Chart Watch (NEW)

Week Ending May 13, 2012. Albums: 9 Million!

Chart Watch

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Adele's 21 tops the 9 million mark in U.S. sales this week. It's the first album to hit the 9 million plateau since Usher's Confessions hit the mark the week ending July 24, 2005. Remarkably, 21 reached the 9 million plateau faster than Confessions did, even though overall sales were much more brisk in 2004-2005. 21 has been out for 64 weeks. Confessions took 70 weeks to reach the magic number.

21 is the 29th album to sell 9 million copies since 1991, when Nielsen SoundScan began tracking sales for Billboard. It's the 24th regular studio album to reach this level. Studio follow-ups to the first 23 have achieved varying degrees of success.

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On the high end, Backstreet Boys' 1999 album Millennium has sold 12,186,000 copies, which is 120% of the sales of its predecessor, Backstreet Boys (10,122,000). On the low end, Here I Stand, Usher's 2008 follow-up to Confessions, has sold a mere 1,308,000 copies, which is just 13% of the sales of its predecessor (9,987,000).

Shameless Plug: I just post a Chart Watch Extra in which I look at all of the follow-ups to these 23 monster albums. I've tipped you to the follow-ups that did the best and worst (on a percentage basis), but that leaves 21 albums that fell somewhere in between. But where? Here's a link to this fact-filled Extra.

Since 21 is still selling briskly, you can count on it becoming the first album to reach 10 million in U.S. sales since Eminem's The Eminem Show. That album was released in May 2002. It topped 10M in October 2011.

21 rebounds from #4 to #2 this week, boosted by Mother's Day gift-giving. The album was #1 on Mother's Day last year. Mother's Day also brought Adele back to #1 on Top Catalog Albums and Top Music Videos. We'll get to those shortly.

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Actually, the entire top three this week is very "mom-friendly." Carrie Underwood's Blown Away holds at #1 for the second week. Lionel Richie's Tuskegee rebounds from #6 to #3.

Blown Away is Underwood's first album to top The Billboard 200 for two weeks. It's the first album by an artist who rose to fame on American Idol to log two weeks at #1 since Kelly Clarkson's All I Ever Wanted in 2009. Two songs from the album are listed on Hot Digital Songs. "Good Girl" rebounds from #46 to #37. "Blown Away" drops from #22 to #42.

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This is the seventh week in the top 10 for Tuskegee. Only two previous "duets" albums have logged seven or more weeks in the top 10. Ray Charles' Genius Loves Company logged 13 weeks in the top 10 in 2004-2005. Frank Sinatra's Duets spent eight weeks in the top 10 in 1993. Tuskegee this week pulls ahead of Tony Bennett's Duets II, which spent six weeks in the top 10 last year.

Want me to keep going with this thread? The Notorious B.I.G.'s 2005 album Duets: The Final Chapter, Bennett's 2006 album Duets: An American Classic and Reba McEntire's 2007 album Reba: Duets each spent five weeks in the top 10. Sinatra's 1994 album Duets II, which kick-started this trend, spent two weeks in the top 10.

Silversun Pickups' third studio album Neck Of The Woods debuts at #6. That tops the peak position (#7) of the band's 2009 album, Swoon. The album sold 24K digital copies (out of 41K total), which puts it at #1 on Top Digital Albums. The Los Angeles-based band received a Grammy nomination as Best New Artist of 2009.

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One Direction's Up All Night inches up from #8 to #7 in its ninth week. That's the longest run in the top 10 for an album by a boy band since *NSYNC's No Strings Attached spent 31 weeks in the top 10 in 2000. (Three subsequent albums by boy bands logged six weeks in the top 10: Backstreet Boys' 2000 album Black & Blue, *NSYNC's 2001 album Celebrity and Jonas Brothers' 2008 album A Little Bit Longer.) Two songs from Up All Night are listed on Hot Digital Songs. "What Makes You Beautiful" drops from #6 to #8. "One Thing" drops from #70 to #77.

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Tank's fifth album, This Is How I Feel, debuts at #9. It's Tank's third top 10 album, following Force Of Nature (#7 in 2001) and Sex Love And Pain (#2 in 2007). The album features collaborations with T.I., Chris Brown and Busta Rhymes. No songs from the album are listed on Hot Digital Songs. That's also the case with current top 10 albums by Lionel Richie, Norah Jones, Silversun Pickups and Jack White.

Luke Bryan's Tailgates & Tanlines rebounds to #10 in its 40th week on the chart. The album has sold 1,058,000 copies. Three songs from the album are listed on Hot Digital Songs.  Those three songs ("Drunk On You,"  "I Don't Want This Night To End" and "Country Girl (Shake It For Me)" ) have sold a combined total of 4,352,000 digital copies.

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"Somebody That I Used To Know" by Gotye featuring Kimbra holds at #1 on Hot Digital Songs for the fourth week. Will it log its fifth week at #1 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.

The Top Five: Carrie Underwood's Blown Away holds at #1 for the second week in its second week (120K). The album holds at #1 on Top Country Albums for the second week…Adele's 21 rebounds from #4 to #2 in its 64th week (101K). The former #1 album has been in the top 10 the entire time… Lionel Richie's Tuskegee rebounds from #6 to #3 in its seventh week (71K). The former #1 album has been in the top 10 the entire time…Now 42 dips from #3 to #4 in its second week (65K)… Norah Jones' …Little Broken Hearts drops from #2 to #5 in its second week (60K).

The Second Five: Silversun Pickups' Neck Of The Woods debuts at #6 (41K). This is the band's second top 10 album, following Swoon (#7 in 2009)…One Direction's Up All Night inches up from #8 to #7 in its ninth week (40K). The former #1 album has been in the top 10 the entire time…Jack White's Blunderbuss dips from #7 to #8 in its third week (34K). The former #1 album has been in the top 10 the entire time…Tank's This Is How I Feel debuts at #9 (33K). It's Tank's third top 10 album…Luke Bryan's Tailgates & Tanlines rebounds from #13 to #10 in its 40th week. This is its fifth week in the top 10.

The Music Of SMASH drops from #9 to #13. It's #1 on Top Soundtracks for the second straight week.… Two other albums drop out of the top 10 this week. B.o.B's Strange Clouds drops from #5 to #12. Marilyn Manson's Born Villain dives from #10 to #31. The TV show SMASH centers on the creation of a musical about Marilyn Monroe. That eternal icon is one of the very famous people who gave Marilyn Manson his stage name.

Mary Mary's seventh album Go Get It debuts at #16. It's a compilation which also features some new songs. The R&B/gospel duo's last three regular studio albums made the top 10. The duo introduced the title track on their reality TV series Mary Mary, which airs on the WE network.

Keane's Strangeland debuts at a disappointing #17. The group's last two full-length albums made the top 10. The album is off to a faster start in the U.K., where it debuts at #1. It's the group's fifth #1 album in a row. Keane received a Grammy nomination as Best New Artist of 2005…Karmin's debut EP, Hello, debuts at #18. The duo's vibrant "Brokenhearted" broke into the top 30 on last week's Hot 100.

Adele's 2008 album 19 rebounds from #29 to #20 in its 134th week. It's #1 on Top Catalog Albums for the 38th week. Remarkably, 19 has outlasted sympathy-fueled surges that lifted three albums by departed pop stars to #1: Amy Winehouse's Back To Black, Whitney Houston's Whitney: The Greatest Hits and Beastie Boys' Licensed To Ill.

Marvel's The Avengers was #1 at the box-office for the second straight weekend. The soundtrack drops from #11 to #28 in its second week. It's the top-ranking soundtrack to a theatrically-released film for the second week.

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Rita Wilson's AM/FM debuts at #61. The album features pop classics of the 1960s and 1970s such as Glen Campbell's "Wichita Lineman" and Dave Loggins' "Please Come To Boston." The album title is a good one, but comedian George Carlin had the idea first. He had a top 20 album titled FM & AM in 1972.

As of this week, Beastie Boys have sold 20 million albums since 1991, when Nielsen SoundScan began tracking sales for Billboard. The group's sales have surged in the two weeks since the death of founding member Adam Yauch, better known as MCAToni Braxton's career album sales top 15 million this week. Braxton won a Grammy as Best New Artist of 1993.

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Adele's Live At The Royal Albert Hall returns to #1 on Top Music Videos after being dislodged last week by the Martin Scorsese documentary, George Harrison: Living in the Material World. This is the 23rd week on top for Adele's DVD, which sets a new record for a video by a female artist. Whitney Houston's The #1 Video Hits had 22 weeks on top in 1986. Adele's DVD sold 16K copies this week, which brings its total to 853K.

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Coming Attractions: Look for Adam Lambert's Trespassing to hit #1 next week.  Expect Tenacious D's Rise Of The Fenix and Glee: The Music: The Graduation Album to  debut right around #5 and #6, respectively. Beach House's Bloom and Garbage's Not Your Kind Of People appear to be headed for top 15 debuts, in Garbage's case, just on the strength of digital sales. Also due: Godsmack's Live And Inspired, Lisa Marie Presley's Storm & GraceBest Coast's Only Place and Rye Rye's Go! Pop! Bang!

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