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As expected, Justin Bieber achieves his fifth No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 as Believe Acoustic debuts atop the list with 211,000 sold, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
With the arrival, he becomes the only artist to have notched five No. 1 albums before turning 19 years old. (He turns 19 on March 1.) He was previously tied with Miley Cyrus, who had also claimed four leaders before she turned 19.
Bieber’s new album also gives him a No. 1 album for four years straight — something only nine earlier acts have done in the nearly 57-year history of the Billboard 200.
Believe Acoustic performed strongly with digital retailers, as 75% of its sales were generated by downloads. That robust digital share was expected, thanks in part to strong pre-orders via iTunes. Industry sources suggest that iTunes’ pre-orders equated to around 20%-25% of the album’s overall first-week. The set became available to pre-order more than a month before its release — on Dec. 21, 2012 — likely benefitting from download gift card redemptions after Christmas.
Believe Acoustic features eight acoustic and/or live tracks originally found on Bieber’s Believe studio album, released last year. “Acoustic” also includes three new recordings: “Yellow Raincoat,” “I Would” and “Nothing Like Us.”
Bieber previously collected No. 1 albums with My World 2.0 (2010), Never Say Never: The Remixes (2011), Under the Mistletoe (2011) and Believe (2012).
Bieber leads a debut-filled top four on the Billboard 200 this week, as Andrea Bocelli, Tegan & Sara, and Charlie Wilson also arrive at Nos. 2-4, respectively.
Bocelli collects his seventh top 10 set with Passione, shifting 94,000 copies at No. 2. He’s yet to earn a No. 1 album, though he’s now earned a pair of No. 2 sets. His earlier runner-up title was 2009’s My Christmas, which spent five consecutive weeks stuck at No. 2.
The new Bocelli album is also available in Spanish. It’s titled Pasion, and it charts separately. It debuts at No. 59 with 7,000 sold and also bows atop the Top Latin Albums chart. On the latter tally, it’s Bocelli’s second No. 1, following 2009’s Mi Navidad, which was the Spanish version of My Christmas.
Alternative pop/rock duo Tegan & Sara charge in at No. 3 with their new album, Heartthrob, moving a career-high 49,000 copies. That’s almost two times their previous best sales week, when Sainthood bowed at No. 21 in 2009 with 24,000. Heartthrob also starts at No. 1 on the Rock Albums chart, where the duo has collected two previous top 10s with 2007’s The Con and 2009’s Sainthood.
Seventy-one percent of the debut-week sales for Heartthrob come from downloads. The album also debuts at No. 2 on the Digital Albums chart. Bieber’s Believe Acoustic opens atop the list.
Rounding out the four debuts in the top 10 on the Billboard 200 this week is R&B veteran Charlie Wilson, who enters at No. 4 with Love, Charlie (44,000). It concurrently starts at No. 1 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart.
This marks the third solo top 10 set on the Billboard 200 for the former Gap Band frontman, who previously claimed top 10s with Charlie, Last Name Wilson (No. 10, 2005) and Uncle Charlie (No. 2, 2009). His latest album is his fourth consecutive release to include his first name in the title. His last, Just Charlie, was released in 2010 and debuted and peaked at No. 19.
While downloads made up a significant portion of the debuts for Tegan & Sara, and Justin Bieber, they comprise little of Wilson and Bocelli’s top 10 arrivals. Digital sales represented just 17% and 10% of Wilson and Bocelli’s first-week sales, respectively. The digital-to-physical imbalance isn’t surprising, as both artists’ core audiences are generally older and likely prefer CDs over downloads.
As for the rest of the top 10: The Pitch Perfect soundtrack falls 3-5 (37,000; down 16%), Bruno Mars‘ Unorthodox Jukebox climbs 8-6 (nearly 37,000; up 2%), and Mumford & Sons’ Babel dips 6-7 (36,000; down 6%). Last week’s No. 1, Gary Allan‘s Set You Free, tumbles to No. 8 with 34,000 (down 68%) while the Lumineers slide 2-9 with their self-titled album (32,000; down 34%). Taylor Swift‘s Red closes out the top 10, moving down one notch to No. 10 (29,000; down 15%).
Over on the Digital Songs chart, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis‘ “Thrift Shop” (featuring Wanz) stays steady at No. 1 for a fourth week, selling 381,000 downloads (up 7%). In a distant second place is will.i.am & Britney Spears‘ “Scream & Shout,” rising two rungs to No. 2 with 170,000 (up less than 1%).
Swift’s “I Knew You Were Trouble” falls 2-3 (162,000; down 14%), Swedish House Mafia’s “Don’t You Worry Child” (featuring John Martin) rises 6-4 (122,000; down 8%), and the Lumineers’ “Ho Hey” remains at No. 5 (118,000; down 16%).
Lil Wayne‘s “Love Me” (featuring Drake & Future) slips 3-6 (109,000; down 36%), and Mars’ “When I Was Your Man” vaults 28-7 (105,000; up 87%). The latter’s jump comes as it also rises 30-23 on the Pop Songs airplay chart (known as Mainstream Top 40 on billboard.biz).
Right behind Mars on the Digital Songs chart is . . . Mars again, with “Locked Out of Heaven.” It moves down one slot to No. 8 with 105,000 (down 17%). Bieber’s “Beauty and a Beat” climbs 12-9 (104,000; up 18%), and Maroon 5’s “Daylight” descends 9-10 (95,000; down 8%).
Overall album sales in this past chart week (ending Feb. 3) totaled 5.2 million units, up 7% compared with the sum last week (4.9 million) and down 10% compared with the comparable sales week of 2012 (5.8 million). Year-to-date album sales stand at 26.5 million, down 2% compared with the same total at this point last year (27.2 million).
Digital track sales this past week totaled 25.8 million downloads, down 3% compared with last week (26.7 million) and down 2% stacked next to the comparable week of 2012 (26.4 million). Year-to-date track sales are at 143.7 million, up 1% compared to the same total at this point last year (141.6 million).
Next week’s Billboard 200 competes with the same week in 2012 when: Adele‘s 21 was No. 1 for a 20th week (237,000; up 95%) while Van Halen’s A Different Kind of Truth started in the No. 2 slot with 187,000.
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