Justin Bieber has proven himself a major new teen-pop phenomenon lately — at least as measured by the number of high-pitched screams and fervent Internet comments he’s able to inspire from his young fans. A moment of truth for the Canadian singer came this morning, when the first-week sales tally was announced for his debut full-length album, My World 2.0. That number was 283,000 copies sold, according to Nielsen SoundScan. This was more than enough to secure Bieber the No. 1 spot on this week’s Billboard 200 albums chart. It’s not, however, a knock-out, blockbuster number, even in today’s ever-diminishing commercial market. Bieber sold hundreds of thousands fewer copies than both Sade and Lady Antebellum did earlier this year, let alone what Susan Boyle did last fall. His 283,000 is nothing to be ashamed of for a first-timer, but it’s a reminder that right now, he still has a ways to go before he’s truly a big-time pop star.
Close behind Bieber at No. 2 was Monica, who sold a decent 184,000 copies of her Still Standing. Not to belabor the point, but again, it says something about Bieber that Monica came within shouting distance of his total without having scored a pop hit in years.
NOW That’s What I Call Music! 33 rounded out the top 3. Its assortment of somewhat recent hits (Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance,” Ke$ha’s “TiK ToK,” Owl City’s “Fireflies”) drew a solid 135,000 buyers who are not yet sick of hearing those songs.
Down at No. 6, we find Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward’s She & Him, who shifted 47,000 units of their Volume 2. Not exactly Vampire Weekend status, but not too bad for an indie act, even if this one happens to be fronted by a movie star. (Indie vets Spoon, for comparison’s sake, notched a similar 53,000 of their latest in January.) And as Billboard notes, it’s a big improvement on She & Him’s previous one-week best of 10,000.
That was it for new entries in this week’s top 20. What do you think of Bieber’s retail performance? At this rate, how long do you think it will be before he can take home a platinum plaque for My World 2.0? Any other surprises in the chart? Sound off in the comments below.
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