Week Ending June 24, 2012. Albums: Thanks & Move Over
Justin Bieber's Believe enters The Billboard 200 with first-week sales of 374K. The number is off a bit from the overly rosy 400K-440K projections that were floated last week. Even so, it's the biggest first-week sales tally by any album so far this year. And it's the biggest one-week sales tally of Bieber's career. There's just one potentially awkward wrinkle. The album displaces the latest by Bieber's mentor, Usher. The R&B star's Looking 4 Myself drops to #6 after an uncharacteristically soft debut (128K) at #1 last week. That was Usher's slimmest first-week sales tally since 1997.
Of course, it's a little unfair to compare to the two artists, who are at different points in their careers. Usher first cracked the top 10 (with My Way) in January 1998—when Bieber was three years old.
Remarkably, this is the second time that Bieber has bumped Usher out of the #1 spot. In April 2010, My World 2.0 returned to #1, displacing Raymond V Raymond (which had interrupted its run on top). The two artists must not mind competing because this is the second time they've released albums just one week apart.
Bieber is the first artist in chart history to land four #1 albums or EPs while still in his teens. Believe follows My World 2.0, the EP Never Say Never: The Remixes and Under The Mistletoe. And Bieber has nearly 18 months to add to this tally. He won't turn 20 until March 1, 2014.
Two artists landed three #1 albums while still in their teens. Britney Spears scored with …Baby One More Time, Oops!...I Did It Again and Britney, all by age 19. Miley Cyrus scored with Hannah Montana 2/Meet Miley Cyrus, Breakout and the Hannah Montana: The Movie soundtrack, all by age 16. (The Fine Print: The initial Hannah Montana TV soundtrack in 2006 also reached #1, but I didn't count it because it wasn't marketed as a Cyrus album.)
In addition, Bieber is only the second Canadian artist to land four #1 albums. He follows Neil Young, who scored with the 1972 classic Harvest and also with three albums with Crosby, Stills Nash & Young: Déjà vu, 4 Way Street and So Far. Young was 21, not much older than Bieber is now, in 1967 when he first charted with Buffalo Springfield.
Michael Buble is runner-up among Canadian acts for the most #1 albums. The charismatic crooner has had three: Call Me Irresponsible, Crazy Love and Christmas.