'Now 50' Bumps 'Frozen' From No. 1 On Billboard 200
After 13 nonconsecutive weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, the Frozen soundtrack steps aside for the Now 50 compilation. Now 50 debuts at No. 1 with 153,000 copies sold in the week ending May 11, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
Now 50 is the 50th installment of the long-running Now That's What I Call Music! series, which launched in 1998. It's the 18th No. 1 for the Now franchise and its best sales week in nearly five years. The last Now release to sell more units in a week was Now 31, which debuted at No. 1 with 169,000 copies in the week ending July 5, 2009.
In addition to the numbered Now series -- which features contemporary pop hits -- the Now brand has spawned themed compilations like Now That's What I Call Christmas and Now That's What I Call Country.
In total, all 50 of the numbered Now albums have reached the top 10 of the Billboard 200. The franchise has also spawned top 10s with the themed efforts Now That's What I Call Christmas! (No. 3), Now #1's (No. 6), Now That's What I Call Christmas 3 (No. 10), Now That's What I Call Country (No. 7) and Now That's What I Call Country Vol. 2 (No. 10).
Meanwhile, after seven straight weeks of sales north of 100,000, the Frozen soundtrack slides to No. 2 with 99,000 (down 7 percent).
A total of six albums debut in the top 10, led by Now 50 at No. 1. Following Frozen is Hunter Hayes' second album, Storyline, which bows at No. 3 with 69,000. It's the singer's best sales week and highest-charting album, surpassing the No. 7 peak of his self-titled debut in 2013.
The new album's lead single, Invisible, has so far peaked at No. 19 on the Country Airplay chart, while it reached No. 4 on the hybrid Hot Country Songs tally (which combines airplay, sales and streaming data).
Storyline also debuts at No. 1 on the Top Country Albums chart, Hayes' second leader on the list.
Back on the Billboard 200, singer-songwriter Sarah McLachlan claims her sixth top 10 album with Shine On debuting at No. 4 (42,000). All five of her studio efforts since 1997's Surfacing have reached the top 10. She also hit the region with the No. 7-peaking Christmas album Wintersong in 2006. McLachlan debuted on the Billboard 200 just over 25 years ago, on the April 29, 1989-dated chart, with her first album, Touch.
Shine On is McLachlan's first album on Verve Records after spending her entire recording career releasing material through Arista Records and Nettwerk Records.
Next up on the Billboard 200 is Strangeulation, the new collaborations set from rapper Tech N9ne (billed to Tech N9ne Collabos), which debuts at No. 5 with 36,000. In addition to his traditional solo releases, Strangeulation is Tech N9ne's third top 10 effort. He last visited the region with 2013's Something Else, which debuted and peaked at No. 4. The independently distributed Strangeulation also debuts at No. 1 on the Independent Albums chart -- Tech N9ne's sixth chart-topper.
After Tech N9ne on the Billboard 200, we see Pharrell's G I R L hold at No. 6 (24,000; up 13 percent) and Luke Bryan's Crash My Party rise 9-7 (nearly 24,000; up 42 percent). The latter title is the largest unit gainer on the chart, with its sales surge likely caused by Mother's Day shopping (for the May 11 holiday) and the rising popularity of his single "Play It Again." The track jumps 5-3 on the Country Airplay tally dated May 24.
Another independently distributed rap act arrives in the top 10, as Atmosphere's eighth studio set, Southsiders, debuts at No. 8 with 23,000. It's the second top 10 for the duo, which previously hit No. 5 in 2008 with When Life Gives You Lemons, You Paint That Shit Gold.
The sixth and final debut in the top 10 is Santana's Corazon (No. 9 with 22,000). It also launches at No. 1 on the Top Latin Albums chart. The Spanish-language set marks the band's 13th top 10 release on the Billboard 200.
Closing out the top 10 is Lorde's Pure Heroine, which rises 13-10 with 19,000 (up 39 percent).
Over on the Digital Songs chart, Ariana Grande's "Problem," featuring Iggy Azalea, holds at No. 1 for a second week, selling 235,000 downloads (down 46 percent). Azalea also is a non-mover at No. 2 with her own single, "Fancy," featuring Charli XCX (216,000; down 2 percent).
Pharrell's "Happy" is stationary at No. 3 (156,000; down 11 percent), and John Legend's "All of Me" also stays put at No. 4 (144,000; down 11 percent). DJ Snake & Lil Jon's "Turn Down for What" rises 6-5 with 130,000 (up 3 percent).
Michael Jackson and Justin Timberlake's "Love Never Felt So Good" rises 15-6 after its first full week on sale (101,000; up 26 percent). It debuted at No. 15 a week ago with 80,000 sold in the week ending May 4, after only three full days of availability. (The song was commercially released the evening of May 1.)
"Love Never Felt So Good" is the lead single from Jackson's "Xscape" album, which was released May 13.
Jason Derulo's "Wiggle," featuring Snoop Dogg, zooms from No. 36 to No. 7 with 94,000 (up 114 percent) as the song's popularity has exploded on social applications like Vine. The Beluga Heights/Warner Bros. track -- an ode to those with a "fat butt" and rump-shaking -- has spawned a "Wiggle" meme where fans record themselves gyrating to the song.
Norwegian pop duo Nico & Vinz sails 16-8 with "Am I Wrong," selling 93,000 (up 21 percent). The Warner Bros. song, which was a hit in several European countries last year, also jumps 23-19 on the Pop Songs airplay chart (known as Mainstream Top 40 on billboard.biz).
Coldplay's "A Sky Full of Stars" dips 5-9 with 87,000 (down 36 percent), and Jason Derulo's "Talk Dirty" falls 8-10 with 83,000 (down 17 percent).
With all three songs by Derulo and Nico & Vinz released on Warner Bros. Records, the label has more than one title in the top 10 of Digital Songs for the first time since the June 24, 2006 chart. That week, the label placed Daniel Powter's "Bad Day" at No. 5, followed by Fort Minor's "Where'd You Go" (featuring Holly Brook, aka Skylar Grey) at No. 7 and Red Hot Chili Peppers' "Dani California" at No. 8.
Overall album sales in this past chart week (ending May 11) totaled 4.1 million units, up 5 percent compared with the sum last week (4.4 million) and down 17 percent compared with the comparable sales week of 2013 (5.6 million). Year-to-date album sales stand at 89.5 million, down 16 percent compared with the same total at this point last year (106.3 million).
Digital track sales this past week totaled 20.5 million downloads, down 6 percent compared with last week (21.9 million) and down 15 percent stacked next to the comparable week of 2013 (24.3 million). Year-to-date track sales are at 444.5 million, down 12 percent compared with the same total at this point last year (506.8 million).
Next week's Billboard 200 competes with the same week in 2013 when: Vampire Weekend's "Modern Vampires of the City" debuted at No. 1 with 134,000, followed by bows from George Strait's "Love Is Everything" (No. 2 with 125,000) and Demi Lovato's "Demi" (No. 3 with 110,000).
This story first appeared on Billboard.com.