Beyonce's Surprise Album Sales Rise as Hot Valentine's Day Gift

5:23 PM PST 02/19/2014 by Keith Caulfield, Billboard

Eric Church scores his second No. 1 album with "Outsiders," logging the biggest week for a country album since Luke Bryan's "Crash My Party" debuted on Aug. 31.

It's the largest sales week of the year, and the biggest since Beyonce's self-titled album sold 310,000 in its second week of release (last December). It rises 7-4 with a little more than 48,000 (up 26 percent) in the wake of Valentine's Day gift shopping.

VIDEO: BRIT Awards: Beyonce Sings 'XO' for the First Time on TV

It's also, by far, Eric Church's best frame ever. The Outsiders is Church's fourth studio album and second No. 1 set, following his last studio effort, 2011's Chief. The latter bowed with 145,000 -- his previous best sales week. (In between Chief and The Outsiders, Church released the live album Caught in the Act: Live, which debuted and peaked at No. 5.)
 
The Outsiders also logs the biggest week for a country album since Luke Bryan's Crash My Party debuted at No. 1 with 528,000 on the chart dated Aug. 31, 2013.
 
Church's new set is the only new arrival on the top 10 of the Billboard 200 this week. The next-highest debut belongs to The Glitch Mob's second album, Love Death Immortality, at No. 13 with 22,000. It's the electronic act's best week yet and its first appearance on the Billboard 200. It previously reached No. 39 on the Heatseekers Albums chart with its first album, 2010's Drink the Sea.

PHOTOS: BRIT Awards 2014: Beyonce Surprises Again, David Bowie Pleas, Arctic Monkeys Make Peace

Back in the top 10, the Frozen soundtrack holds steady at No. 2, but gains by 13 percent, selling 100,000 copies for the week. It's the first time the set has surpassed 100,000 in weekly sales since the sales week that ended Jan. 5 (165,000). And with another 100,000 sold this past week, cumulative sales for Frozen surpass 1 million. It's the first soundtrack to sell 1 million copies since Pitch Perfect in the week ending Dec. 29, 2013. The two albums are the first million-selling theatrical film soundtracks since Michael Jackson's This Is It moved 1 million in December 2009.
 
The Now 49 compilation falls from No. 1 to No. 3 in its second week, selling 77,000 (down 21 percent).

Many albums on the chart profit from the holiday, including Imagine Dragons' Night Visions (12-6 with 41,000; up 77 percent). Night Visions was also sale-priced in the iTunes Store for $6.99, which helps tremendously with its sales this week. This is the highest chart rank for the album since the Aug. 3, 2013, chart.

Bruno Mars' Unorthodox Jukebox slips 3-5 with 48,000 (down 41 percent), and Lorde's Pure Heroine climbs 8-7 with 39,000 (up 9 percent). Toni Braxton & Babyface's Love, Marriage & Divorce descends 4-8 in its second week (33,000; down 51 percent), and Katy Perry's PRISM rises 10-9 with 31,000 (up 19 percent). Miley Cyrus' Bangerz jumps 18-10 with 29,000 (up 96 percent). It also profits from $6.99 sale pricing in the iTunes Store.

Over on the Digital Songschart, Pharrell's "Happy" takes over the No. 1 slot, selling 329,000 downloads for the week (up 31 percent, rising 2-1). It bumps Perry's "Dark Horse," featuring Juicy J, down to No. 2 with 277,000 (down 5 percent).

PHOTOS: Beyonce Onstage: Mrs. Carter's Top Performances, From 'Crazy in Love' to 'Drunk in Love'

"Happy" is Pharrell's first No. 1 as a lead artist on the 9-year-old Digital Songs chart. He previously led the list as a featured act on Snoop Dogg's "Drop It Like It's Hot" and Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines."
 
Jason Derulo's "Talk Dirty" is steady at No. 3, though it gains by 10 percent (selling 266,000 for the week). John Legend's "All of Me" continues to climb quickly, rising 11-4 with 164,000 (up 46 percent). Bastille's "Pompeii" breaks into the top five for the first time, climbing 7-5 with 146,000 (up 11 percent).
 
A Great Big World & Christina Aguilera's "Say Something" dips 5-6 with 145,000 (down 15 percent), and Passenger's "Let Her Go" falls 4-7 with 132,000 (down 28 percent). Aloe Blacc's "The Man" rises 9-8 with 129,000 (up 3 percent), and Idina Menzel's "Let It Go" falls 6-9 with 127,000 (down 8 percent). Pitbull's "Timber," featuring Ke$ha, closes out the top 10 (8-10) with 123,000 (down 5 percent).
 
Overall album sales in this past chart week (ending Feb. 16) totaled 5.4 million units, up 20 percent compared with the sum last week (4.5 million) and down 21 percent compared with the comparable salesweek of 2013 (6.8 million). Year-to-date album sales stand at 32.9 million,down 16 percent compared with the same total at this point last year (39.1 million).
    
Digital track sales this past week totaled 25.4 million downloads, up 7 percent compared with last week (23.6 million) and down 14 percent stacked next to the comparable week of 2013 (29.43 million). Year-to-date track sales are at 176.7 million, down 12 percent compared with the same total at this point last year (200.4 million).
 
Next week's Billboard 200 competes with the same week in 2013 when: Mumford & Sons' "Babel" held at No. 1, selling 63,000 (down 66 percent), while Bruno Mars' "Unorthodox Jukebox" rose 3-2 with 48,000 (down 44 percent). The highest debut was Buckcherry's "Confessions" at No. 20, with 18,000.

This article first appeared on Billboard.com

comments powered by Disqus