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Madonna has set all kinds of sales records, but this is one she’d rather forget.
After topping the Billboard 200 chart in its first week with 359,000 copies sold, the singer’s MDNA is expected to suffer an 88 percent drop in sales to 46,000 units, according to Forbes. The album’s steep decline would set the record for biggest second-week drop in history.
Many are questioning whether fans having the option to purchase the album as part of a concert ticket package skewed the initial numbers reported by Nielsen SoundScan. With 185,000 copies sold as part of this deal, only 179,000 constitute individual album sales. Had the latter been the final number reported, the album wouldn’t have topped the chart after all; runner-up Lionel Richie would have taken the crown with 199,000 in first-week sales for his country duets album, Tuskegee.
Madonna did little traditional promotion for the album, including an interview on her official Facebook page conducted by Jimmy Fallon and a pair of Twitter Q&A sessions. Otherwise, her performances during the Super Bowl halftime show and at Miami’s Ultra Music Festival served as her promotion; as her manager Guy Oseary told The Hollywood Reporter, the plan was to let the music speak for itself.
The album received tepid reviews, with some criticizing her decision to venture full-on into electronic dance music. Oseary told THR that it is simply what his longtime client is into, adding that people are embracing her sound.
“People are really digging it,” he said. “We feel good about the album. I’m proud of the work she’s done, and [the EDM community] is giving the love back. It’s her 12th album and the same story she had 30 years ago. That’s an amazing accomplishment.”
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