Josh Groban Earns Third No. 1 Album on Billboard 200

 Warner Bros. Records

Josh Groban’s All That Echoes arrives at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 this week, selling 145,000, according to Nielsen SoundScan. It’s the singer’s third No. 1 album, following 2003’s Closer and 2007’s top seller, Noel. His last studio release, 2010’s Illuminations, debuted and peaked at No. 4 with 191,000 sold in its first week.

Groban is one of the few artists in the past year to earn a No. 1 album without ever having a top 40 hit on the Billboard Hot 100. The other acts who managed this feat are Chris Tomlin, tobyMac and Jack White (as a solo artist).

While Groban has claimed 17 entries on the Adult Contemporary airplay chart, he’s only visited the overall, all-genre Hot 100 chart four times. His highest-charting Hot 100 single thus far is 2008’s live rendition of “The Prayer,” a duet with Celine Dion, which reached No. 70.

The 31-year-old Groban hasn’t needed crossover top 40 hits to sustain his music sales, as he reaches consumers through TV performances and other nontraditional means. Impressively, Groban has sold 21.7 million albums in the United States, making him one of the best-selling male pop vocalists of the SoundScan era (1991-present).

At No. 2 on the Billboard 200 this week is another new arrival: Tim McGraw’s Two Lanes of Freedom. The country star’s first album for Big Machine Records sold 107,000 and marks his 15th top 10. On the Top Country Albums chart, it starts at No. 1 -- his 14th leader.

The new Now 45 compilation enters at No. 3 on the Billboard 200, shifting 87,000. The last Now set, Now 45, launched with 99,000 at No. 2 last November. All of the regular, numbered Now albums have reached the top 10, and all but the first debuted in the top 10.

Mumford & Sons’ Babel, which won the Grammy Award for album of the year on Feb. 10, jumps 7-4 with 54,000 (up 50%). Expect sales for the set to grow next week, after a full seven days’ worth of impact from the show is felt.

Andrea Bocelli’s Passione slips a moderate 45% in its second week, dipping three rungs to No. 5 with 51,000. That’s a less harsh drop than that of Justin Bieber’s Believe Acoustic, which tumbles 1-6 with a 79% erosion (43,000). The slide might have been bigger, had it not been for his double-duty as the host and musical guest on NBC’s Saturday Night Live last weekend (Feb. 9).

Rock band Red debuts at No. 7 with Release the Panic (41,000), marking the second top 10 for the group. Its last studio set, 2011’s Until We Have Faces, charged in at No. 2 two years ago, moving 43,000 in its first week.

Bruno Mars is another beneficiary of the Grammy Awards. His Unorthodox Jukebox gains by 10%, but it’s pushed back 6-8 with nearly 41,000. He performed the album’s lead single, “Locked Out of Heaven,” with Sting on the show.

Coheed & Cambria’s new The Afterman: Descension bows at No. 9 with almost 41,000 as well. It’s the rock band’s fifth top 10 and comes hot on the heels of The Afterman: Ascension, which debuted and peaked at No. 5 last October when it sold 49,000 in its first week.

Closing out the top 10 on the Billboard 200 is the Lumineers’ self-titled album. It gets pushed back a slot to No. 10, but earns a 21% sales gain (39,000). The act was nominated for multiple Grammy Awards, and performed its single “Ho Hey” on the broadcast.

Over on the Digital Songs chart, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ “Thrift Shop” (featuring Wanz) is No. 1 for a fifth week, moving 389,000 (up 2%). At No. 2 is will.i.am & Britney Spears’ “Scream & Shout” with 163,000 (down 5%).

A new entry at No. 3 is Fall Out Boy’s new single “My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark (Light Em Up)” with 162,000 downloads sold. Fall Out Boy has been absent from the Digital Songs chart since 2009, when “America’s Suitehearts” spent one week on the list at No. 71.

Mars’ latest single, “When I Was Your Man,” rises 7-4 with 159,000 (up 52%) while Taylor Swift’s “I Knew You Were Trouble.” slips 3-5 (158,000; down 3%). The Lumineers’ “Ho Hey” gains by 25% to 147,000, though it’s pushed back a slot to No. 6.

Maroon 5’s “Daylight” -- which the band performed on the Grammy Awards -- climbs 10-7 with 121,000 (up 28%), as does Justin Timberlake’s “Suit & Tie” (up three to No. 8 with 120,000; up 33%). Timberlake also performed his single on the Grammys.

Swedish House Mafia’s “Don’t You Worry Child” (featuring John Martin) falls 4-9 with 117,000 (down 4%), and Mars’ “Locked Out of Heaven” slips 8-10 with 109,000 (but it’s up by 5%).

Overall album sales in this past chart week (ending Feb. 10) totaled 5.8 million units, up 11% compared with the sum last week (5.3 million) and down 15% compared with the comparable sales week of 2012 (6.8 million). Year-to-date album sales stand at 32.3 million, down 5% compared with the same total at this point last year (34 million).
     
Digital track sales this past week totaled 27.3 million downloads, up 6% compared with last week (25.8 million) and down 6% stacked next to the comparable week of 2012 (28.9 million). Year-to-date track sales are at 171 million, up less than 1% compared with the same total at this point last year (170.5 million).

Next week’s Billboard 200 competes with the same week in 2012 when: Adele’s 21 was No. 1 for a 21st week (730,000; up 207%) in the wake of the Grammy Awards. At No. 2, Whitney Houston’s Whitney: The Greatest Hits, climbed four slots with 175,000 (up 174%).

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