Eminem Debuts At No. 1 On Billboard 200

 

Eminem makes a splash at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, as his new album The Marshall Mathers LP 2 debuts atop the list with 792,000, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

It marks the second-largest sales week of the year, behind only the arrival of Justin Timberlake's The 20/20 Experience, which started with 968,000 in March. The year's second-largest week had been the debut of Drake's Nothing Was the Same (658,000).

The Marshall Mathers LP 2 also logs the sixth-biggest sales week of the past five years. Since November 2008, larger weeks were only earned by Taylor Swift's Red (2012, 1.2 million upon its debut), Lady Gaga's Born This Way (2011, 1.1 million debut), Swift's Speak Now (2010, 1 million debut), Timberlake and Lil Wayne's Tha Carter IV (2011, 964,000 debut).

LP2 marks Eminem's seventh No. 1 album. It’s also his seventh consecutive album, and they all debuted at the top. His only album to miss the top slot was his first release, 1999's The Slim Shady LP. It debuted and peaked at No. 2.

Impressively, LP2 posts a larger debut than Eminem's last album, 2010's Recovery, which started with 741,000. And both albums bowed bigger than his previous set, 2009's Relapse, which entered with 608,000.

To put the sales figure for LP2 into perspective: It sold more than the combined sales of the Nos. 2-32 albums on the Billboard 200 this week. Further, LP2 accounted for 14% of all album sales.

One of those other albums is Celine Dion's Loved Me Back to Life, which debuts at No. 2 with 77,000 sold. It's the diva's highest-charting album since 2003's One Heart also bowed at No. 2. Loved, however, tallies Dion's smallest start for an English-language studio album since 1993's The Colour of My Love bowed with 16,000 (at No. 88). Her last studio set, 2007's Taking Chances, debuted and peaked at No. 3 with 214,000 sold in its first week.

Two more debuts arrive in the top 10 this week: Avril Lavigne's self-titled album (No. 5 with 44,000) and Pentatonix's PTX: Vol. II (No. 10 with 31,000).

This is Lavigne's fifth straight top 10—her entire output so far. Yet the first-week sales for her album are the singer/songwriter's lowest yet, dipping below the 62,000 start of her Let Go debut in 2002.

On a more positive note, a capella group Pentatonix earns its best week ever, as its new album starts with 31,000. That easily trumps its earlier high-water mark, when PTX: Volume 1 debuted and peaked at No. 14 with 18,000 back in 2012. The act followed it with a holiday collection later that year, which reached No. 45 from a 12,000 launch.

As for the holdovers in the top 10, last week's No. 1, Arcade Fire's Reflektor, falls to No. 9 with a little more than 31,000 (down 77%).

Meanwhile, another of last week's debuts -- the Robertsons' Duck the Halls: A Robertson Family Christmas -- actually grows in sales. The holiday set -- from the Duck Dynasty TV family -- surprisingly improves by 5% in its second week. (It sold 73,000, rising one spot to No. 3.) It's an achievement not only because most albums decline in their sophomore frame, but also because Christmas albums traditionally don't start selling in great numbers until closer to Thanksgiving.

Comparatively, the other Christmas set that debuted in the top 10 last week—Kelly Clarkson's Wrapped In Red—falls from No. 3 to No. 6 with 43,000 (down 39%).

Katy Perry's PRISM dips 2-4 with 61,000 (down 33%), Drake's Nothing Was the Same falls 5-7 with 37,000 (down 3%), and Lorde's Pure Heroine is steady at No. 8 with 35,000 (up less than 1%).

Over on the Digital Songs chart, the impact of NBC's The Voice is felt strongly at No. 1: A Great Big World's "Say Something," featuring Christina Aguilera, debuts at No. 1 with 189,000 sold (up 1,761%). The song benefits from being performed last week on the show, along with a newly released version with Voice coach Aguilera. The Aguilera-aided version accounts for 86% of the song’s overall downloads this week.

Previously, the song had been available without Aguilera and had sold 52,000 through Nov. 3. The sales of both the song’s old and new versions are combined for tracking and charting purposes.

Lorde's "Royals" rises 3-2 with 186,000 (though it's down by 5%), and OneRepublic's "Counting Stars" rebounds 9-3 with 152,000 (up 16%). Last week's leader, Eminem's "The Monster," featuring Rihanna, falls to No. 4 with 150,000 (down 60%).

Katy Perry's "Roar" descends 4-5 with 136,000 (down 3%), Avicii's "Wake Me Up!" drops 5-6 with 126,000 (down 10%), and Miley Cyrus' "Wrecking Ball" rises 10-7 with 121,000 (but down 1%).

Pitbull collects his lucky 13th top 10 on the Digital Songs chart as "Timber," featuring Ke$ha, rises 17-8 with 119,000 (up 43%). For Ke$ha, it’s her 10th top 10 hit.

To close out the top 10: Passenger's "Let Her Go" falls 7-9 with 118,000 (down 15%), and Imagine Dragons' "Demons" rises 14-10 with 110,000 (up 12%). It's the second top 10 hit on this chart for the act, which previously went as high as No. 2 with "Radioactive."

Overall album sales in this past chart week (ending Nov. 10) totaled 5.7 million units, up 21% compared with the sum last week (4.7 million) and up 4% compared with the comparable sales week of 2012 (5.5 million). Year-to-date album sales stand at 234.3 million, down 7% compared with the same total at this point last year (251.3 million).

Digital track sales this past week totaled 20.6 million downloads, up 1% compared with last week (20.4 million) and down 3% stackednext to the comparable week of 2012 (21.3 million). Year-to-date track sales are at 1.09 billion, down 4% compared with the same total at this point last year (1.14 billion).

Next week's Billboard 200 competes with the same week in 2012 when: One Direction's Take Me Home debuted at No. 1 with 540,000. Six more albums arrived in the top 10, with the Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 starting at No. 3 (93,000). Taylor Swift's Red fell from No. 1 to No. 2 in its fourth week on the chart (145,000; down 26%).

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