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Week Ending Aug. 7, 2011. Albums: 12 For 21

Chart Watch

Adele's 21 tops The Billboard 200 for the 12th week. That's the longest run at #1 by any album since Santana's Supernatural logged 12 weeks on top in 1999 and 2000. That album spawned two monster #1 hits, "Smooth" and "Maria Maria." 21 has racked up all these weeks at #1 on the strength of just one #1 hit, "Rolling In The Deep."

Might 21 stay on top next week? Not a chance. Watch The Throne by Jay-Z and Kanye West will be #1 with first-week sales north of 500K. It will have the second biggest opening of the year, trailing only Lady Gaga's Born This Way.

But that impending blockbuster debut shouldn't take away from Adele's achievement this week. 21 is the longest-running #1 album by a female artist since Alanis Morissette's Jagged Little Pill spent 12 weeks on top in 1995-1996. It's the longest-running #1 album by a British artist since George Michael's Faith logged 12 weeks on top in 1987-1988. Both of those albums (and Supernatural, too) went on to win the Grammy for Album of the Year. 21 is sure to join them.

21 is the first album to rank #1 as late as its 24nd week on the chart since Ray Charles' Genius Loves Company, which finally reached #1 in its 25th week in February 2005 (following its Grammy win for Album of the Year).

As of this week, 21 has sold 2,909,000 copies. If it didn't sell another copy for the rest of the year (which is highly unlikely!), it will still have outsold the best-selling album of 2008. (That year's sales champ, Lil Wayne's Tha Carter III, sold 2,874,000 copies in that calendar year.)

With 21 weeks left in the chart year, 21 has a good chance of becoming the first album to sell 4 million copies in a calendar year since Mariah Carey's The Emancipation Of Mimi, which sold 4,969,000 copies in 2005. (The best-seller for any year since 2005 is the High School Musical soundtrack, which sold 3,719,000 copies in 2006. I think Adele will blow right past those pipsqueaks.)

21 is the just seventh album to log 12 or more weeks at #1 since Nielsen SoundScan began tracking sales for Billboard in 1991. It's the 46th album to log 12 or more weeks at #1 since Billboard's album chart became a regular weekly feature in 1956.

Amy Winehouse's Back To Black is #1 on Top Catalog Albums for the third week, but it drops from #7 to #16 on The Billboard 200. I'm a little surprised that it didn't spend more than just two weeks in the top 10, given the amount of attention her death received. But let's not forget that Winehouse notched just one top 40 hit in the U.S. ("Rehab"). Sad to say, but to most people she was known more for her substance abuse problems than for her music. Back To Black does better in Winehouse's native U.K., where it holds at #1 for the second week. It has now spent five weeks in the top slot in the U.K., spread across three calendar years.

(Inside Baseball: When Nielsen SoundScan first published last week's chart, it had Back To Black jumping from #9 to #4. On Thursday of last week, it published a revised chart, on which the album jumped from #9 to #7. I don't love it when there are revisions after the charts are first made public, but I have come to respect it. It would be far easier for Nielsen SoundScan, upon finding a discrepancy, to just let it go. It demonstrates their commitment to getting it right for the historical record that they go public with the change. And that's well worth any momentary annoyance.)

Four of this week's top 10 albums are country, which underscores the quiet power of that genre. Eric Church's Chief  dips from #1 to #2, Trace Adkins' Proud To Be Here debuts at #3, Jason Aldean's My Kinda Party drops from #4 to #6 and Blake Shelton's Red River Blue drops from #8 to #10.

Church's strong showing on The Billboard 200 is noteworthy because he has never climbed above #10 on Top Country Songs. (He has climbed as high as #10 twice, with "Love Your Love The Most" in 2009 and "Hell On The Heart" in 2010.) Billboard's Keith Caulfield notes that Church is the first "core country" artist to top The Billboard 200 without having first pocketed a #1 on Top Country Singles since Tim McGraw reached #1 in 1994 with Not A Moment Too Soon. McGraw's album topped The Billboard 200 one week before "Don't Take The Girl" became his first #1 country hit.

Two albums in this week's top 10 are targeted at kids. Victorious: Music From The Hit TV Show debuts at #5, while Kidz Bop 20 dips from #6 to #7. Victoria Justice stars in Victorious, which debuted on Nickelodeon in March 2010. Victorious: Music From The Hit TV Show is the first TV soundtrack to crack the top 10 since an album from the Disney Channel's Lemonade Mouth reached #5 in May.

What was the first album with the word "TV" in its title to reach #1 on the pop album chart? I could make this a Pop Quiz, but since most people who might know are dead by now, I'll just tell you. It was Arthur Godfrey's TV Calendar Show, which hit #1 in April 1953. The album featured members of the cast of Godfrey's hit TV show, Arthur Godfrey And His Friends, singing songs associated with each month of the year. (The album's theme seems a little corny now, but it was a more innocent time.)

Two sleek pop singles break into the top 10 on Hot Digital Songs. "Moves Like Jagger" by Maroon5 featuring Christina Aguilera vaults from #17 to #3 (returning to the top 10).  And Foster The People's "Pumped Up Kicks" leaps from #13 to #6. How high will they place on the Hot 100? You'll find out when we post Chart Watch: Songs later today.

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

1. Adele, 21, 76,000. The album jumps from #2 to #1 in its 24th week. It has been in the top three the entire time. Four songs from the album are listed on Hot Digital Songs, topped by "Rolling In The Deep," which drops from #10 to #12.

2. Eric Church, Chief, 53,000. The former #1 album dips to #2 in its second week. It's #1 on Top Country Albums for the second week.  "Homeboy" jumps from #72 to #55 on Hot Digital Songs.

3. Trace Adkins, Proud To Be Here, 47,000. This new entry is Adkins' fourth top 10 album; his second to climb as high as #3. Dangerous Man peaked at #3 in 2006. "Just Fishin'" jumps from #154 to #105 on Hot Digital Songs.

4. Mat Kearney, Young Love, 44,000. This new entry is the first top 10 album by the "adult alternative" artist. City Of Black & White hit #13 in 2009. Nearly 34K copies were sold digitally, which puts this at #1 on Top Digital Albums. Two songs from the album are listed on Hot Digital Songs. "Ships In The Night" debuts at #56. "Hey Mama" debuts at #152.

5. TV Soundtrack, Victorious: Music From The Hit TV Show, 41,000. This new entry is the week's #1 soundtrack. Three songs from the album are listed on Hot Digital Songs, topped by a remake of the Jackson 5's "I Want You Back," which bows at #87.

6. Jason Aldean, My Kinda Party, 41,000. The album drops from #4 to #6 in its 40th week. This is its 18th week in the top 10. Three songs from the album are listed on Hot Digital Songs, topped by "Dirt Road Anthem," which drops from #11 to #13.

7. Kidz Bop Kids, Kidz Bop 20, 37,000. The album dips from #6 to #7 for the second straight week. This is its third week in the top 10.

8. Beyonce, 4, 34,000. The former #1 album drops from #5 to #8 in its sixth week. It has been in the top 10 the entire time. Two songs from the album are listed on Hot Digital Songs. "Best Thing I Never had" drops form #19 to #22. "Run The World (Girls)" drops from #118 to #144.

9. Various Artists, Slow Grind, 32,000.This new entry is a TV-advertised collection of R&B "slow jamz" featuring such artists as Chris Brown, Ciara, R. Kelly, Fantasia, Jamie Foxx and Jennifer Hudson.

10. Blake Shelton, Red River Blue, 26,000. The former #1 album drops from #8 to #10 in its fourth week. Two songs from the album are listed on Hot Digital Songs. "Honey Bee" drops from #32 to #34. "God Gave Me You" jumps from #54 to #45.

Four albums drop out of the top 10 this week. Kelly Rowland's Here I Am falls from #3 to #13, Amy Winehouse's Back In Back drops from #7 to #16, Joss Stone's LP1 plummets from #9 to #47 and Bad Meets Evil's Hell: The Sequel drops from #10 to #14.

O.A.R.'s King debuts at #12. This is the band's highest-charting album. All Sides hit #13 in 2008...Greyson Chance's  Hold On 'Til The Night debuts at #29. Chance, 13, gained prominence last year when his performance of Lady Gaga's "Paparazzi" at a sixth-grade music festival became a YouTube sensation.

Rio: Music From The Motion Picture is the week's highest-ranking soundtrack to a theatrically-released movie. The soundtrack re-enters The Billboard 200 at #74 in the wake of the release of the DVD. The soundtrack initially peaked at #106 in April.

Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes was #1 at the box-office over the weekend. The soundtrack, featuring a score by Patrick Doyle, will be released on Aug. 16. (No point in having it out when the movie's #1.) Jerry Goldsmith's score to the original Planet Of The Apes charted briefly, way back in 1968.

Elvis Presley's Elvis: Great Performances debuts at #1 on Top Music Videos. Presley topped the music video chart in 2002 with The Great Performances Box Set. He has also reached #1 on that chart with Elvis By The Presleys in 2005 and two volumes of gospel performances, in 2000 and 2009, under the title He Touched Me.

Coming Attractions: As noted above, Watch The Throne by Jay-Z and Kanye West will enter the chart at #1 next week. Look for Luke Bryan's Tailgates & Tanlines and Now 39 to debut at #2 and #3, respectively. Also due: Glee: The 3D  Concert Movie, Trivium's In Waves, Ace Hood's Blood, Sweat & Tears, Gucci Mane & Waka Flocka Flame's 1017 Bricksquad Presents...Ferrari Boyz and Royce Da 5'9"'s Success Is Certain.

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