Week Ending March 31, 2013. Albums: The Voice Lifts Blake Shelton
The Voice has been very good for Blake Shelton. The country star’s Based On A True Story… sold 199K copies in its first week, which is more than any previous Shelton album has sold in any one week. (He achieved his previous best when Red River Blue sold 116K copies when it debuted at #1 in July 2011). Prior to the launch of The Voice in April 2011, Shelton had never sold more than 77K copies of an album in one week.
Based On A True Story enters The Billboard 200 at #3, behind Justin Timberlake’s The 20/20 Experience, which holds at #1 for the second week, and Lil Wayne’s I Am Not A Human Being II, which debuts at #2. Shelton’s album enters Top Country Albums at #1. It’s Shelton’s third #1 album on the country chart. It follows the 2010 EP All About Tonight and Red River Blue.
The first single from the album, “Sure Be Cool If You Did,” is expected to log its sixth week at #1 on Hot Country Songs. That would be the longest run at #1 for a hit by a male artist since Keith Urban’s “Better Life” spent six weeks on top in the fall of 2005. (Urban, of course, is also a star of a music reality show. He’s a judge on American Idol.) A sixth week on top would also allow “Sure Be Cool If You Did” to surpass Shelton’s 2001 smash “Austin” as his longest-running #1 country hit to date.
Shelton was a surprise winner for Entertainer of the Year at the Country Music Assn. Awards in November. (He beat the expected winner, Taylor Swift, as well as Jason Aldean, Kenny Chesney and Brad Paisley.) Can he repeat that victory November? Place your bets.
The Voice, of course, has also put fellow coach Adam Levine back on top. He has amassed five top 10 hits on the Hot 100 since the show went on the air—four with Maroon 5 and one as a featured artist on Gym Class Heroes’ “Stereo Hearts.” And the show has revived Christina Aguilera’s flagging recording career. She was featured Maroon 5’s massive hit “Moves Like Jagger” and returned to the top 10 last week as the featured artist on Pitbull’s “Feel This Moment.” (She’s currently on leave from the show, with Shakira taking her slot this season.)
Incidentally, if the title of Shelton’s album seems familiar, it should: 2 Chainz’s Based On A T.R.U. Story debuted at #1 in August 2012.