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On the charts: Lady Antebellum matures into a No. 1 artist

February 3, 2010 | 12:27 pm

Adults rule, at least in terms of what's selling on this week's pop chart. Driven by the success of grown-up love song "Need You Now," a late-night tale of boozy desperation, country trio Lady Antebellum soars to the top of this week's pop chart. The band's sophomore effort, for which the single is the title cut, sold 481,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan, to give the act its first-ever No. 1 album on the U.S. pop chart. 

The Capitol Nashville act had a showcase performance on Sunday night's Grammy Awards, and the CBS telecast should help the band going into its second week of sales. SoundScan tracks retailers through Sunday evening, meaning any Grammy bump won't be reflected on the charts until next Wednesday. Yet "Need You Now" has been the top-selling song on iTunes since the telecast wrapped. So far, it's sold well over 1.5 million downloads

Billboard tells us that Lady Antebellum has recorded one of the best-ever debuts for an album in January, traditionally a slow release month. Antebellum's total is the best since the Game's "The Documentary" landed with more than 580,000 copies sold in 2005, according to Billboard. For Lady Antebellum, this is the first time the band has been higher than No. 4 on the pop chart, and the trade publication reports that its previous best sales week was 43,000. 

While the pride of Scotland continues to sell well with her "I Dreamed a Dream," at No. 4 this week, Susan Boyle has some company on the charts when it comes to reinterpreting pop standards. Barry Manilow's Arista release "The Greatest Love Songs of All Time" enters at No. 5. The just-in-time-for-Valentine's Day set sold 57,000 copies in its first week.

Soulful artist Corinne Bailey Rae, whose "The Sea" received four stars from Pop & Hiss, enters the top 10 at   No. 7. Capitol's "The Sea" sold 53,000 copies. At No. 9 is the PBS-friendly "Songs From the Heart" from Manhattan Records' Celtic Woman, which sold 42,000 copies this week. 

Some progress reports:

-- Ke$ha's "Animal" falls out of the top 10 this week; the RCA record has racked up 285,000 sales in its three weeks on the chart. Thus far, Ke$ha is proving to be a singles sensation, as the combined sales of her "TiK ToK" and "Blah Blah Blah" are well into the multiple millions. She's at No. 16 this week, adding an additional 30,000 to her total. 

-- Indie rockers Spoon fall to No. 27 with "Transference." The Merge album, which received three and a half stars from Pop & Hiss, has sold 73,000 copies in its two weeks on the tally. 

-- Young R&B singer Melanie Fiona had a solid week. Her Universal Motown effort "The Bridge" is proving to be a steady but subtle seller, and was up from No. 46 to No. 34, having sold an additional 16,000 copies this week. Since its late 2009 release, it has moved 166,000 total.

-- Todd Martens


 Lady Antebellum escapes the Grammy spectacle unscathed

 Album review: Lady Antebellum's 'Need You Now'

Photo: Lady Antebellum: Dave Haywood, from left, Hillary Scott and Charles Kelley. Credit Getty Images