Usher's Here I Stand opens at #1, with sales of 443,000. It's the biggest opening by a male artist so far this year, topping Jack Johnson's Sleep Through The Static, which bowed in February with sales of 375,000. The last male artists to post bigger first-week numbers were Kanye West and 50 Cent, who scored in their heavily-publicized face-off in September. West's Graduation opened with sales of 957,000. 50 Cent's Curtis bowed with 691,000.
Here I Stand ranks behind only Mariah Carey's E=MC2 (463,000) for the biggest sales week so far in 2008. The difference is that Carey's tally improved on her previous best opening total (of 404,000), posted by The Emancipation Of Mimi in April 2005. Usher's total is less than half of that posted by his previous best opening, Confessions, which bowed in March 2004 with first-week sales of 1,096,000.
The market has declined markedly since 2004, so Usher's diminished opening is to be expected. The really striking part--which becomes more impressive asRead More »from Week Ending June 1, 2008: Usher Posts Top Male Performance Of 2008