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Who Charted? Britney Spears Sells About as Well as She Dances Now

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Who's Number One: Britney Spears, who sold 276,000 copies of Femme Fatale according to Nielsen SoundScan, earning her sixth Billboard Top 200 chart topper. For Britney, that's OK, not great -- kind of like her dancing these days. Her other first-week figures are Circus (506,000), Blackout (290,000), In the Zone (609,000), Britney (746,000), Oops!... I Did It Again (1.3 million), and ... Baby One More Time (121,000), and the trajectory is easy to explain:

Why?: Spears was still a relative unknown when her debut dropped, her sales exploded as teen pop took over, she slipped as the industry struggled, then dipped again as she personally struggled -- though Blackout performed astonishingly well considering Britney did zero promotion other than falling down in public -- and rose when she pushed her "comeback" album with a "revealing" MTV special in 2008. Her Femme Fatale numbers are solid in 2011 terms (Chris Brown sold 6,000 fewer copies last week in Number One), but with Britney Spears we all expect magic.

Who's Stoned... We Mean Bummed Out? Weed-loving rapper Wiz Khalifa. His debut Rolling Papers sold 197,000 in second place. How will he possibly dull the pain of missing Number One ...

So That Means ...: Adele continues her solid streak in Number Three, followed by Brown's F.A.M.E., and Songs for Japan. Radiohead managed to lure 69,000 people who still like to hold CDs in their hands out to buy the physical release of The King of Limbs, which gave them a Number Six debut. Jennifer Hudson took seventh place, Snoop Dogg's Doggumentary debuted in Number Eight with 50,000, Kirk Franklin landed in nine, and gospel duo Mary Mary arrived in 10 with 42,000 copies sold of Something Big. The Strokes slipped from Number Four to 18 with sales of 21,000 Angles' second week in stores.

Other Notable Debuts: The soundtrack to Grey's Anatomy's "Musical Event" hit the chart at Number 24 (19,000), Sum 41's Screaming Bloody Murder arrived at 31 (15,000), and both the Mountain Goats and the Pains of Being Pure at Heart squeaked into the Top 100, at 71 and 91, respectively.

Don't Jinx It, Things Are So Good Right Now! Last week we noted the bleak record sales situation seems to be slightly less bleak, and now Billboard tells us U.S. sales have been on the rise for Six! Consecutive! Weeks! For the first time since 2004! With Lady Gaga, Beyoncé, Foo Fighters, Beastie Boys, and more big albums on the horizon we may get out of this fight alive (this year at least).

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