From Ariana Grande to Robin Thicke: Music's Winners and Losers of 2014 (So Far)
This article first appeared in the Aug. 1 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.
Frozen, the best-selling Disney soundtrack, might well describe the first six months of 2014 in music — ice cold. Album sales were down 15 percent, according to Nielsen SoundScan, with top acts hitting new lows.
Here, THR breaks down music's winners and losers of 2014 (so far).
► Country: Eric Church's The Outsiders debuted at No. 1 and sold more than 650,000 albums, while Miranda Lambert's Platinum also bowed on top with 180,000.
► Rock: Big debuts for Bruce Springsteen's High Hopes (99,000 first week), Lana Del Rey's Ultraviolence (180,000) and Coldplay's Ghost Stories (383,000, the year's biggest debut with 600,000 total).
► Newcomers: Iggy Azalea reached No. 1 and No. 2 with "Fancy" and Ariana Grande's "Problem" (featuring Azalea), respectively, a feat matched only by The Beatles. And Sam Smith had the top album bow for a solo act since American Idol's Phillip Phillips in 2012.
► Robin Thicke: Paula, his much-maligned attempt to woo back wife Paula Patton, registered a paltry 24,000 in first-week sales.
► Mariah Carey: Her long-delayed Me. I Am Mariah … The Elusive Chanteuse debuted with 58,000, down from her 2009 album, which moved 168,000 its first week.
► Jennifer Lopez: A.K.A., her first for Capitol Records, sold 33,000 its first week, down from 83,000 for 2011's Love? Better keep that Idol job.