Week Ending Nov. 18, 2012. Albums: Xtina Slips Despite “The Voice”
Christina Aguilera's Lotus enters The Billboard 200 at #7 with first-week sales of 73K. That's a lower debut position and first-week sales tally than Aguilera's last album, Bionic, which bowed at #3 in June 2010 with first-week sales of 111K. Here's the puzzling part: Aguilera's visibility was low back then. She has since starred in a movie, Burlesque, with Cher (which grossed just under $40 million); landed a #1 hit as a featured artist on Maroon 5's "Moves Like Jagger" and become a TV star on The Voice. Given all that, you might have expected her new album to, at the very least, improve on the showing of Bionic.
The album's first single, "Your Body," peaked at a disappointing #34 on the Hot 100. "Just A Fool," a collabo with Blake Shelton, her fellow judge on The Voice, is expected to debut this week.
This is the second week in a row that a veteran artist-turned-TV reality star has gotten off to a disappointing start. Aerosmith's Music From Another Dimension!, the band's first album since Steven Tyler's two-year gig as a judge on American Idol, debuted at #5 last week (and dives to #25 this week). Bottom line: If you're a veteran artist, being on a hit TV show increases the number of people who recognize you in airports, but it doesn't necessarily revive your record sales.
There are exceptions. The Voice has boosted Adam Levine, whose group, Maroon 5, has ranked #1 or #2 on the Hot 100 25 times in the past 15 months. And it has helped Blake Shelton, who recently won the CMA Award for Entertainer of the Year (he had never even nominated in that category before The Voice premiered in April 2011). Idol gave at least a temporary lift to Jennifer Lopez, whose "On The Floor" (featuring Pitbull) reached #3 in May 2011, becoming her highest-charting hit in more than eight years.
Aguilera's first three studio albums, from 1999 to 2006, each started with first-week sales of between 250K and 350K. To be fair, album sales were brisker back then overall. Also, Aguilera has been around for 13 years. It's natural for sales to taper off over time. And at least Xtina debuted in the top 10. That's more than you can say for Susan Boyle, whose new album, Standing Ovation: The Greatest Songs From The Stage, debuts at #12. We'll get to her in minute.)