Week Ending Sept. 15, 2013. Albums: The Week With Two #1 Albums
There was a squeaker and some backstage drama at the top of this week's Billboard 200. When Nielsen SoundScan first published the chart early Wednesday morning, The Weeknd's first studio album, Kiss Land, was #1 with first-week sales of 99K, about 500 more copies than Keith Urban's Fuse, which was listed at #2 (98K). But the chart was re-run several hours later and Urban came out on top after all. In the rerun, Urban's tally was unchanged at 98K, but The Weeknd's tally dropped from 99K to 95K. (A note on Nielsen SoundScan's website says that "ineligible sales…have been removed.")
It's not uncommon for Nielsen/SoundScan to adjust the final sales tallies. It's just that the tinkering rarely reverses the order of finish for the top two albums. This last happened in the week ending Aug. 31, 2008. The Game's LAX was initially declared the champ in a close race with Slipknot's All Hope Is Gone, but the two albums switched places in a recount.
Fuse is Urban's second #1 album. He first topped the chart with Defying Gravity in April 2009. This is Urban's first album since he gained broader fame this year via his judging role on American Idol. Urban is the only judge from Season 12 who will be back on the judging panel when the Fox show begins its 13th season in January. At that time, the judging panel will, for the first time in the show's history, include an artist who has had a #1 album in the previous six months. This nearly happened this past season. Nicki Minaj had a #1 album in April 2012, nine months before she started as a judge.
Four other Idol judges had had #1 albums prior to beginning their judging stints, but those chart-topping albums were years in the past. Mariah Carey's most recent #1 album, E=MC2, was in April 2008, nearly five years before she began her judging stint in January. For Jennifer Lopez, the lag time between her most recent #1 album and her debut as an Idol judge was nearly nine years. For Paula Abdul, it was 11 years. For Aerosmith's Steven Tyler, nearly 14 years.
How does Urban's tally of two #1 albums compare with other Idol judges, past and present? It puts him in a five-way tie for second place among the 11 individuals who have had a regular seat on the judging panel since the show debuted in June 2002. Carey has had the most #1 albums (six) of any American Idol judge. She's followed by Abdul, Lopez, Tyler, Minaj and now Urban, with two each.