Snoop Dogg’s reincarnation as Snoop Lion is off to a less than “roaring” start. Snoop’s 12th studio album, the reggae-influenced Reincarnated, enters The Billboard 200 at #16. It’s only his third studio album to fall short of the top 10. Paid Tha Cost To Be Da Boss peaked at #12 in 2002. Malice N Wonderland peaked at #23 in 2009.
It’s hard for veteran artists to remain on top, especially in the fast-changing world of hip-hop. Nearly 20 years have elapsed since Snoop debuted with Doggy Style in November 1993. Two other rappers of roughly the same vintage are still on top. Nas, who debuted in 1994, hit #1 in July with his most recent album, Life Is Good. Jay-Z, who debuted in 1996, has hit #1 with 12 albums.
Snoop’s sub-par debut is a bit surprising because he has had two of his biggest hits in the past few years. He was featured on Katy Perry’s “California Gurls,” which was the best-selling song of 2010, and shared the lead with Wiz Khalifa on last year’s “Young, Wild & Free” (which featured Bruno Mars).
Snoop has used three variations on his name in amassing these 12 studio albums. He was Snoop Doggy Dogg on the first two; Snoop Dogg on the next nine; and now Snoop Lion on this one. Sean Combs has also reached released studio albums using three variations of his stage name. He was Puff Daddy on the first two, P. Diddy on the third and Diddy on the last two.
Michael Buble’s To Be Loved debuts at #1. It’s Buble’s fourth full-length album in a row to reach #1, following Call Me Irresponsible, Crazy Love and Christmas. Among Canadian artists, only Justin Bieber has amassed more #1 albums (five, though tally that includes one EP). Celine Dion and Neil Young have also had four #1 albums. (Young’s tally includes three albums with Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young).
Buble’s album was released in time for Mother’s Day gift-giving. (The big day is May 12.) That’s expected to keep it near the top of the chart for at least two more weeks. Buble’s album sold 59K digital copies (out of 195K total), which puts it at #1 on Top Digital Albums.
To Be Loved holds at #1 on The Official U.K. Chart for the second week. It’s Buble’s third album to reach #1 in both the U.S. and the U.K. It follows Crazy Love and Christmas. Only one other Canadian artist has amassed three or more “transatlantic #1” albums. Celine Dion had four.
Buble won the Grammy for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album for both Call Me Irresponsible and Crazy Love. He didn’t win for Christmas (but then no Christmas album has ever won in that category, though quite a few have been nominated). Will he win again in February for To Be Loved? Stay tuned.
Of the hundreds of women who have competed on American Idol over the past 12 years, just two have landed #1 albums. Kelly Clarkson has had two #1 albums. Carrie Underwood has had three. This week, for the second time, Fantasia just misses joining that list. Her fourth studio album, Side Effects Of You, debuts at #2. Her third album, Back To Me, debuted and peaked in the runner-up slot in August 2010. Fantasia is the second Idol alum (male or female) to reach #2 with two albums without (yet) going all the way. Jennifer Hudson stalled at #2 with her first two studio albums: 2008’s Jennifer Hudson and 2011’s I Remember Me.
Clarkson, Fantasia and Underwood were the winners of Seasons 1, 3 and 4, respectively. Hudson came in seventh in Season 3.
Justin Timberlake’s The 20/20 Experience holds at #3 for the third straight week. That’s not so unusual, except for the fact that different albums have ranked ahead of it each week. It was Paramore and Brad Paisley in Week 1, Fall Out Boy and Kid Cudi in Week 2 and now Michael Buble and Fantasia in Week 3.
Phoenix’s fifth studio album, Bankrupt!, debuts at #4. It’s the band’s first top 10 album. Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix peaked at #37. (That album, which won a Grammy for Best Alternative Music Album, re-enters the chart this week at #184. It has sold 721K copies.) Incidentally, Bankrupt! isn’t the first album with a picture of a peach on the cover to crack the top five. The Allman Brothers Band’s Eat A Peach reached #4 in April 1972.
Blake Shelton’s Based On A True Story… drops from #4 to #6. It’s #1 on Top Country Albums for the third week. That’s a personal best for Shelton. Moreover, it’s the longest run at #1 by any male solo artist since Kenny Chesney’s Welcome To The Fishbowl had three weeks on top last June and July.
Rob Zombie’s fifth studio album, Venomous Rat Regeneration Vendor, debuts at #7. Rob Zombie has now released more studio albums on his own than he did with his band White Zombie (four). And he’s had more success as a solo artist than he did with the group. All five of his solo studio albums have made the top 10. Only one of White Zombie’s studio albums made the mark.
will.i.am’s fourth solo studio album, #willpower, debuts at #9. It’s his first solo album to crack the top 10. His previous best mark was set by Songs About Girls, which peaked at #38 in 2007. The hashtag-referencing title is of-the-moment, in the same way that R. Kelly’s TP-2.com was in November 2000, when it debuted at #1.
“Can’t Hold Us” by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring Ray Dalton jumps to #1 on Hot Digital Songs (259K), dethroning “Just Give Me A Reason” by P!nk featuring Nate Ruess. It’s the second #1 for Macklemore & Ryan Lewis: “Thrift Shop” topped the digital chart for 10 straight weeks. Will “Can’t Hold Us” also dethrone “Just Give Me A Reason” 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.
The Top Five: Michael Buble’s To Be Loved debuts at #1 (195K). It’s his sixth top 10 album; his fourth #1…Fantasia’s Side Effects Of You debuts at #2 (91K). It’s her third top 10 album… Justin Timberlake’s The 20/20 Experience holds at #3 for the third week in its sixth week (74K). It has been in the top five the entire time…Phoenix’s Bankrupt! debuts at #4 (50K). It’s the band’s first top 10 album…Fall Out Boy’s Save Rock And Roll drops from #1 to #5 in its second week (36K).
The Second Five: Blake Shelton’s Based On A True Story… drops from #4 to #6 in its fifth week (36K). It has ranked in the top 10 the entire time…Rob Zombie’s Venomous Rat Regeneration Vendor debuts at #7 (34K). It’s his fifth solo album to crack the top 10…Kid Cudi’s Indicud drops from #2 to #8 in its second week (32K)… will.i.am’s #willpower debuts at #9 (29K). It’s his first solo album to crack the top 10…P!nk’s The Truth About Love holds at #10 for the second week in its 32nd week (29K). This is its 13th week in the top 10.
Five albums drop out of the top 10 this week. Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ Mosquito drops from #5 to #38. The Band Perry’s Pioneer drops from #6 to #14. Brad Paisley’s Wheelhouse drops from #7 to #19. Lil Wayne’s I Am Not A Human Being II drops from #8 to #12. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ The Heist drops from #9 to #11.
Tate Stevens’ debut album Tate Stevens debuts at #18. Stevens won the second season of the U.S. version of The X Factor.
Love Has Come For You by Steve Martin & Edie Brickell debuts at #21. This is Martin’s highest-charting album since A Wild And Crazy Guy spent six consecutive weeks at #2 in 1978-1979. It’s Brickell’s highest-charting album since Edie Brickell & the New Bohemians’ Shooting Rubberbands At The Stars reached #4 in February 1989. This is Martin’s highest-charting musical album. The Crow: New Songs For The 5-String Banjo reached #93 in 2009. Rare Bird Alert hit #43 in 2011. Brickell is married to Martin’s pal (and fellow SNL frequent guest) Paul Simon. (I can’t resist pointing out that Steve & Edie have climbed higher on the Billboard 200 than Steve & Eydie ever did. The husband-and-wife team of Steve Lawrence & Eydie Gorme climbed as high as #136 with Together On Broadway in 1967.)
Pitch Perfect drops from #29 to #34 in its 27th week. It’s the highest-ranking soundtrack to a theatrically-released movie for the 17th week.
Four George Jones compilations enter or re-enter the chart in the wake of his death last week at age 81. The 1998 compilation 16 Biggest Hits finally enters the chart at #42. Even without cracking The Billboard 200 (until this week) the album has sold a healthy 1,181,000 copies. The album is #1 on this week’s Top Catalog Albums chart. It’s the second album in the 16 Biggest Hits franchise to top the catalog chart. Johnny Cash’s album by that title spent 26 weeks atop the chart from 2003 to 2006. Jones sold 40K albums in the past week, bringing his SoundScan era total to 11,434,000. Jones had two albums on the very first Hot Country Albums chart when it was introduced on Jan. 11, 1964.
Emeli Sande’s Our Version Of Events leaps from #146 to #83 in its 24th week. The album has climbed as high as #28. The album makes history in Sande’s native U.K. this week. It logs its 63rd consecutive week in the top 10, which surpasses the Beatles’ Please Please Me for the longest continuous run in the top 10 by a debut album in British chart history.
2Pac’s Greatest Hits tops the 5 million mark in sales this week. It’s the rapper’s first album to reach this milestone. (All Eyez On Me, the last album released in the rapper’s lifetime, has sold 4,472,000 copies.) Greatest Hits debuted at #5 in November 1998 and peaked at #3 in January 1999. 2Pac was shot to death in September 1996.
Creedence Clearwater Revival’s 1976 compilation Chronicle (The 20 Greatest Hits) tops the 500K mark in digital sales this week. It’s the second oldest album to sell that many digital copies. Pink Floyd’s 1973 classic The Dark Side Of The Moon has sold 578K digital copies. Digital is just a small percentage of both albums’ total sales. Dark Side has sold 9,502,000 total copies since 1991, when Nielsen SoundScan began tracking sales for Billboard. Chronicle has sold 6,340,000 total copies in that time frame. CCR had 11 top 10 hits on the Hot 100 between 1969 and 1971.
Adele’s Live At The Royal Albert Hall returns to #1 on Top Music Videos. This is its 28th week on top. The video has sold 1,078,000 copies.
Pain & Gain was #1 at the box-office over the weekend.
Coming Attractions: Kenny Chesney’s Life On A Rock will debut at #1 next week with first-week sales in the 145K range. Randy Rogers Band’s Trouble will probably start at #6 with sales of 27K. Also due: Jessica Sanchez’s Me, You & The Music (15K), LL Cool J’s Authentic (11K), The Airborne Toxic Event’s Such Hot Blood (11K), Iron Man 3 soundtrack and Eagles’ History Of The Eagles, a three-disk documentary/concert video.