Week Ending April 22, 2012: Richie Stands Firm

Paul Grein
Chart Watch (NEW)

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.

The new album sold 103K copies this week, which is the highest weekly total to date for a Mraz The album sold 62K digital copies, which puts it at #1 on Top Digital Albums. It contains the hit "I Won't Give Up," which tops the 1 million mark in digital sales this week.

Adele's 21, which dips from #2 to #3, becomes the first album to log 61 weeks in the top 10 since Celine Dion's Falling Into You, which spent 61 weeks in the top 10 from March 1996 to June 1997. If 21 logs spends just one more week in the top 10 (I think it has a pretty good chance, don't you?), it will be the longest-running top 10 album since Alanis Morissette's Jagged Little Pill, which spent 72 weeks in the top 10 from August 1995 to January 1997. All three albums won Grammys as Album of the Year.

21 this week becomes the first album to sell 3 million copies in 2012. This is the earliest in the year that an album has sold 3 million copies since 2005, when 50 Cent's The Massacre cleared the 3 million mark in the week ending April 17.

21 logs its 23rd week at #1 in the U.K. this week, which equals the number of weeks it has spent at #1 in the U.S.

Train lands its first top five album as California 37 enters The Billboard 200 at #4. 2001's Drops Of Jupiter and 2003's My Private Nation both reached #6. (Dig the 1961 Cadillac on the cover.) California 37 is the first album with the word "California" in its title to make the top 10 since Eagles' Hotel California, which logged eight weeks at #1 in 1977. (I didn't count Red Hot Chili Peppers' Californication, which reached #3 in 1999.)

Future's Pluto debuts at #8. This new entry is the hip-hop artist's debut album. It features guest appearances by Drake, T.I., R. Kelly and Snoop Dogg.

Pop Quiz: Pluto was classified as a planet for 76 years, but in 2006 was reclassified as a dwarf planet. That leaves eight planets. Seven of them have been cited in the titles of top 10 albums. How many of those album titles can you recall? Answer at the end of the column. (Hint: For those of you who haven't been in eighth grade for a while, here are the names of the eight planets: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. Every planet has been cited in the title of a top 10 album except Uranus. I guess Uranus just doesn't "sing," as lyricists say.)

"Payphone" by Maroon 5 featuring Wiz Khalifa enters Hot Digital Songs at #1 with sales of 493K. It dethrones "Somebody That I Used To Know" by Gotye featuring Kimbra, which dips to #2 with sales of 463K. Which will come out on top on the Hot 100? You'll find out later today when we post Chart Watch: Songs.

Here's the low-down on this week's top 10 albums.

1. Lionel Richie, Tuskegee, 111,000. The album is #1 for the second week. This is its fourth week in the top five. The album has sold 537K, which puts it at #4 for the year-to-date (#2 among albums released in 2012, behind Now 41.)

2. Jason Mraz, Love Is A Four Letter Word, 103,000. This new entry is Mraz's highest-charting album; his third to reach the top five. Two songs from the album are listed on Hot Digital Songs. "I Won't Give Up" jumps from #32 to #24. "Living In The Moment" debuts at #100.

3. Adele, 21, 88,000. The former #1 album dips from #2 to #3. This is its 61st week in the top 10. Four songs from the album are listed on Hot Digital Songs, topped by "Rumour Has It," which moves up from #23 to #22.

4. Train, California 37, 74,000. This new entry is the group's fourth top 10 album; its first to reach the top five. "Drive By" jumps from #12 to #10 on Hot Digital Songs.

5. One Direction, Up All Night, 54,000. The former #1 album holds at #5 for the third week in its sixth week on the chart.  It has been in the top 10 the entire time. Four songs from the album are listed on Hot Digital Songs, topped by "What Makes You Beautiful," which drops from #3 to #6.

6. Nicki Minaj, Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded, 47,000. The former #1 album drops from #3 to #6 in its third week. Three songs from the album are listed on Hot Digital Songs, topped by "Starships," which drops from #6 to #8.

7. Gotye, Making Mirrors, 42,000.  The album holds at #7 for the second week in its 15th week on the chart. This is its third week in the top 10. Two songs from the album are listed on Hot Digital Songs. "Somebody That I Used To Know" (featuring Kimbra) dips from #1 to #2. "Eyes Wide Open" jumps from #181 to #134.

8. Future, Pluto, 40,000. This new entry is the hip-hop artist's debut album. Two songs from the album are listed on Hot Digital Songs. "Magic" (featuring T.I.) jumps from #125 to #107. "Same Damn Time" bows at #158.

9. Bonnie Raitt, Slipstream, 33,000. The album drops from #6 to #9 in its second week. The album has sold 100K copies in its first two weeks.

10. Luke Bryan, Tailgates & Tanlines, 28,000. The album rebounds from #13 to #10 in its 37th week. This is its fourth week in the top 10; its first since August. Three songs from the album are listed on Hot Digital Songs, topped by "Drunk On You," which dips from #17 to #18.

Four albums drop out of the top 10 this week. Monica's New Life drops from #4 to #15. Alabama Shakes' Boys & Girls drops from #8 to #11. Rascal Flatts' Changed drops from #9 to #13. Hoodie Allen's All American plummets from #10 to #121.

Best Of Kokua Festival by Jack Johnson & Friends bows at #12. It's Johnson's second live album, following 2009's En Concert, which reached #11. It's also Johnson's second album to feature the "…& Friends" billing. The first to do so was 2006's Curious George soundtrack. This is Johnson's seventh album in a row to make the top 20, though for a big star this debut is no great shakes.

Thousand Foot Krutch's End Is Where We Begin bows at #14. The Christian rock trio first charted in 2005. This is its highest-charting album to date…Neon Trees' sophomore album Picture Show debuts at #17. Habits reached #113 in 2010.

The Hunger Games: Songs From District 12 And Beyond drops from #14 to #19 in its fifth week. It's #1 on Top Soundtracks for the fifth week…The Think Like A Man soundtrack jumps from #33 to #21 in its second week. The movie was #1 at the box-office over the weekend, displacing The Hunger Games.

Adele's 19 drops from #26 to #28 in its 68th week. It's #1 on Top Catalog Albums for the 37th week. I thought Bee Gees' Saturday Night Fever might dislodge it, after last week's salute to the soundtrack on Glee, but it ranks #10 on Catalog Albums (that translates to #98 on The Billboard 200). For next week, I think Whitney Houston's Whitney: The Greatest Hits will return to #1 on Catalog Albums, following Glee's tribute to the singer last night.

Shameless Plug: Florence + the Machine's MTV Unplugged drops from #51 to #120 in its second week. It's the 34th Unplugged album to make The Billboard 200. What was the first? What was the biggest? You already know if you read my Chart Watch Extra in which I listed every last one of them. If you missed it, here's a link.

Shameless Plug: Barbra Streisand has had more #1 albums (nine) and more top 10 albums (31) than any other female artist in history. The star turned 70 yesterday. I saluted her and Doris Day, who turned 90 on April 3, in Chart Watch Extra that ran earlier this month. If you missed it, here's a link.

Adele's Live At The Royal Albert Hall is #1 on Top Music Videos for the 21st straight week. It's just one week away from tying Whitney Houston's The #1 Video Hits from 1986 for the longest run at #1 by a female artist in the chart's 27-year history. Adele's DVD sold 11K copies this week, bringing its total to 816K.

R.I.P. Dick Clark was the most historically important person in putting contemporary pop music on TV. That point was made abundantly clear in 1993, when two major honors came his way: He was inducted into both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Television Academy Hall of Fame. A few years earlier, Clark received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. Clark was 82 when he died on Wednesday.

R.I.P. Levon Helm was the only American-born member of The Band (which also included four Canadians). The band amassed six top 10 albums, including three collaborations with Bob Dylan. Two of the band's albums land on The Billboard 200 in the wake of Helm's death on Tuesday at age 71. Greatest Hits (released in 2000) finally debuts at #84. The three-disk soundtrack to Martin Scorsese's 1978 concert documentary The Last Waltz re-enters at #134. Helm's 2011 solo album, Ramble At The Ryman, re-enters at #146. The Band was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame in 1994. The group received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008.

Coming Attractions: Jack White's solo debut album, Blunderbuss, is expected to debut at #1 next week, with sales in the 120K range. Three other albums are eyeing top 10 debuts: Lee Brice's Hard 2 Love and Kip Moore's Up All Night (both with sales in the 35K range), and The Wanted's seven-song EP The Wanted (30K range). Josh Abbott Band's Small Town Family Dream will probably open right around #14 with sales in the 21K range. Also due: Tiesto's Club Life Volume Two Miami and Deuce's Nine Lives.

Quiz Answer: Here are top 10 albums with planet names in their titles: Wings' Venus And Mars (#1 in 1975), Sting's Mercury Falling (#5 in 1996), No Doubt's Return Of Saturn (#2 in 2000), Train's Drops Of Jupiter (#6 in 2001) and the Jimi Hendrix Experience's Valleys Of Neptune (#4 in 2010), plus, as you might imagine, a lot of "Earth" albums: Jefferson Starship's Earth (#5 in 1978), Mobb Deep's Hell On Earth (#6 in 1996), Ozzy Osbourne's Down To Earth (#4 in 2001), the Strokes' First Impressions Of Earth (#4 in 2006) and Prince's Planet Earth (#3 in 2007).