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Usher secures his fourth No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 as Looking 4 Myself debuts atop the list with 128,000 sold, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
The pop/R&B star’s last full-length studio album, 2010’s Raymond v Raymond, also launched at No. 1, but with a bigger start of 329,000 copies. “Looking” also registers Usher’s smallest first-week sales for a regular studio album since 1997’s My Way bowed with 67,000.
The new album was ushered in by its lead single, “Climax,” which is in its ninth straight week at No. 1 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. Of Usher’s 12 No. 1s on the R&B/Hip-Hop tally, only one has spent more weeks at No. 1: “You Make Me Wanna . . .,” with 11.
On the pop side of things, the top 40-focused single from Looking 4 Myself, called “Scream,” rises 11-10 on the Pop Songs airplay chart. It regains its No. 10 peak, having slipped 10-11 last week. On the all-format Billboard Hot 100 chart, “Scream” slipped 13-14 last week, though it was still gaining in points. The new Hot 100 will be compiled today (June 20).
At No. 2 on the Billboard 200, rock band Rush clocks its best sales week in 10 years as Clockwork Angels debuts with 103,000. The group last sold more when 2002’s Vapor Trails bowed at No. 6 with 110,000. Clockwork Angels is Rush’s second album to hit No. 2, following 1993’s Counterparts. A No. 1 album continues to elude the act.
Adele’s 21, which hit a 24th week at No. 1 last week, falls to No. 3 with 63,000 (down 16%).
Country star Josh Turner debuts at No. 4 with Punching Bag, selling 45,000 copies in its first week. It’s his fourth top 10 set on the Billboard 200 and the 11th country album to bow in the top 10 this year. A year ago at this point, only six country sets had started in the top 10.
Over on the Top Country Albums chart, Punching Bag is his second No. 1. His first was 2006’s Your Man. Turner’s last studio album, 2010’s Haywire, bowed at No. 5 on the Billboard 200 and No. 2 on Country Albums with 85,000.
British singer/songwriter Ed Sheeran takes a bow at No. 5 on the Billboard 200 with his first full-length album, +. The set starts with 42,000 and also debuts at No. 1 on the Folk Albums chart. Seventy-nine percent of its first-week sales were digital downloads. That’s not too surprising, as Sheeran got a lot of love from the iTunes Store last week. The retailer offered the song “The A Team” as its Free Single of the Week and promoted it on the store’s front page.
+ has been a smash in Sheeran’s homeland, where it debuted at No. 1 in late 2011 on the Official U.K. Albums Chart and currently sits at No. 7 in its 40th week on the list.
Sheeran’s arrival is the highest debut for a U.K. solo artist’s first full-length album since Susan Boyle’s “I Dreamed a Dream” bowed at No. 1 on Dec, 12, 2009. The last U.K. male to bow higher with their first full-length was Thom Yorke (of Radiohead) on July 29, 2006, with “The Eraser,” at No. 2.
One Direction’s Up All Night holds at No. 6 (39,000; down 1%), Neil Young and Crazy Horse’s Americana moves 4-7 (37,000; down 15%), and Alan Jackson’s Thirty Miles West falls 2-8 (nearly 37,000; down 50%). The Rock of Ages soundtrack zooms 15-9 in its second week (36,000; up 101%) following the film’s bow in U.S. theaters on June 15.
Waka Flocka Flame’s Triple F Life rounds out the top 10, as it debuts at No. 10 with 33,000. It’s the rapper’s second studio album, and it boasts guests Drake, Trey Songz and Nicki Minaj. Waka Flocka Flame’s first set, Flockaveli, debuted and peaked at No. 6 in 2010 on the Billboard 200 with a 37,000 start.
Over on the Digital Songs chart, Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe” stays steady at No. 1, selling 292,000 downloads (down 1%) while Maroon 5’s “Payphone” also retains its position at No. 2. It sold 230,000 last week (down 2%).
Katy Perry’s “Wide Awake” jumps 4-3 with 198,000 (up 14%) while Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used to Know” slips 3-4 with 195,000 (down 8%). Justin Bieber’s “As Long As You Love Me” (no, it’s not a cover of the Backstreet Boys’ hit) debuts at No. 5 with 168,000. Pitbull’s “Back in Time” is stationary at No. 6 with 125,000 (down 5%), Usher’s “Scream” sizzles 16-7 with 123,000 (up 28%), and Rihanna’s “Where Have You Been” drops 7-8 with 122,000 (down 7%).
Ellie Goulding’s “Lights” hits the top 10 for the first time, ascending 12-9 with 121,000 (up 14%) while One Direction’s “What Makes You Beautiful” closes out the top 10, falling two rungs to No. 10 (118,000, down 6%).
Overall album sales in this past chart week (ending June 17) totaled 5.8 million units, up 10% compared with the sum last week (5.3 million) and down 8% compared with the comparable sales week of 2011 (6.3 million). Year-to-date album sales stand at 138.8 million, down 3% compared with the same total at this point last year (143.2 million).
Digital track sales this past week totaled 25.38 million downloads, up less than 1% compared with last week (25.32 million) and up 1% stacked next to the comparable week of 2011 (25.1 million). Year-to-date track sales are at 647.6 million, up 6% compared with the same total at this point last year (610.1 million).
Next week’s Billboard 200 competes with the same week in 2011 when: Jill Scott’s The Light of the Sun bowed at No. 1 with 135,000 and Bon Iver’s self-titled set started at No. 2 with 104,000. The previous week’s No. 1, Bad Meets Evil’s Hell: The Sequel, fell to No. 6 with 63,000 (down 63%).
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