Beyonce's "Beyonce" tops The Billboard 200 for the third straight week. It's only the second album to spend three weeks on top in 2013, following Justin Timberlake's "The 20/20 Experience." But Beyonce's album did something "20/20" didn't: It topped 300K in sales in all three of those weeks. It's the first album to sell 300K or more copies in each of its first three weeks since Susan Boyle's phenomenal "I Dreamed A Dream" topped 500K in each of its first five weeks in late 2009.
"Beyonce" sold 310K copies this week, which brings its three-week total to 1,301,000. It's Beyonce's first album to sell 1 million or more copies in just three weeks. Her previous fastest album to reach 1M was "I Am…Sasha Fierce," which took four weeks.
"Beyonce" winds up as the eighth-best-selling album of 2013, even though it was available for just the last three weeks of the year. It's the first album to wind up in the year-end top 10 based on just three weeks of sales availability since Nielsen SoundScan began tracking music sales in 1991. The old record was held by Garth Brooks' "Sevens," which ranked among the top 10 albums of 1997 even though it was available for just the last five weeks of that year.
"Beyonce" sold more copies in three weeks than her husband, Jay Z, did in 25 weeks with his hit album "Magna Carta…Holy Grail" (which ranks #10 for the year). I'll have more details on this in a separate year-end report which will go up today. Here's a highlight: This marks the first time in chart history that a husband and wife have each, separately, placed albums in the year-end top 10.
This is the sixth year that Beyonce has placed an album in the year-end top 10 (counting her work with Destiny's Child). This puts her in a tie with Brooks, Mariah Carey and Eminem as the only artists to have made the year-end top 10 in six different years since 1991.
"Beyonce" is the first album by an African American artist to log three weeks at #1 since Lil Wayne's "Tha Carter III" spent three weeks on top in 2008. It's the first by an African American female artist to achieve this feat since Alicia Keys' "As I Am" spent four weeks on top in late 2007 and early 2008. (The Fine Print: Michael Jackson's "Number Ones" was the best-selling album in the U.S. for six weeks in the summer of 2009, but it wasn't listed on The Billboard 200 because it was a catalog album.)
Beyonce's album sold 120K digital copies this week, which puts it at #1 on Top Digital Albums for the third week. It has sold 972K digital copies.
Beyonce's home video release, "Life Is But A Dream," returns to #1 on Top Music Videos. This is its second week on top.
One Direction's "Midnight Memories" rebounds from #3 to #2 in its fifth week. The album tops the 1M mark in sales this week. The album took five weeks to sell 1 million copies. The boy band's previous album, "Take Me Home," also took five weeks to hit that plateau.
The "Frozen" soundtrack jumps from #8 to #4. It's the highest-ranking soundtrack to an animated feature film since Jack Johnson's "Curious George" soundtrack hit #1 in February 2006. It's the highest-ranking soundtrack to an animated Disney feature film since "Pocahontas" hit #1 in July 1995. "Frozen" is #1 on Top Soundtracks for the fifth week.
Justin Bieber's "Journals," an iTunes exclusive, is estimated to have sold more than 100K copies in its first week, but it doesn't appear on The Billboard 200 for a simple reason: iTunes didn't report the sales to Nielsen SoundScan. If it had, the album would have debuted right around #5. The album is a compilation of the songs Bieber released every Monday for 10 weeks from Oct. 7 through Dec. 9, plus five new songs.
The first single in this series, "Heartbreaker," reached #13 on the Hot 100, but the last seven haven't even cracked the top 40. It was an interesting experiment, but it didn't really work. Bieber would have been better off coming up with one irresistable, undeniable hit.
Garth Brooks' "Blame it All On My Roots: Five Decades Of Influences" drops from #2 to #6. It's #1 on Top Country Albums for the fifth straight week. This is the longest that a box set has ever topped the country chart. It surpasses Brooks' "The Limited Series," which spent four weeks on top in 1998.
Imagine Dragons' "Night Visions" rebounds from #16 to #9 in its 69th week. This is its 20th week in the top 10. The album has sold 1,819,000 copies, yet it has yet to reach #1. It debuted and peaked at #2 in September 2012 behind Matchbox Twenty's "North." That album's total sales to date: 310K. (This is a useful reminder that one week's sales results don't tell the whole story.)
Kelly Clarkson's "Wrapped In Red" drops from #5 to #10. It came out on top in an extremely close race with The Robertsons' "Duck The Halls: A Robertson Family Christmas" to become the best-selling holiday album of 2013. Clarkson's album sold 763K copies. The Robertsons' album sold 750K. This marks the first time that an American female artist has had the year's top holiday album in the Nielsen SoundScan era. I'll have more details on this in a breakout feature we're posting today.
"Timber" by Pitbull featuring Ke$ha returns to #1 on Hot Digital Songs (442K), displacing "Say Something" by A Great Big World & Christina Aguilera. This is the third week on top for "Timber." Will it jump from #2 to #1 on the Hot 100? You'll find out later today when we post my Songs blog.
Here's a recap of this week's top 10.
The Top Five: Beyonce's "Beyonce" holds at #1 for the third week in its third week (310K)… One Direction's "Midnight Memories" rebounds from #3 to #2 in its fifth week (142K). It has been in the top five the entire time…Eminem's "The Marshall Mathers LP 2" rebounds from #6 to #3 in its eighth week (122K). It has been in the top 10 the entire time… The "Frozen" soundtrack jumps from #8 to #4 in its fifth week (106K). This is its third week in the top 10… Katy Perry's "Prism" rebounds from #7 to #5 in its 10th week (99K). This is its ninth week in the top 10.
The Second Five: Garth Brooks' "Blame it All On My Roots: Five Decades Of Influences" drops from #2 to #6 in its fifth week (90K). It has been in the top 10 the entire time… Lorde's "Pure Heroine" rebounds from #11 to #7 in its 13th week (77K). This is its eighth week in the top 10…Miley Cyrus' "Bangerz" rebounds from #17 to #8 in its 12th week (63K). This is its sixth week in the top 10…Imagine Dragons' "Night Visions" rebounds from #16 to #9 in its 69th week (62K). This is its 20th week in the top 10…Kelly Clarkson's "Wrapped In Red" drops from #5 to #10 in its ninth week (62K). It has been in the top 10 the entire time.
Three albums drop out of the top 10 this week. The Robertsons' "Duck The Halls: A Robertson Family Christmas" drops from #4 to #11. Luke Bryan's "Crash My Party" drops from #10 to #14. Michael Buble's "Christmas" drops from #9 to #22.
Buble's album is #1 on Top Catalog Albums for the 15th week. That's the longest run on top for a Christmas album since Kenny G's "Miracles—The Holiday Album" topped the chart for 27 weeks from 1995 through 1998.
"Pitch Perfect" rebounds from #113 to #61 in its 62nd week. The album tops the 1 million sales mark this week. The album sold 793K copies in 2013, making it the year's #1 soundtrack. Details in a separate blog that we'll post today.
"The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug" soundtrack drops from #71 to #90 in its third week. The movie has been #1 at the box-office for the past three weekends.
Happy New Year, everybody.