Week Ending Sept. 8, 2013. Albums: The Braxton Sisters

Paul Grein
Chart Watch

Tamar Braxton’s long-awaited sophomore album, Love & War, enters The Billboard 200 at #2, just behind Ariana Grande’s debut album, Yours Truly. Tamar Braxton is the youngest sister of Toni Braxton, who has climbed as high as #2 with three albums: Toni Braxton (#1 in 1994), Secrets (#2 in 1996) and The Heat (#2 in 2000).

This represents a huge advance for Tamar, whose debut album, Tamar, stalled at #127 in 2000. Love & War sold more copies this week (114K) than Tamar has in its entire run (96K).

Love & War sold more than twice as many copies this week as Toni's last studio album, Pulse, sold in its first week (54K) in May 2010. It sold almost exactly the same number as Toni's previous album, Libra, sold in its first week in October 2005.

It’s never easy to step out into your own when your sister is a famous, Grammy-winning star. Tamar didn’t use her last name on her 2000 album, presumably to de-emphasize the family connection. (She’s using it now.)

Tamar is 36, nine years younger than her famous sister. Tamar has sung backing vocals on Toni's last three studio albums.

Tamar’s only other previous appearance on The Billboard 200 came in 1996 when The Braxtons’ So Many Ways reached #113. The sister group at that point consisted of Tamar, Trina and Towanda Braxton. (Toni was also in the group from 1989 to 1991.)

Another pair of sisters—Jessica Simpson and Ashlee Simpson—has achieved comparable success. Ashlee had a pair of #1 albums: 2004’s Autobiography and 2005’s I Am Me. Jessica, the higher-profile media star, never reached #1. She climbed as high as #2 with 2004’s In This Skin.

Ariana Grande’s Yours Truly is the first debut album by a female artist to reach #1 since Nicki Minaj’s Pink Friday in February 2011. (I’m not counting Selena Gomez’s first solo album, Stars Dance, which hit #1 in July. She was already a star fronting Selena Gomez & the Scene.)

The lead single from Grande's album, “The Way” (featuring Mac Miller), reached #9 on the Hot 100. It has sold 1,720,000 copies, making it the #32 best-selling song for the year-to-date.

Grande is the second artist managed by Scooter Braun to land a #1 album. Justin Bieber has collected five of them.

Yours Truly sold 108K digital copies, which puts it at #1 on Top Digital Albums.

Nine Inch Nails’ eighth studio album, Hesitation Marks, debuts at #3. It’s the group's sixth top 10 album. The group first cracked the top 10 in October 1992 with the EP Broken. Hesitation Marks enters the U.K.'s Official Albums Chart at #2. That's the band's highest ranking to date in the U.K. With Teeth, which peaked at #3 in 2005, had held that distinction.

John Legend’s fourth solo studio album, Love In The Future, debuts at #4. All four of these albums have made the top five. But, oddly for someone of Legend's stature, he has yet to land a #1 album. His highest-charting album, Once Again, reached #3 in 2006. Love In The Future is Legend's sixth top 10 album overall (counting a live album and a 2010 collabo with the Roots). Legend won a Grammy as Best New Artist of 2005.

Luke Bryan’s Crash My Party drops from #2 to #5 in its fourth week. The album is #1 on Top Country Albums for the fourth week. It’s the first album to spend its first four weeks at #1 on the country chart since Taylor Swift’s Red, which spent its first 13 weeks on top (and 16 weeks overall). It’s the first album by a male solo artist to spend its first four weeks at #1 country since Brad Paisley’s 5th Gear in early summer 2007. Yesterday, as expected, Bryan received his first CMA Awards nomination for Entertainer of the Year.

Imagine Dragons' Night Visions begins its second year on The Billboard 200 by rebounding from #16 to #10. The album has sold 1,401,000 copies. The album's biggest hit, "Radioactive" is closing in on Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'" as the best-selling rock song in digital history.

Katy Perry’s “Roar” is #1 on Hot Digital Songs for the fourth straight week (373K). “Roar” is the first song to spend its first four weeks at #1 since Taylor Swift’s “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” spent its first five weeks on top in August-September 2012. Will “Roar” hold at #1 for the second week on the Hot 100? You’ll find out later today when we post Chart Watch: Songs.

Here’s the low-down on this week’s top 10 albums.

The Top Five: Ariana Grande’s Yours Truly debuts at #1 (138K). It’s her first top 10 album…. Tamar Braxton’s Love & War debuts at #2 (114K). It’s her first top 10 album…Nine Inch Nails’ Hesitation Marks debuts at #3 (107K). It’s the group’s sixth top 10 album… John Legend’s Love In The Future debuts at #4 (68K). It’s his sixth top 10 album…Luke Bryan’s Crash My Party drops from #2 to #5 in its fourth week (68K). It has been in the top five the entire time.

The Second Five: Jaheim’s Appreciation Day debuts at #6 (58K). It’s his fifth top 10 album…Robin Thicke’s Blurred Lines drops from #5 to #7 in its sixth week (57K). It has been in the top 10 the entire time… Avenged Sevenfold’s Hail To The King drops from #1 to #8 in its second week (42K)…Justin Timberlake’s The 20/20 Experience drops from #6 to #9 in its 25th week (38K). This is its 18th week in the top 10…Imagine Dragons’ Night Visions rebounds from #16 to #10 in its 53rd week (35K). This is its 19th week in the top 10.

Six albums drop out of the top 10 this week. Big Sean’s Hall Of Fame drops from #3 to #24. Juicy J’s Stay Trippy drops from #4 to #15. John Mayer’s Paradise Valley drops from #7 to #16. Alabama & Friends' Alabama & Friends drops from #8 to #29. Bruno Mars’ Unorthodox Jukebox drops from #9 to #26. TGT’s Three Kings drops from #10 to #21.

Bastille’s first studio album, Bad Blood, debuts at #11. The album reached #1 on The U.K.'s Official Albums Chart in March. Bastille is a British alternative band. Its song “Pompeii” has climbed as high as #87 on the Hot 100. (Neil Sedaka had a #1 single titled “Bad Blood” in October 1975.)

Neko Case’s The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love debuts at #12. It’s her second top 20 album. Middle Cyclone hit #3 in March 2009. Case first charted in 2003 as a member of the New Pornographers. That group's highest-charting album was Challengers, which reached #34 in 2007.

The Teen Beach Movie soundtrack drops from #15 to #20 in its eighth week. It’s #1 on Top Soundtracks for the eighth week. It’s the first TV soundtrack (from a made-for-TV movie or a series) to top this chart for eight weeks since Lemonade Mouth scored in 2011.

Raheem DeVaughn’s fourth studio album, A Place Called Loveland, debuts at #22. All four albums have had the word "love" in their titles. The new album failed to match the top 10 status of DeVaughn's last two releases.

The 1975’s first full-length album, The 1975, debuts at #28. The album debuts at #1 on the U.K.’s Official Albums Chart. Which raises the obvious question: What were the longest-running #1 albums in the U.S. and the U.K. in 1975? In the U.S., it was Elton John's Captain Fantastic And The Brown Dirt Cowboy, which logged seven weeks at #1. In the U.K., it was The Best Of The Stylistics, which spent nine weeks at #1.

The Great Gatsby: Music From Baz Luhrmann’s Film drops from #22 to #32 in its 18th week. It’s the week’s highest-ranking soundtrack from a theatrically-released movie for the eighth non-consecutive week.

Adele’s 21, which rebounds from #59 to #56 in its 133rd week, this week tops the 500K mark in 2013 sales. Were most of these people buying additional copies, or did they finally break down and buy it after two years?

Bruno Mars’ Doo-Wops & Hooligans drops from #64 to #74 in its 151st week. It’s #1 on Top Catalog Albums for the ninth week. Mars recently wrapped his first headlining arena tour of North America.

Luke Bryan’s Spring Break…Here To Party, which rebounds from #93 to #90 in its 27th week, topped the 500K mark in sales last week. Bryan’s current album, Crash My Party, is up to 847K. Bryan is the only artist with two albums that have sold 500K or more copies so far in 2013.

One Direction's Up All Night—The Live Tour is #1 on Top Music Videos for the 32nd week. This is the longest any title has remained #1 since the chart was introduced (as Top Music Videocassettes) in March 1985.

Riddick was #1 at the box-office over the weekend.

Coming Attractions:  Keith Urban’s Fuse seems to be headed for #1 next week, with first-week sales in the 100K range. The Weeknd’s Kiss Land will probably open at #2 with sales of about 90K. 2 Chainz’s B.O.A.T.S. 2: Me Time will probably land at #3 (55K); Janelle Monae's The Electric Lady around #5 (45K); Arctic Monkeys' AM around #6 (35K); Sheryl Crow's Feels Like Home around #8 (30K); Earth, Wind & Fire's Now, Then & Forever around #10 (27K); and Kaskade's Atmosphere around #13 (20K). Also due: Rise Against's Long Forgotten Songs: B-Sides & Covers 2000-2013 (17K) and Gloria Estefan's The Standards (14K).