Fellow musicians dissed it in print and in music. But once again Mr. Slim Shady has had the last laugh. Yes, Eminem's "The Marshall Mathers LP 2" has parked itself on top of the charts, living up to the title of his current hit single by selling a "Monster" 792K copies in its first week.
This is the second highest one-week sales total of the year, behind only Justin Timberlake's "The 20/20 Experience," which sold 968K copies when it debuted in March.
Here are 10 amazing facts about Eminem's latest chart feat.
1. This is Eminem's biggest one-week sales tally since "Encore" sold 871K in its second week in November 2004. This is the greatest tally for a hip-hop album since Lil Wayne's "Tha Carter IV" debuted with sales of 964K in September 2011.
2. Eminem is the first artist in Nielsen SoundScan history (which dates to 1991) to top the 700K plateau in weekly sales with five different albums. Runners-up are Garth Brooks and Timberlake, who have each done it with three albums (giving Timberlake credit for two 'N Sync albums.)
3. "The Marshall Mathers LP 2" is Eminem's seventh No. 1 album on the Billboard 200, a total matched or surpassed by only one rap artist — Jay Z, who has had 13. All of Eminem's No. 1 albums have come since January 2000. Only two other artists from any genre have had seven or more No. 1 albums in this century. Jay Z leads with 11. Kenny Chesney has also had seven.
4. The Marshall Mathers LP 2 has already spawned three top 10 hits on the Hot 100: "Berzerk," "Rap God" and "The Monster" (featuring Rihanna). It's Eminem's first studio album to contain more than two top 10 hits.
5. Eminem this week becomes the first artist to sell 40 million albums in the U.S. since January 2000. Eminem has sold 43 million albums in his career. (His debut, "The Slim Shady LP," sold 2.8 million copies in 1999.) Eminem is the seventh best-selling album artist since 1991, when Nielsen SoundScan began tracking music sales. He's the No. 1 hip-hop artist and the No. 3 male solo artist, behind only country titans Garth Brooks and George Strait.
6. "The Marshall Mathers LP 2" also enters the U.K.'s Official Albums Chart at No. 1. It's his seventh album to reach No. 1 in both the U.S. and the U.K. Only three other acts in chart history have had seven or more transatlantic No. 1 albums. The Beatles had 10. Bruce Springsteen and Madonna have each had eight.
7. Eminem bumps Arcade Fire's "Reflektor" out of the No. 1 spot on the Billboard 200. This marks the second time that Eminem has dislodged the Canadian band from the top perch. Eminem's last album, "Recovery," returned to No. 1 in August 2010, displacing Arcade Fire's last album, "The Suburbs."
8. "The Marshall Mathers LP 2" sold 457K digital copies, which puts it No. 1 on Top Digital Albums. It's the third highest one-week sales tally in digital history. Lady Gaga's "Born This Way" sold 662K copies in its first week (about 400K of those copies sold for 99 cents). Taylor Swift's "Red" sold 465K.
9. The initial "The Marshall Mathers LP" was released in May 2000. It's unusual for an artist to wait so long between albums in the same mega-selling franchise, but it's not unprecedented. Meat Loaf took more than 16 years between the release of "Bat Out of Hell" (1977) and "Bat Out of Hell II: Back Into Hell" (1993).
10. "The Marshall Mathers LP" vaults from No. 106 to No. 30 in its 140th week on the Billboard 200. It's No. 1 on Top Catalog Albums for the third week. The album headed this chart for two weeks in 2002, when "The Eminem Show" was released.
Pop Quiz: Eminem’s only album to fall short of No. 1 was "The Slim Shady LP," which logged three weeks at No. 2. Name the two albums that blocked it from the top spot. Answer below.
Rap or hip-hop artists account for fully half of the 10 biggest one-week sales tallies of 2013: Justin Timberlake (968K), Eminem (792K), Drake (658K), Jay Z (528K), Luke Bryan (528K), Timberlake again (350K), Daft Punk (339K), Kanye West (327K), J. Cole (297K) and Katy Perry (286K).
This is the first year since 2008 that five or more albums have sold 500K or more copies in their first week.
The Fine Print I: This year's sales standings, with Timberlake posting the year's biggest one-week sales tally and Eminem having the second biggest, is a replay of 2000. 'N Sync posted that year's largest one-week sales total with "No Strings Attached," while Eminem had the year's second largest with "The Marshall Mathers LP."
The Fine Print II: Some of you may wonder why I say that Jay Z has had 11 No. 1 albums (rather than 12) since January 2000. I'm going by Nielsen SoundScan week ending dates. "Vol. 3…Life And Times of S. Carter" debuted at No. 1 in the week ending Jan. 2, 2000. And Nielsen SoundScan regards that as the final chart week of 1999 (because five of the seven tracking days took place in 1999.)
Quiz Answer: The two albums that kept "The Slim Shady LP" from hitting the top spot were TLC’s "Fanmail" and Britney Spears's "…Baby One More Time."
Celine Dion's "Loved Me Back to Life" debuts at No. 2. That's her highest ranking since "One Heart" debuted and peaked at No. 2 in March 2003. Dion first reached the top two in March 1996, when "Falling Into You" debuted at No. 2. It went on to hit No. 1, becoming her first of four No. 1 albums.
Dion is one of four artists from Canada in this week's Top 10. The others are Avril Lavigne, Drake, and Arcade Fire. Dion and Arcade Fire both hail from Quebec. Lavigne and Drake were both born in Ontario.
"Loved Me Back To Life" is Dion's 12th top 10 album, which is the record for a female artist from Canada. Alanis Morissette is in second place, with six. Diana Krall, Lavigne and Sarah McLachlan are tied for third place, with five each.
You may be surprised to learn that Dion has sold even more albums than Eminem has: 52 million. Dion is in fifth place among all artists since 1991. But, unlike Eminem, she sold the bulk of that total (33.2 million albums) in the 1990s.
"Loved Me Back to Life" enters the Canadian album chart at No. 1, edging out Eminem's album, which bows at No. 2.
The Robertsons's "Duck the Halls: A Robertson Family Christmas" jumps up a spot to No. 3 in its second week, pulling ahead of Kelly Clarkson's "Wrapped In Red" as the best-selling holiday album so far this year (134K vs. 113K). "Duck the Halls" is No. 1 on Top Country Albums for the second week. It's the first Christmas album ever to spend multiple weeks at No. 1 on the country chart. "Garth Brooks & The Magic of Christmas" topped the chart for one week in December 1999.
Avril Lavigne's "Avril Lavigne" debuts at No. 5. It's her fifth Top 10 album, which matches the number of Top 10 albums that Nickelback has had. That's the band fronted by her husband, Chad Kroeger. Lavigne has had one more No. 1 album than Nickelback (two vs. one), but Nickelback has sold more total albums, according to Nielsen SoundScan: 22.7 million vs. 12.2 million.
Lavigne's album debuts at No. 1 in Japan. It's the first album by an international artist to top the Japanese chart since Lady Gaga's "Born This Way." Lavigne's "The Best Damn Thing" and "Goodbye Lullabye" also hit No. 1 in Japan. Lavigne is the second international artist to amass three chart-topping albums in Japan since mid-2004. The other: Bon Jovi.
Drake's "Nothing Was the Same" week pulls ahead of Jay Z's "Magna Carta … Holy Grail" to become the best-selling hip-hop album so far this year. "Nothing Was the Same" has sold just under 1.1 million copies (it's No. 5 year to date). "Magna Carta … Holy Grail" has sold 1.05 million (it's No. 6).
Pentatonix's "PTX: Vol. II" debuts at No. 10. "PTX: Vol. I" reached No. 14 in 2012. The a cappella quintet specializes in covers, mash-ups and medleys of pop hits. Its song "Daft Punk" sold 11K copies this week. Its top-selling song to date is a collabo with Lindsey Stirling on a version of Imagine Dragons' "Radioactive."
"Say Something" by A Great Big World featuring Christina Aguilera vaults from No. 149 to No. 1 on Hot Digital Songs. A Great Big World performed the ballad with Aguilera on "The Voice" on Nov. 5. The two acts subsequently recorded this collabo version. The song sold 189K copies this week, which is the lowest tally for a song at No. 1 on this chart in nearly a year (since Rihanna's "Diamonds" hit with sales of 171K). Where will "Say Something" debut on the Hot 100? You'll find out later today when we post our Songs blog.
Four albums drop out of the Top 10 this week. Miley Cyrus's "Bangerz" drops from No. 9 to No. 12. Thomas Rhett's "It Goes Like This" drops from No. 6 to No. 24. Toby Keith's "Drinks After Work" drops from No. 7 to No. 27. Linkin Park's "Recharged" drops from No. 10 to No. 29.
The Wanted's third studio album, "Word of Mouth," debuts at No. 17. An EP by the group hit No. 7 in 2012 ... Il Divo's seventh studio album, "A Musical Affair: The Greatest Songs From The World's Favourite Musicals," debuts at No. 19. All seven have cracked the Top 20 … James Blunt's fourth studio album, "Moon Landing," debuts at No. 20. All four have cracked the Top 20.
Lecrae's "Church Clothes: Vol. 2" debuts at No. 21. His first "Church Clothes" mixtape in 2012 didn't chart...
Kacey Musgraves's "Same Trailer Different Park" re-enters the chart at No. 22 on the heels of her big win for Best New Artist at last week's CMA Awards. It debuted and peaked at No. 2 in March.
The "Glee" cast's "A Katy or a Gaga (Music From the Episode)" EP debuts at #43. It enters Top Soundtracks at #1…Pitch Perfect drops from #105 to #119 in its 55th week. It's the highest-ranking soundtrack to a theatrically-released movie for the 28th week.
Dream Theater's "Live at Luna Park" is No. 1 on Top Music Videos.
Coming Attractions: Look for Lady Gaga’s Artpop to debut at #1 next week with first-week sales in the 250K range. Three other albums appear to be headed for top 10 debuts. Now 48 will debut at #3 (95K), The Beatles' Live At The BBC, Vol. 2 at #7 (35K) and Jhene Aiko's Sail Out at #10 (30K).
To My Readers: Yahoo has folded most music blogs into one blog, the cleverly titled Yahoo Music. I'll aim to keep Chart Watch as part of the title of each blog, but it's now officially part of the Yahoo Music blog. I'm sorry if that makes it harder to find. You can find all my stuff by going here.