRi’s projected first week sales numbers, let’s quickly discuss a few other notable releases this week. Hits Daily Double is giving a wider range than normal due to the Black Friday shopping blitz. Reigning American Idol champ Phillip Phillips’s debut album, The World From The Side of The Moon, is expected to move an impressive 140,000-160,000 copies its first week. Not too shabby. Meanwhile, OG Idol Kelly Clarkson will only sell about 45,000-50,000 units of her latest which isn’t bad for a greatest hits compilation. Other projections include Pitbull’s Global Warning (35-40K), Keyshia Cole’s Woman to Woman (75-80K) and Kid Rock’s Rebel Soul (160-180K). Find out Rihanna’s numbers below.