Beyoncé tops the Billboard 200 chart with her fifth studio album, the self-titled Beyoncé. This is huge news, considering the week was initially expected to be a bit slower with Garth Brooks, R. Kelly, and Childish Gambino stealing the notable headlines. Released just Friday, December 13 exclusively to iTunes (CDs are on their way save for Target), Beyoncé not only scores her fifth consecutive no. 1 album, but also her biggest sales week with 617,000 copies sold. Billboard earlier reported that Beyoncé had the largest selling sales week for an iTunes album. Compare it to the opening week for 4, her lowest selling debut at 310,000 copies (no slouch), and Beyoncé’s sales accomplishments are only further amplified.
R. Kelly and Childish Gambino still make noise as new releases, both debuting inside the top 5 and top 10 respectively. R. Kelly’s ultra sexual Black Panties sold an impressive 133,000 copies, good for a no. 4 debut. Sure, those numbers aren’t old-school R. Kelly sales figures, but certainly an improvement over the underwhelming showing for 2012 effort Write Me Back (no. 5, 68,000 copies). This is the biggest sales week for Kelly since Love Letter debuted at no. 6 with 154,000 copies in 2010. That album would ultimately be certified gold. Childish Gambino’s Because the Internet was certainly a surprise in regards to its numbers; it debuts at no. 7 with 96,000 copies sold. That’s just short of being twice as much as Camp sold in 2011.
As for the rest of the top 10, well it’s all about staying power aka holdovers. Garth Brooks was probably ready to celebrate another week in the penthouse before ‘Yoncé kicked him out. Still, the box set that just keeps on going slides minimally to no. 2 and manages to sell another 172,000 copies. In fact, albums no. 1 through no. 6 all sell > than 100,000 copies (Beyoncé, Garth Brooks, Kelly Clarkson, R. Kelly, One Direction, and The Robertsons). How much does album no. 10 move? The soundtrack to the Disney movie Frozen sold 56,000 copies. Still, when you think about how small the top 10 has been at times throughout 2013, those are some great numbers, particularly at the top.
On the single charts, Eminem and Rihanna spend a second consecutive week at no. 1 with “The Monster”. Eminem’s album, The Marshall Mathers LP 2, also remains a top 10 fixture, sitting at no. 8 this week.
Who’s Got Next? I’d say this week it will be all about holdovers. B.o.B. releases his third LP, Underground Luxury, but I’m not sure it is an album with much fanfare.