Week Ending July 8, 2012. Albums: Chris Brown, 2; Rihanna, 0
Chris Brown lands his second straight #1 album as Fortune debuts in the top spot. It follows F.A.M.E., which went on to win a Grammy as Best R&B Album of 2011. Since the February 2009 incident in which Brown assaulted his then-girlfriend Rihanna, Brown has landed two #1 albums. Rihanna has yet to reach the top spot. That doesn't seem right, but those are the facts.
But let me hasten to add that Rihanna's six studio albums have sold substantially more copies overall (8,392,000) than Brown's five studio albums have (5,598,000).
The best-selling album that either artist has had is Rihanna's 2007 smash Good Girls Gone Bad (2,750,000), followed by Brown's 2005 debut Chris Brown (2,199,000) and his 2007 sophomore album Exclusive (2,014,000). The worst-selling album that either artist has had is Brown's Graffiti, which has sold just 362K. That album was released just 10 months after the assault, when Brown supporters were hard to find.
Brown's album sold 135K in its first week. That's down sharply from his last album, which opened with sales of 270K. The first-week tally for Fortune isn't much higher than the first-week tally for aforementioned Graffiti, which opened with sales of 102K. Of course, Brown isn't the only artist whose album sales are down. Usher's recent Looking 4 Myself also opened far below the level of his past works. It sold 128K in its first week, compared to 329K for his immediately previous full-length studio album, Raymond V Raymond.
Fortune also debuts at #1 in the U.K. It's Brown's first #1 album in that territory. His previous best mark there was #3 for Exclusive. Fortune is the first R&B album (excluding hip hop) to reach #1 in both the U.S. and the U.K. since Beyonce's 4 in 2011.