Sia Earns First No. 1 Album On Billboard 200 with '1000 Forms of Fear'
Singer-songwriter Sia nabs her first No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 — and her best sales week ever — as 1000 Forms of Fear debuts atop the list. The new album, released on Monkey Puzzle through RCA Records, sold 52,000 copies in the week ending July 13, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
The album was released Tuesday, July 8.
Sia took a rather unconventional route to promoting her album. She opted not to show her face during TV performances of the album's single "Chandelier," and didn’t pose for traditional photo shoots. Instead, she performed on TV with her back to the camera while a dancer (or dancers) interpreted the song — as seen recently on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Late Night With Seth Meyers and Jimmy Kimmel Live!
The promotion of the album effectively launched with her uniquely photographed Billboard magazine cover story last year. She was pictured on the Nov. 2 cover with a bag over her head that read, in part, "This artist is responsible for over 12 million track sales … and doesn't want to be famous."
Sia previously charted twice on the Billboard 200, with 2008's No. 26-peaking Some People Have Real Problems and 2010's No. 37 hit We Are Born. (Some People logged Sia's previous biggest sales frame, when it launched with 20,000.) Prior to that, she reached the Heatseekers Albums chart with 2006's Colour the Small One (No. 14).
Sia is probably best-known as the female voice heard on David Guetta's Titanium and Flo Rida's Wild Ones, both of which were top 10 hits on the Billboard Hot 100. She also co-wrote Rihanna's No. 1 smash "Diamonds," Ne-Yo's "Let Me Love You (Until You Learn to Love Yourself)," Beyonce's "Pretty Hurts" and Britney Spears' "Perfume," among other tunes.
"Chandelier," meanwhile, recently became Sia's first top 20 hit on the Hot 100 as a lead artist. It jumped 20-17 on the chart dated July 19.
One last note on 1000 Forms of Fear: It logs the lowest sales figure for a No. 1 album in nearly two years. It's the smallest since the Aug. 11, 2012 chart, when Zac Brown Band's Uncaged led the list with 48,000.
Following 1000 Forms of Fear on the new Billboard 200 is the resurging Frozen soundtrack, which rises 5-2 with 46,000 (up 23 percent). It jumps thanks todeep discounting at both Amazon MP3 and Google Play, where the album's price was temporarily dropped to $3.99 during the tracking week.
Sam Smith's In the Lonely Hour holds at No. 3 with 42,000 (down 6 percent). Last week's No. 1, Trey Songz's Trigga, falls to No. 4 with 35,000 (down 66 percent), and Ed Sheeran's x dips 2-5 with 35,000 (down 34 percent).
Veteran rock band Judas Priest collects its highest-charting album ever, as Redeemer of Souls enters at No. 6 with 33,000. It's the band's 17th studio effort, and first since 2008's Nostradamus. Judas Priest has been charting since 1978, and Redeemer is the group's 18th charting album — and first to visit the top 10. The band previously topped out at No. 11 with Nostradamus.
The Now 50 compilation climbs 11-7 with 22,000 (up less than 1 percent), while the Dirty Heads' Sound of Change bows at No. 8 with 21,000. It's the first top 10 effort for the group and best sales frame yet. The act is currently in the top 10 of the Alternative Songs chart with "My Sweet Summer," which rose 12-10 on the July 26 list.
Miranda Lambert's Platinum falls 7-9 with 20,000 (down 20 percent), and Lana Del Rey's Ultraviolence slips 8-10 with 18,000 (down 29 percent).
Over on the Digital Songs chart, Magic's "Rude" regains the No. 1 slot, rising 2-1 with 185,000 (up 3 percent), but there's a brand-new entry at No. 2 nipping at Magic's heels. Florida Georgia Line's "Dirt" secures the chart's highest debut, starting at No. 2 with 182,000. That's the largest sales week for a country digital song in a year, since Florida Georgia Line's own "Cruise" sold 193,000 downloads in the week ending July 7, 2013. "Dirt" tallies the biggest debut for a country song since the week ending Oct. 7, 2012 when Taylor Swift's Red started with 312,000.
"Dirt" is the first single from the duo's forthcoming new studio album, due for release later this year.
Sam Smith's "Stay With Me" falls 1-3 with 162,000 (down 12 percent); Iggy Azalea's "Fancy," featuring Charli XCX, descends 3-4 with 154,000 (down 10 percent); and Ariana Grande's "Problem," featuring Azalea, climbs 6-5 with 124,000 (down 15 percent).
Nico & Vinz's "Am I Wrong" rises 7-6 with 111,000 (down 12 percent), Maroon 5's "Maps" ascends 9-7 with 105,000 (up 1 percent), and Charli XCX's "Boom Clap" jumps 10-8 with 100,000 (up 3 percent). Jason Derulo's "Wiggle," featuring Snoop Dogg, falls 8-9 with 90,000 (down 25 percent), and Grande's "Break Free," featuring Zedd, tumbles 5-10 with 86,000 (down 47 percent).
Overall album sales in this past chart week (ending July 13) totaled 4.05 million units, down 5 percent compared with the sum last week (4.25 million) and down 19 percent compared with the comparable sales week of 2013 (4.98 million). Year-to-date album sales stand at 129.19 million, down 15 percent compared to the same total at this point last year (151.83 million).
The week's 4.05 million haul is the smallest weekly sum for album sales since SoundScan began tracking data in 1991. Weekly album sales volume has been below 5 million for the past 12 consecutive weeks. The 5 million mark has only been surpassed in five weeks this year. To compare, a year ago at this point, there were 21 weeks where sales were above 5 million.
Weekly volume didn't fall below 5 million in the SoundScan era until 2010, when, in the week ending May 30, album sales dropped to 4.98 million.
Digital track sales this past week totaled 20.28 million downloads, down 5 percent compared with last week (21.30 million) and down 11 percent stacked next to the comparable week of 2013 (22.78 million). Year-to-date track sales are at 635.12 million, down 13 percent compared to the same total at this point last year (729.39 million).
Next week's Billboard 200 competes with the same week in 2013 when: Jay Z's Magna Carta … Holy Grail spent a second week at No. 1, selling 129,000 copies (down 76 percent). Sara Bareilles' The Blessed Unrest started at No. 2 with 68,000.