The Week in Music Sales: Blake Shelton's 'River' Runs to No. 1 on Billboard 200

11:52 AM PST 07/20/2011 by Keith Caulfield, Billboard

The country singer-turned-"Voice" coach celebrates his first No. 1 album.

Blake Shelton is more popular than ever.

The country singer-turned-"Voice" coach celebrates his first No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 chart as Red River Blue bows atop the list with 116,000 -- his best sales week yet.
 
While in his decade-long chart career, he's earned four previous top 10 albums, he had never gone higher than No. 3 with the Hillbilly Bone EP in March of 2010.

And, "Red's" debut is by far Shelton's best sales week. Until this week, his biggest frame came when his second album, 2003's The Dreamer, launched at No. 8 with 77,000.

Over on the Top Country Albums chart, "Red" gives Shelton his second No. 1, following his "All About Tonight" EP from last year. That set was the second of two six-song EPs he released in 2010.

As for the rest of the top 10 albums this week, last week's No. 1, Beyonce's 4, falls to No. 5 with 72,000 (down 37%) while Adele's 21 slips 2-3 with 77,000 (down 3%).

Incubus' new If Not Now, When? starts at No. 2 with 80,000, marking the rock band's fifth straight top five album -- and fourth to reach the top two positions. "If Not" also beats the debut sales week of its last set, Monuments and Melodies, which bowed at No. 5 with 70,000 in 2009.

Shelton and Incubus lead a total of six new arrivals in the top 10. Country singer Chris Young takes a bow at No. 4 with Neon (73,000), Colbie Caillat's All Of You enters at No. 6 (70,000), Theory of a Deadman's The Truth Is... launches at No. 8 (38,000) and Sublime With Rome's Yours Truly debuts at No. 9 (35,000).

For Young, it's his first top 10 after two earlier albums -- a self titled 2006 set (No. 22) and 2009's The Man I Want To Be (No. 19). Caillat's "All" follows her No. 1 Breakthrough in 2009 (106,000). "The Truth" marks Theory of a Deadman's first top 10 set -- and best sales week -- after three previous charting albums dating back to 2002. Finally, a new configuration of the alternative rock band Sublime nets its first top 10 album after having charted 10 previous entries. Its breakthrough 1996 self-titled set -- released two months after the act's former singer Bradley Nowell died -- peaked at No. 13.

Rounding out the top 10 are Jason Aldean's My Kinda Party, falling 4-7 (42,000; though it's up 1%) and Selena Gomez & the Scene's When the Sun Goes Down, which slides 3-10 (33,000; down 26%).

Over on the Digital Songs chart, Gomez's fellow Disney Channel star Demi Lovato makes big news, as her "Skyscraper" bows at No. 2 with 176,000. It's her best sales week yet and highest chart rank since her "This Is Me" duet with Joe Jonas (from the Disney Channel movie Camp Rock) bowed at No. 2 in 2008. "Skyscraper" is the lead single from Lovato's upcoming third studio album, due out later this year.

At No. 1, LMFAO's "Party Rock Anthem" holds with 215,000 (down 9%) while Katy Perry's "Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)" gets bumped down a spot to No. 3 (172,000; down 11%) by Lovato's arrival. Nicki Minaj's "Super Bass" is steady at No. 4 (155,000; down 2%), Lil Wayne's "How to Love" jumps 8-5 (137,000; up 6%) and Pitbull's "Give Me Everything" tumbles 3-6 (136,000; down 14%).

Hot Chelle Rae's "Tonight Tonight" sits tight at No. 7, despite a gain (131,000; up 1%), Adele's "Rolling in the Deep" descends 5-8 (130,000; down 6%) and Aldean's "Dirt Road Anthem" is a non-mover at No. 9 (116,000; down 8%). OneRepublic closes out the top 10 as its "Good Life" drops 6-10 with 114,000 (down 17%).

Overall album sales in this past chart week (ending July 17) totaled 5.61 million units, up 5% compared to the sum last week (5.34 million) and up 8% compared to the comparable sales week of 2010 (5.21 million). Year to date album sales stand at 166.42 million, up 1% compared to the same total at this point last year (164.42 million). It is the eighth week in a row where year-to-date album volume is greater than the same time in the prior year.

Digital track sales this past week totaled 22.92 million downloads, down 1% compared to last week (23.25 million) and up 9% stacked next to the comparable week of 2010 (20.96 million). Year to date track sales are at 706.96 million, up 11% compared to the same total at this point last year (639.52 million).

Next week's Billboard 200 competes with the same week in 2010 when: Eminem's "Recovery" was No. 1 for a fifth week (187,000; down 4%) while Rick Ross' "Teflon Don" bowed at No. 2 (176,000).

 

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