Week Ending April 22, 2012: Richie Stands Firm
Lionel Richie's Tuskegee tops The Billboard 200 for the second week. It's the first album that was released in 2012 to manage a second week on top. Albums by two legends (Bruce Springsteen and Madonna) were unable to pull this off, as were the sophomore album by the red-hot Nicki Minaj, the debut album by teen dreams One Direction and the soundtrack to the year's top-grossing movie, The Hunger Games.
Adele's 21 has held the top spot for nine weeks so far this year, but it was released in February 2011.
Tuskegee, which pairs Richie with such country stars as Kenny Chesney and Jason Aldean, is the first "duets" album to top the chart for multiple weeks. Ray Charles' Genius Loves Company, Reba McEntire's Reba: Duets and Tony Bennett's Duets II all spent a single frame in the top spot.
Tuskegee is the first country album to hold at #1 for a second week since Taylor Swift's Speak Now had six weeks on top in 2010-2011. It's the first country album by a male artist to spend multiple weeks in the lead since George Strait's 50 Number One Hits spent two weeks on top in 2004.
Richie's album holds at #1 on Top Country Albums for a third week. It's the first album by an African American artist to log as many as three weeks at #1 on the country chart since Charley Pride's Songs Of Love By Charley Pride, which spent four weeks on top in February and March 1973. Pride, the most successful African American artist in country music history, had 12 #1 country albums between 1968 and 1980.
Jason Mraz's Love Is A Four-Letter Word just misses out on #1 glory in both the U.S. and the U.K. The album opens at #2 in the U.S. behind Tuskegee and at #2 in the U.K. behind Adele's 21. (When Mraz learns this, he may well use a four-letter word, but I don't think it's going to be "love.")
This is Mraz's third album in a row to reach the top five. Mr. A-Z hit #5 in August 2005. We Sing. We Dance. We Steal Things. reached #3 in May 2008. The latter album spawned the smash "I'm Yours," which holds a unique distinction. It has sold more digital copies (6,104,000) than any other song that fell short of the #1 spot on the Hot 100. It peaked at #6 in September 2008.