Chart Watch

Bye, Bye, Bye, 'N Sync! One Direction Makes Boy Band History

Chart Watch

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America's teens and tweens have spoken.

One Direction's Midnight Memories enters The Billboard 200 at No. 1, enabling the English/Irish quintet to become the first boy band in chart history to land three No. 1 albums. Four earlier boy bands — New Kids on the Block, Backstreet Boys, 'N Sync, and Jonas Brothers — each had only two No. 1 albums.

Now for the numbers: Midnight Memories, which was among several albums that surely received a boost from Black Friday promotions and shopping frenzy, sold 546K copies in its first week; that's a tad more than the group's last album, Take Me Home, which sold 540K in its first week in November 2012. 1D is the first boy band to top 500K in first-week sales with back-to-back studio albums since Backstreet Boys and 'N Sync accomplished the feat more than a decade ago.

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Midnight Memories posted the fourth biggest one-week sales tally of the year, behind albums by boy band alum Justin Timberlake (968K), Eminem (792K), and Drake (658K). It's the year's biggest one-week sales tally for an album by a group or duo. That title had been held by Daft Punk's Random Access Memories (339K).

Midnight Memories is the sixth album to sell 500K copies in its first week so far this year. This is the first year in which six albums have sold 500K in their first weeks since 2008, when seven albums achieved the feat.

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Billboard's Keith Caulfield notes that One Direction is the first group to reach No. 1 with its first three albums since The Monkees scored in 1966-1967 with their first four albums. Coincidentally, both groups are TV creations; One Direction was formed during the 2010 edition of U.K. talent show "The X Factor" while the Monkees were assembled to star in the NBC sitcom that debuted in September 1966.

One Direction this week becomes the third act (and the first group) to sell 500K copies each of two different albums in 2013. (Take Me Home also tops the 500K mark in 2013 sales.) The first two were Luke Bryan and Justin Timberlake.

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Midnight Memories is 1D's first album to spawn two top 10 (or even top 30) hits on the Hot 100. "Best Song Ever" reached No. 2. The mom-friendly "Story of My Life" has climbed as high as No. 6.

The album sold 275K digital copies, which puts it at No. 1 on Top Digital Albums. Take Me Home sold 242K digital copies in its first week.

Midnight Memories also enters The Official U.K. album chart at No. 1. It's the group's second album to top the charts in both the U.S. and the U.K., Take Me Home being their first to do so. (The group's first album, Up All Night, reached No. 1 in the U.S. but peaked at No. 2 in the U.K.) One Direction is also the first boy band to land two transatlantic No. 1 albums.

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Eminem's The Marshall Mathers LP 2 dips from No. 1 to No. 2. It has sold 1,323,000 copies, which enables it to jump from No. 6 to No. 3 on Nielsen SoundScan's running list of the year's best-selling albums. It pulls ahead of Drake's Nothing Was The Same to become the year's best-selling hip-hop album. In the coming week, it will pull ahead of Bruno Mars' second-ranking Unorthodox Jukebox (1,329,000). With four chart weeks to go in 2013, can it possibly topple Justin Timberlake's top-ranked The 20/20 Experience (2,373,000)? Stay tuned.

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Garth Brooks's Blame It All on My Roots: Five Decades of Influences debuts at No. 3. The massive, eight-disk set, a Walmart exclusive, consists of six CDs and two DVDs. It's the most sprawling album ever to crack the top 10, surpassing Brooks's 1998 album The Limited Series (a repackage which consisted of his first six CDs) and Bruce Springsteen's 1986 album Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band Live/1975-85 (a live album which consisted of five disks). Brooks's collection contains 77 songs, 33 music videos, and a 68-page photo booklet. It weighs two pounds. After all, Brooks likes to do things big.

This is Brooks's first album since 2007's The Ultimate Hits, which likewise debuted (and peaked) at No. 3. It's his 15th top 10 album -- only two other country artists have had as many. George Strait leads with 18 and Tim McGraw's also had 15.

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Brooks's album enters Top Country Albums at No. 1, displacing Duck The Halls: A Robertson Family Christmas. It's his 13th No. 1 album on the country chart.

Duck The Halls holds at No. 4 for the third week. It remains at the peak of the Top Christmas Albums for its fourth week. The number of Christmas albums on The Billboard 200 creeps up from 46 to 48 this week. Can that number possibly go higher? We'll see.

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"Timber" by Pitbull featuring Ke$ha rises to No. 1 on Hot Digital Songs (237K), displacing another male/female collabo, "The Monster" by Eminem featuring Rihanna (231K). Lorde's "Royals" is down to No. 5 (144K). One of these songs will almost certainly be No. 1 on the Hot 100, but which one? You'll find out later when we post our Songs blog.

The Top Five: One Direction's Midnight Memories debuts at No. 1 (546K). It's the boy band's third No. 1 album … Eminem's The Marshall Mathers LP 2 dips from No. 1 to No. 2 in its fourth week (199K). It has been in the top two the entire time … Garth Brooks's Blame It All on My Roots: Five Decades of Influences debuts at No. 3 (164K). It's his 15th top 10 album …Duck The Halls: A Robertson Family Christmas holds at No. 4 for the third week in its fifth week (136K). … Katy Perry's Prism rebounds from No. 11 to No. 5 in its sixth week (136K). This is its fifth week in the top 10.

The Second Five: Kelly Clarkson'sWrapped In Red rebounds from No. 9 to No. 6 in its fifth week (131K). It has been in the top 10 the entire time … Lady Gaga's ARTPOP inches back up from No. 8 to No. 7 in its third week (116K). It has been in the top 10 the entire time … Luke Bryan's Crash My Party rebounds from No. 15 to No. 8 in its 16th week (109K). This is its 11th week in the top 10 … Miley Cyrus's Bangerz rebounds from No. 16 to No. 9 in its eighth week (79K). This is its fifth week in the top 10 … NOW 48 drops from No. 3 to No. 10 in its third week (77K).

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"The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" soundtrack drops from No. 5 to No. 31. That's a disappointment and a surprise: The movie was tops at the box-office for the second straight weekend. The "Frozen" soundtrack debuts at No. 18. It's No. 1 on Top Soundtracks, stealing "Catching Fire's" thunder.

Four other albums drop out of the top 10 this week. Five Finger Death Punch's Wrong Side of Heaven & The Righteous Side of Hell, Vol. 2 drops from No. 2 to No. 34. Daughtry's Baptized drops from No. 6 to No. 22. Yo Gotti's I Am drops from No. 7 to No. 45. Cities 97 Sampler, Vol. 25 plunges from No. 10 completely off the chart. It sold out its limited, 40K pressing in its first week.

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The eponymous debut album of "The Voice" Season 4 winner Danielle Bradbery opens at No. 19. Cassadee Pope's Frame By Frame, which debuted and peaked at No. 9 in October, remains the highest-charting album by a contestant on "The Voice." We have to ask: "The Voice" has surpassed American Idol in TV ratings, Emmy recognition, and overall buzzworthiness, so why haven't its winners yet emerged as really big record sellers?

Speaking of "The Voice," Blake Shelton's Based on a True Story…, which rebounds from No. 32 to No. 20 in its 36th week, tops the 1 million mark in sales this week. It's the 10th album to hit this milestone in 2013. Three of the 10 are country, three hip-hop, two pop, and two rock. Shelton's album reached 1M much faster than his only previous million-seller, Red River Blue, which took two years to reach the milestone.

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Songs for the Philippines debuts at No. 28. The 39-song collection features such stars as The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Eminem, Beyoncé, and Katy Perry and is designed to aid victims of Typhoon Haiyan. The artists, record companies, and music publishers are donating their proceeds from the album to the Philippine Red Cross. A similar collection, Songs for Japan, spent its first four weeks in the top 10 in the spring of 2011. It peaked at No. 5 and has sold 366K copies.

Pentatonix's PTXmas re-enters the chart at No. 29. That's a new peak for the EP, which debuted and initially peaked at No. 45 in November 2012. You may remember that the vocal ensemble's second album, PTX: Vol. II, debuted in the top 10 a few weeks ago.

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Billie Joe + Norah's foreverly debuts at a disappointing No. 40. (That's Billie Joe Armstrong and Norah Jones, if you're not on a first-name basis with them — and judging from this debut, not everyone is.) The album consists of the 12 songs that appeared on the Everly Brothers's 1958 album Songs Our Daddy Taught Us. That album didn't crack The Billboard 200, which was dominated at that time by movie soundtracks and Broadway cast albums. Foreverly is one of the most intriguing cross-genre collabos since Robert Plant/Alison Krauss's Raising Sand, which debuted and peaked at No. 2 in 2007. That album went on to win a Grammy for Album of the Year.

Beyoncé'sLife Is But a Dream enters Top Music Videos at No. 1, just ahead of two other new arrivals. Black Sabbath's LiveGathered in Their Masses opens at No. 2. Barbra Streisand's Back to Brooklyn bows at No. 4. Life Is But a Dream, which Beyoncé directed, aired on HBO in February. This is Beyoncé's fourth No. 1 on this chart, following Live At Wembley (five weeks on top in 2004), I Am…Yours: An Intimate Performance at Wynn Las Vegas (eight weeks in 2009-2010), and I Am…World Tour (nine weeks in 2010-2011). In addition, she had a No. 1 video with Destiny's Child's Live in Atlanta (two weeks in 2006).

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Coming Attractions: Look for Britney Spears's Britney Jean to vie for No. 1 next week. Also due: Jake Owen's Days of Gold, "The Sound of Music" TV soundtrack with Carrie Underwood, Boston's Live Love & Hope, August Burns Red's Rescue and Restore, Leona Lewis's Christmas, With Love, and an iTunes-exclusive EP by The Civil Wars.

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