That sound you hear? Susan Boyle-mania, roaring back like it never left. The Britain’s Got Talent phenom sold a stunning 701,000 copies of I Dreamed a Dream in the week of Thanksgiving, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Not only does that give her the No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 albums chart in one of the year’s busiest retail periods — it’s the biggest one-week sales number anyone has managed in 2009 by far, nearly a full hundred thousand higher than what Eminem’s Relapse did back in May. Wow.
Andrea Bocelli hung on to his No. 2 spot from last week, selling 218,000 copies of My Christmas, just in case Boyle’s blockbuster didn’t do enough to demonstrate the enduring popularity of adult-contemporary popera. Note that this is My Christmas‘ fourth week on the chart. An album’s sales actually increasing over time? Imagine that!
No. 3 went to Adam Lambert‘s For Your Entertainment, with 198,000 copies sold. That’s a decent number for an American Idol alum in 2009 — but it’s positively grand compared to the 80,000 season 8 winner Kris Allen put up the previous week.
Rihanna took No. 4 with 181,000 copies sold of Rated R. Not a fantastic payoff for all the publicity she’s been doing lately, but it’s a slight improvement on the 162,000 her previous album bowed with in 2007. Rihanna has always been more of a singles artist than a first-week album sales powerhouse, anyway, so any expectation that she’d do better than this might have been unwarranted.
Lady Gaga made it to No. 5 with her new The Fame Monster EP, selling 174,000. She also sold 151,000 copies of her 2008 debut The Fame (No. 6), which was re-issued with the Fame Monster tracks as a bonus. Taken together, that’s 325,000 units moved, considerably more than either Bocelli, Rihanna, or Lambert — not bad at all.
Skipping down to No. 15, we find Shakira, who sold 89,000 copies of She Wolf, substantially less than either of her 2005 albums managed in their first weeks. She Wolf is a pretty great album, but that’s a disappointing result.
Still, at least it’s not as disappointing as what’s happened to poor Kris Allen, who slipped off the Top 20 altogether. With 33,000 copies of his self-titled debut sold in week 2, he’s relegated to No. 35. Sorry to rub salt in a fresh wound, Kris fans, but the numbers don’t lie.
Are you surprised by how well Susan Boyle did? How about this week’s other results? Make your feelings known in the comments below.
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