Tony Bennett breaks his own record as the oldest artist ever to land a #1 album as Cheek To Cheek, his collabo with Lady Gaga, enters The Billboard 200 in the top spot (131K). It’s the second #1 album for Bennett, 88; the third for Gaga, 28.
Bennett was 85 when he first topped the chart in September 2011 with Duets II. The lead-off track on that album was a duet with Gaga, “The Lady Is A Tramp.” Here’s a sign of how long Bennett has been in the game: Harry Belafonte's Calypso was #1 the week (Feb. 23, 1957) that Bennett first cracked Billboard's album chart. Belafonte's album included “Banana Boat (Day-O),” which spearheaded the calypso craze (ask your grandparents).
While Bennett is understandably getting most of the attention this week, Gaga also makes news. She becomes the first female solo artist to amass three #1 albums since January 2010. She pulls ahead of Katy Perry, Taylor Swift, Nicki Minaj, Beyonce and Ariana Grande, all of whom have had two #1 albums so far in this decade.
Weird trivia item of the week: Lady Gaga has now had as many #1 albums as Lady Antebellum.
Kenny Chesney's The Big Revival debuts at #2 (130K). It’s his 12th top 10 album. The album also enters Top Country Albums at #1, displacing Tim McGraw's Sundown Heaven Town. It’s Chesney’s 13th #1 on that chart.
Barbra Streisand's Partners drops from #1 to #3 in its second week (127K). It’s the first album since Beyonce's Beyonce to sell 100K or more copies in each of its first two weeks. Sales of the album dropped by just 35% compared to last week. Billboard's Keith Caulfield notes that that's the smallest second-week decline, on a percentage basis, for an album that had debuted at #1 since Now 49 slid by just 21% in February. It’s the smallest second-week decline for an album by an artist (that had debuted at #1) since Susan Boyle's The Gift actually rose by 5% in sales in its second week in November 2010.
This is the first week in which three albums have each sold 125K or more copies since the week ending Dec. 22, when albums by Beyonce, Garth Brooks and One Direction were riding high.
Bennett and Streisand, 72, are two of five over-60 artists in this week’s top 20, along with Leonard Cohen, 80; George Strait, 62; and John Mellencamp, 62. I took a look at this phenomenon in a blog we posted last week. If you missed it, here’s a link.
alt-J's sophomore album, This Is All Yours, debuts at #4 (68K). This represents a breakthrough for the critically-acclaimed British rock band, whose debut album, An Awesome Wave, peaked at #80. The new album enters The U.K.’s Official Albums Chart at #1 this week.
Pentatonix's fourth EP, PTX, Vol. III, debuts at #5 (46K). It’s the a cappella group’s third EP to make the top 10; its first to crack the top five … Chris Brown's X drops from #2 to #6 in its second week (37K) … Guardians Of The Galaxy rebounds from #11 to #7 in its ninth week (30K), thanks to a sale in the iTunes store. It’s #1 on Top Soundtracks for the ninth straight week.
Joe Bonamassa's 11th studio album, Different Shades Of Blue, debuts at #8 (26K). It’s his first top 10 album. It’s the first blues album to crack the top 10 since Gary Clark Jr.'s Blak And Blu, which debuted and peaked at #6 in October 2012.
Maroon 5's V drops from #7 to #9 in its fourth week (26K). The album has sold 305K copies in its first four weeks. (By way of comparison, the group’s previous album, Overexposed, sold 364K copies in its first four weeks in 2012.)
Jennifer Hudson's third studio album,JHud, debuts at #10 (24K). That’s a disappointment, considering her first two albums, Jennifer Hudson and I Remember Me, both debuted at #2. Both registered first-week sales that were well into three figures (217K and 165K, respectively). Jennifer Hudson even won a Grammy for Best R&B Album.
Coming Attractions: Blake Shelton's BRINGING BACK THE SUNSHINE and Lady Antebellum's 747 will vie for #1 next week. Also due: Colbie Caillat's Gypsy Heart, The Script's No Sound Without Silence, Tove Lo's Queen Of The Clouds, Prince's Art Official Age and Prince & 3RDEYEGIRL’s PLECTRUMELECTRUM.
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