Chart Watch

Week Ending March 27, 2011: Albums: Chris Brown’s Recovery

Chart Watch

Chris Brown's fourth album, F.A.M.E., enters The Billboard 200 at #1 with first-week sales of 270,000. That's nearly triple the first-week sales of Brown's last album, Graffiti, which debuted and peaked at #7 in December 2009 with first-week sales of 102,000. (That was just 10 months after his assault on then-girlfriend Rihanna.) F.A.M.E. is Brown's first #1 album. His debut album, Chris Brown, debuted and peaked at #2 in December 2005, with first-week sales of 154K. His sophomore album, Exclusive, debuted and peaked at #4 in November 2007 with first-week sales of 294K.

This is the second biggest one-week total of 2011, topped only by Adele's 21, which sold 352K in its opening week. (But Britney Spears' Femme Fatale will probably eclipse Brown's total when it debuts next week. It is expected to start with sales between 275K and 300K).

F.A.M.E stands, gracelessly, for Forgiving All My Enemies. (Brown has also suggested that the title stands for Fans Are My Everything. I guess you can take your pick.) In any event, F.A.M.E. is the third #1 album with an acronym in its title. It follows LL Cool J's G.O.A.T. Featuring James T. Smith The Greatest Of All Time and the Black Eyed Peas' The E.N.D. (which stands for Energy Never Dies).

Note: Several other titles of #1 albums have featured collections of letters, such as TCB by Diana Ross & the Supremes with the Temptations. But unless the letters form a word, they don't constitute an acronym. (See, I did pay attention in eighth grade English.)

Brown lands a #1 album on The Billboard 200 before his ex-girlfriend Rihanna, whose highest-charting album, Good Girl Gone Bad, debuted and peaked at #2 in June 2007. But Rihanna has had more than four times as many #1 singles on the Hot 100 as Brown has (by a margin of nine to two).

Jennifer Hudson's second album, I Remember Me, debuts at #2. Her 2008 debut album, Jennifer Hudson, also opened at #2 (in October 2008, behind T.I.'s Paper Trail). For the record, Hudson is the first performer from Season 3 of American Idol to land two top five albums. Fantasia, who won the competition that year, has had two top 10 albums, but only one of them, last year's Back To Me, made the top five).

Hudson finished in seventh place in Season 3 of Idol, behind not only Fantasia, but also Diana DeGarmo, Jasmine Trias, LaToya London, George Huff and John Stevens, who are known today only by Idol watchers with really good memories. I guess you could say Hudson won in the long run.

Adele's 21 drops from #1 to #3. It holds at #1 in the U.K. for the ninth straight week. It's the first album to log nine or more weeks at #1 in the U.K. since James Blunt's Back To Bedlam, which had 10 weeks on top in 2005-2006. It's the first album to log nine consecutive weeks at #1 there since the Beatles' 1, which had nine straight weeks on top in 2000-2001.

How does Adele stack up against other women? 21 is the first album by a female artist to log nine or more weeks at #1 in the U.K. since Dido's Life For Rent, which had 10 weeks on top in 2003-2004. It's the first album by a female artist to have nine consecutive weeks at #1 there since Madonna's The Immaculate Collection, which had nine straight weeks on top in 1990-1991.

Kirk Franklin's Hello Fear debuts at #5. This is the gospel singer and choir leader's third top 10 album, following The Nu Nation Project (#7 in 1998) and The Rebirth Of Kirk Franklin (#4 in 2002). In addition, Franklin was a mentor to the group God's Property, which had an eponymous album in 1997 that hit #3. (Hello Fear is Franklin's third album in a row with a title that acknowledges life's difficulties. It follows Songs From The Storm, Volume 1 and The Fight Of My Life.)

Songs For Japan, a 38-song collection which was created to raise money for disaster relief in Japan, enters The Billboard 200 at #6. It's the sixth charity album to crack the top 10, following George Harrison and Friends' The Concert For Bangla Desh (#2 in 1972), We Are The World (#1 in 1985), A Very Special Christmas 2 (#7 in 1992), God Bless America (#1 in 2001) and Hope For Haiti Now (#1 in 2010). (We Are The World raised money for the USA for Africa organization. The A Very Special Christmas franchise aided the Special Olympics. God Bless America raised money for the Twin Towers Fund in the wake of 9/11.

Songs For Japan is digital-only at this point. It will be released as a two- CD set in early April.

Songs For Japan sold 68,000 copies in its first three days. Hope For Haiti Now, which was boosted by a live MTV telethon, sold 171,000 digital copies in its first two days. Hope For Haiti Now has sold a total of 371,000 digital copies. The album was never released on CD, so we'll never know how many more copies it might have sold to a (mostly older) audience that wanted it on CD or not at all.

Artists, record companies, music publishers and iTunes have all agreed to donate all proceeds from Songs For Japan to the Japanese Red Cross Society.

Billboard's Silvio Pietroluongo crunched the numbers. The 38 tracks on Song For Japan include 21 songs that made the Hot 100, 16 that made the top 40, nine that made the top 10 and five that reached #1. Those five are Beyonce's "Irreplaceable," "Love The Way You Lie" by Eminem featuring Rihanna, Katy Perry's "Firework," Rihanna's "Only Girl (In The World)" and Lady Gaga's current chart-topper, "Born This Way."

"E.T." by Katy Perry featuring Kanye West tops Hot Digital Songs for the third straight week. Will this be the week it finally moves up to #1 on the Hot 100 (which also factors in radio airplay)? Or will Lady Gaga's "Born This Way" hold on for a seventh straight week? 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. Chris Brown, F.A.M.E., 270,000. This new entry is Brown's fourth top 10 album; his first to reach #1. Seven songs from the album are listed on Hot Digital Songs, topped by "Look At Me Now" (featuring Lil Wayne & Busta Rhymes), which dips from #7 to #8.

2. Jennifer Hudson, I Remember Me, 165,000. This new entry is Hudson's second album in a row to debut at #2. "Where You At" enters Hot Digital Songs at #77.

3. Adele, 21, 96,000. The former #1 album drops from #1 to #3 in its fifth week. It has been in the top five the entire time. Three songs from the album are listed on Hot Digital Songs, topped by "Rolling In The Deep," which jumps from #19 to #11.

4. The Strokes, Angles, 89,000. This new entry is the band's third album in a row to debut at #4, following 2003's Room On Fire and 2006's First Impressions Of Earth. Those earlier albums both peaked at #4.

5. Kirk Franklin, Hello Fear, 87,000. This new entry is Franklin's third top 10 album, following The Nu Nation Project (#7 in 1998) and The Rebirth Of Kirk Franklin (#4 in 2002).

6. Various Artists, Songs For Japan, 68,000. This new entry is only available digitally at this point.  It's #1 on Hot Digital Albums, edging out F.A.M.E., which sold 64,000 digital copies.

7. Panic! At The Disco, Vices & Virtues, 56,000. This new entry is the group's second top 10 album, following Pretty.Odd., which debuted and peaked at #2 in 2008. "The Ballad Of Mona Lisa" re-enters Hot Digital Songs at #142.

8. Mumford & Sons, Sigh No More, 39,000. The album drops from #5 to #8 in its 53rd week. This is its 12th week in the top 10. Two songs from the album are listed on Hot Digital Songs. "The Cave" jumps from #54 to #49. "Little Lion Man" jumps from #69 to #65.

9. Bobby V, Fly On The Wall, 38,000. This new entry is the R&B artist's fourth top 10 album. His first two were under his full stage name, Bobby Valentino.

10. Lupe Fiasco, Lasers, 29,000. The former #1 album drops from #3 to #10 in its third week. "The Show Goes On" holds at #23 on Hot Digital Songs.

 

Seven albums drop out of the top 10 this week. Rise Against's Endgame dives from #2 to #22, Glee: The Music, Season Two: Volume 5 drops from #4 to #15, Justin Bieber's Never Say Never: The Remixes drops from #6 to #11, Avril Lavigne's Goodbye Lullaby drops from #7 to #24, Now 37 drops from #8 to #12, Travis Barker's Give The Drummer Some plummets from #9 to #56 and Marsha Ambrosius' Late Nights & Early Mornings drops from #10 to #16.

Green Day's CD/DVD combo Awesome As F**k debuts at #14. It's the group's second major live album, following 2005's Bullet In A Bible. (I think these guys like to come up with provocative titles.)

Artists have only been able to use "the F word" in album titles in recent years. Back when we all had more tender sensibilities, say the 1990s, artists had to make at least token efforts to disguise what they were doing. Van Halen's For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge topped The Billboard 200 for three weeks in 1991. Eazy-E's Str8 Off Tha Streetz Of Muthaphukkin' Compton topped the R&B Albums chart in 1996. (Now, that title seems almost quaint.)

Gucci Mane's The Return Of Mr. Zone 6 bows at #18. It's the rapper's third top 20 album...Yellowcard's When You're Through Thinking, Say Yes opens at #19. It's the band's third top 20 album...Duran Duran's All You Need Is Now re-enters the chart at #29. The album debuted at #119 in December strictly on digital sales.

The Sucker Punch soundtrack debuts at #31. It's the week's #1 soundtrack to a theatrically-released movie. The movie was #2 at the box-office over the weekend. The soundtrack features two tracks by the movie's star, Emily Browning and one each by Queen and Bjork. (The top soundtrack overall for the third straight week is Glee: The Music, Season Two: Volume 5, which drops from #4 to #15.)

Ke$ha's remix album I Am The Dance Commander bows at #36.

Jason Aldean's My Kinda Party logs its third week at #1 on Top Country Albums. It's the first album by a male solo artist to top the country chart this long since George Strait's Troubadour three years ago. On the Billboard 200, Party drops from #18 to #26.

Adele's 19 tops the Catalog Albums chart for the sixth straight week. It drops from #40 to #48 on The Billboard 200.

Adam Lambert's Glam Nation Live enters Top Music Videos at #1. The DVD sold nearly 17K copies this week, the largest weekly total for a music video since Beyonce's I Am...World Tour sold 24K in the week that included Christmas.

Arcade Fire's The Suburbs drops from #74 to #88 in the wake of winning the Juno Award as Canada's Album of the Year. The album had previously won the Grammy for Album of the Year and the Brit Award as Britain's International Album of the Year. The Suburbs is the first album to win both the Grammy and the Juno as Album of the Year since Alanis Morissette's Jagged Little Pill. For all the acclaim, The Suburbs has sold only 585K copies (in the U.S.) in 34 weeks.

Diary Of A Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules was #1 at the box-office over the weekend. Theodore Shapiro composed the score to the album's soundtrack.

Coming Attractions: As noted above, Britney Spears' Femme Fatale is expected to debut at #1 next week. No surprise there, but I am surprised that Wiz Khalifa's Rolling Papers is slated to debut with sales in the 190K-215K range. Three other albums seem headed for top 10 debuts: Radiohead's The King Of Limbs, Snoop Dogg's Doggumentary and Mary Mary's Something Big. Also due: Sum 41's Screaming Bloody Murder, E-40's Revenue Retrievin' Graveyard Shift, Boney James' Contact.

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