Del Rey performed two songs on SNL on Jan. 14. Brian Williams, the anchor of NBC Nightly News, called Del Rey's performance "one of the worst outings in SNL history." (Remember when they covered actual news on the news?) On Saturday, Kristen Wiig parodied Del Rey on a Weekend Update sketch.
Sometimes, controversies and setbacks strengthen the bond between an artist and their strongest supporters. It will be interesting to see what happens next in this drama.
Not surprisingly, the album was a big digital seller. It sold 57K digital copies (out of a total of 77K), which put it #1 on Top Digital Albums. Del Rey's song "Video Games" has sold 154K copies in five weeks.
This is the sixth consecutive week at #1 for 21. That's the longest continuous streak that the album has held the top spot, surpassing the album's five-consecutive-week run at #1 in April and May. Moreover, this is the first time that any album has held the top spot for six straight weeks since Susan Boyle's I Dreamed A Dream was #1 in its first six weeks in 2009.
Billboard's Keith Caulfield adds that this is the 35th week that U.S. sales of 21 have topped 100,000. 21 is the first album to amass that many weeks with sales of 100K since Creed's Human Clay, which topped 100K in weekly sales 49 times, ending in January 2001. (Wanna know the album that amassed the most weeks with sales of 100K since Nielsen SoundScan began tracking sales for Billboard in 1991? It's Alanis Morissette's Jagged Little Pill, with 64 weeks of 100K sales from 1995 into 1997.)
Cohen is probably best known as the writer of the modern standard "Hallelujah," which Jeff Buckley recorded in 1995. The song been performed in recent years by everyone from Justin Timberlake & Matt Morris featuring Charlie Sexton (on the Hope For Haiti Now telethon) to Lee DeWyze (en route to his American Idol victory).
Cohen was featured on Herbie Hancock's River: The Joni Letters, which won a Grammy as Album of the Year for 2007.
This is the second time in four months that a veteran artist finally landed his first top 10 album after decades in the business. Tom Waits' Bad As Me debuted at #6 in October, becoming the first top 10 (or even top 20) album of Waits' 36-year chart career.
Cohen isn't the oldest artist to land a top 10 album. Tony Bennett, whose Duets II debuted at #1 in September, is 85.
Kelly Clarkson's "Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)" holds at #1 on Hot Digital Songs. Will it move up to the top spot 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.
1. Adele, 21, 122,000. The album logs its 19th week at #1. This is its 50th week in the top 10. Four songs from the album are listed on Hot Digital Songs, topped by "Set Fire To The Rain," which holds at #2.
2. Lana Del Rey, Born To Die, 77,000. This new entry is Del Rey's first top 10 album. "Video Games" vaults from #156 to #87 on Hot Digital Songs.
3. Leonard Cohen, Old Ideas, 41,000. This new entry is Cohen's first top 10 album.
4. Various Artists, 2012 Grammy Nominees, 34,000. The album holds at #4 in its second week.
5. Kidz Bop Kids, Kidz Bop 21, 30,000. The album rebounds from #6 to #5 in its third week. It has been in the top 10 the entire time.
6. Drake, Take Care, 30,000. The former #1 album rebounds from #9 to #6 in its 12th week. It has been in the top 10 the entire time. Four songs from the album are listed on Hot Digital Songs, topped by the excellent "Take Care" (featuring Rihanna), which jumps from #26 to #20.
7. Tim McGraw, Emotional Traffic, 29,000. The album drops from #2 to #7 in its second week. It's #1 on Top Country Albums for the second week. "Better Than I Used To Be" drops from #68 to #81 on Hot Digital Songs.
8. Fred Hammond, God, Love And Romance, 26,000. This new entry is Hammond's first top 10 album. It's Hammond's seventh album to reach #1 on the Top Gospel Albums chart.
9. LMFAO, Sorry For Party Rocking, 22,000. The album rebounds from #18 to #9 in its 33rd week. This is its third week in the top 10. Three songs from the album are listed on Hot Digital Songs, topped by "Sexy And I Know It," which dips from #8 to #9.
10. Rihanna, Talk That Talk, 22,000. The album rebounds from #16 to #10 in its 11th week. This is its eighth week in the top 10. Three songs from the album are listed on Hot Digital Songs, topped by "We Found Love" (featuring Calvin Harris), which drops from #7 to #12.
Five albums drop out of the top 10 this week. Lamb Of God's Resolution dives from #3 to #27, Ingrid Michaelson's Human Again plummets from #5 to #57, Kellie Pickler's 100 Proof dives from #7 to #39, Seal's Soul II drops from #8 to #16, and Kari Jobe's Where I Find You plummets from #10 to #58.
Adele's 2008 album 19 holds at #19. It's #1 on Top Catalog Albums for the 34th week. Will the album return to the top 10 in the wake of her expected Grammy sweep? (And, if so, how high will it go?) Place your bets.
James Taylor's Greatest Hits this week tops the 7 million mark in sales since Nielsen SoundScan began tracking sales for Billboard. That sales figure, impressive as it is, doesn't count the album's first 14 years of sales. The collection was first released in November 1976, as Taylor was leaving one record company (Warner Bros.) for another (Columbia). This album includes the songs that made Taylor an icon and put him on the cover of TIME in March 1971, two weeks before his 23rd birthday. Among them: "Fire And Rain," "Carolina In My Mind" and "You've Got A Friend."
Adele's Live At The Royal Albert Hall is #1 on Top Music Videos for the 10th straight week. The DVD sold 19K copies, bringing its total to 547K.
Chronicle was #1 at the box-office over the weekend.
Coming Attractions: Van Halen's A Different Kind Of Truth will vie with Adele's album for the #1 spot next week. Three other albums appear headed for top 10 debuts: Now 41, The Fray's Scars & Stories, Paul McCartney's Kisses On The Bottom and Dierks Bentley's Home.link.
Shameless Grammy Plug II: Think you're a Grammy expert? Care to put your knowledge to the test? I posted a quiz for you to see how much you know about Grammy lore. It's 20 quick questions, all multiple choice. If you missed it, here's a link.
- Leonard Cohen
- Songs Of Leonard Cohen