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Twenty one-year-old rapper B.o.B bounces in at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart this week with his debut set, “The Adventures of Bobby Ray,” selling 84,000 copies in its first week according to Nielsen SoundScan. It marks the first time a solo male artist has earned a No. 1 album on the chart with their debut release since Aug. 26, 2006, when Rick Ross’ “Port of Miami” opened atop the list with 187,000.
B.o.B’s 84,000-start makes it the third straight week were the No. 1 album in the U.S. sells less than 100,000 copies. That’s the longest sub-100,000 run at the top since February of 2009, when Taylor Swift’s “Fearless” spent its last three (of 11) weeks at No. 1. B.o.B (given name Bobby Ray Simmons) has already had a taste of No. 1 success on the Billboard charts, as the album’s lead single “Nothin’ On You” (featuring Bruno Mars) spent two weeks atop the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
Lady Antebellum’s “Need You Now” continues to hang out in the upper region of the chart, as it stays steady at No. 2 (76,000; down 8%). The album has spent all 14 of its chart weeks lodged in the top five. Meanwhile, last week’s No. 1, the “Glee” TV soundtrack to its “Power of Madonna” episode, falls to No. 10 with 29,000 (down 70%).
Rock band Bullet for My Valentine arrives at a career-high No. 3 on the Billboard 200 with “Fever,” with the act’s best sales week yet: 71,000. Previously, the U.K. quartet had gone has high as No. 4 with its 2008 set “Scream Aim Fire,” which also claimed its then-best sales week (53,000 in its opening stanza).
Two more debuts drop into the top 10 this week. First up is Melissa Etheridge’s “Fearless Love,” bowing at No. 7 with 46,000. Her last studio album, 2007’s “The Awakening,” debuted and peaked at No. 13 with 48,000 in its first week. “Fearless Love” is the singer/songwriter’s first top 10 album since 2001’s “Skin” topped out at No. 9. Her highest charting album remains 1995’s “Your Little Secret,” which also arrived on the chart at its peak: No. 6.
Actress/singer Miranda Cosgrove is the fourth and final entry in the top 10, as her debut studio album “Sparks Fly” ignites at No. 8 with 36,000. While she contributed a number of songs to the soundtrack to her Nickelodeon TV show “iCarly” in 2008, “Sparks” is the entertainer’s proper debut album.
Justin Bieber’s “My World 2.0” falls one rung to No. 4 with 69,000 (down 14%), AC/DC’s soundtrack to “Iron Man 2” drops one to No. 5 with 52,000 (down 32%) and Usher’s “Raymond v Raymond” also descends a slot to No. 6 with 48,000 (down 8%). Rounding out the top 10 this week are the “Now 33” compilation at No. 9 (down three slots) with 30,000 (down 17%) and the aforementioned “Power of Madonna” set at No. 10.
Overall album sales in this past chart week (ending May 2) totaled 5.46 million units, down 1% compared to the sum last week (5.54 million) and down 11% compared to the comparable sales week of 2009 (6.17 million). Year to date album sales stand at 103.7 million, down 10% compared to the same total at this point last year (115.5 million).
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