The Week in Music Sales: Lil Wayne's 'Carter IV' Debuts at No. 1

1:20 PM PST 09/07/2011 by Keith Caulfield, Billboard
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It's official: Lil Wayne's "Tha Carter IV" has sold 964,000 in its first week according to Nielsen SoundScan to debut at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart.

As previously reported, Lil Wayne's Tha Carter IV lights up the top slot on the Billboard 200 albums chart as it arrives with 964,000 sold in its first week, according to Nielsen SoundScan. But Weezy's achievement is a mere chunk of the chart news this week, as we take a look at the rest of the top 10 selling albums and songs.

On the Billboard 200, Red Hot Chili Peppers' I'm With You bows at No. 2 with 229,000, marking the band's sixth top 10 album. The rock act's last release, 2006's Stadium Arcadium, became its first No. 1 set when it launched with 442,000.

Adele's 21 posts a whopping 88% sales gain, though it holds at No. 3 (154,000) thanks to the singer's performance on the Aug. 28 MTV Video Music Awards. On the show, the diva sang the album's latest single, "Someone Like You," which also flies 11-1 on the Digital Songs chart with 275,000 (up 191%). She bumps "Moves Like Jagger," by Maroon 5 featuring Christina Aguilera, down 1-3 with 207,000 (down 5%). Foster the People's "Pumped Up Kicks" is sandwiched between the two, standing steady at No. 2 with 218,000 (up 12%).

Other obvious gainer thanks to the VMA show is Beyonce, who announced she was pregnant during her performance of "Love On Top." Her 4 album returns to the top 10 on the Billboard 200 with 39,000 (jumping 12-7; up 87%) and "Love" debuts at No. 10 on Digital Songs with 113,000 (up 803%). This marks the first time the 4 album has posted a weekly sales increase since its arrival.

Elsewhere on the Billboard 200 albums chart, David Guetta's Nothing But the Beat bows at No. 5 with 58,000, earning the superstar DJ his first top 10 set. His last effort, One Love, debuted and peaked at No. 70 in 2009 off an 8,000 start. Country singer Jake Owen starts at No. 6 with his third album, Barefoot Blue Jean Night, selling 55,000. It also debuts at No. 1 on the Top Country Albums chart -- his first leader there. His last effort, 2009's Easy Does It, took a bow at No. 13 on the Billboard 200 with 23,000.

Jay-Z and Kanye West's Watch the Throne slips 2-4 (80,000; down 16%), Game's The R.E.D. Album falls 1-8 (39,000; down 60%), Barbra Streisand's What Matters Most drops 4-9 (37,000; down 46%) and the Now 39 compilation descends 6-10 (36,000; down 18%).

Outside the top 10 on the albums chart, we also see VMA gains by an assortment of performers and winners. Lady Gaga, who opened the show with "You and I," posts a 20% gain with Born This Way (13-14). Bruno Mars, who celebrated the late Amy Winehouse in a tribute segment, rises 37-32 with Doo-Wops & Hooligans (12,000; up 31%). Young the Giant, the only rock act that performed on the show, flies 130-42 with its self-titled album (10,000; up 189%). Tyler, the Creator, who surprised many by winning the best new artist trophy, jumps 102-48 with his Goblin album (10,000; up 133%).

Over on the Digital Songs chart, there is a ton of movement in the top 10. Aside from the big jumps from Adele and Beyonce, two more singles hit the top 10 for the first time.
 
Cobra Starship's "You Make Me Feel" (featuring Sabi), rises 13-5 with 159,000 (up 75%) while Lil Wayne's "Mirror" (featuring Bruno Mars), debuts at No. 6 with 149,000. The former was performed on the VMA pre-show, while Wayne closed out the awards with a rendition of "How to Love." Cobra's new album, Night Shades, also debuts at No. 50 on the Billboard 200 with 9,000.

Rihanna's "Cheers (Drink to That)" posts a 9% sales gain (with 143,000 sold), but gets pushed back 5-7, while LMFAO's "Party Rock Anthem" also slides despite a gain, falling 4-8 (141,000; up 5%).

Lady Gaga's "You And I" charges 8-4 with 175,000 (up 61%). That's the best sales week for any Gaga song since "The Edge of Glory" debuted at No. 1 with 266,000 on the May 28 chart.
 
Rounding out the rest of the Digital Songs top 10 is Gym Class Heroes' "Stereo Hearts" (featuring Adam Levine), which falls 3-9 with 140,000 (down 4%).

Overall album sales in this past chart week (ending Sept. 4) totaled 6.65 million units, up 29% compared to the sum last week (5.14 million) and up 27% compared to the comparable sales week of 2010 (5.22 million). Year to date album sales stand at 206.57 million, up 3% compared to the same total at this point last year (200.55 million). It is the 15th 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 22.43 million downloads, down less than 1% compared to last week (22.44 million) and up 15% stacked next to the comparable week of 2010 (19.44 million). Year to date track sales are at 868.33 million, up 11% compared to the same total at this point last year (781.81 million).

Next week's Billboard 200 competes with the same week in 2010 when: Sara Bareilles' Kaleidoscope Heart debuted at No. 1 with 90,000, pushing the previous week's leader, Disturbed's Asylum, down to No. 5 with 57,000 (down 68%).

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