Forget the awards -- Mumford & Sons, Bieber, Lady Antebellum among Grammy sales winners
With just nine trophies handed out on its live CBS telecast, the actual award portion of the Grammy Awards is something of a subplot. Drama was provided by the likes of Esperanza Spalding and the Arcade Fire, who were each surprise winners, but it was Grammy-less U.K. folk-rockers Mumford & Sons who, as expected, experienced the largest post-Grammy sales gain.
Mumford & Sons went 0-2 in its nominated categories, but had a showcase performance with legend Bob Dylan. There were no outlandish costumes or larger-than-life set pieces, but the stripped-down approach suited Mumford & Sons just fine, and the group's "Sigh No More" held its No. 2 post on the U.S. pop chart.
"Sigh No More" sold 133,000 copies this week, according to Nielsen SoundScan, giving the group its best-ever sales week on the tally. In its 48 weeks of release, "Sigh No More" has sold about 948,000 copies. What's more, the song the band performed on the telecast, "The Cave," sold 120,000 downloads in the week after the Grammys, a 205% sales increase that gives the cut a total of 407,000 copies sold.
In addition to Dylan, Mumford & Sons were joined by roots act the Avett Brothers. The latter's "I and Love and You" benefited as well, albeit on a much smaller scale. Sales ofthe album were up 67% to 15,000 copies, giving it a total of 31,000 copies sold.
Teen sensation Justin Bieber, who lost his best new artist bid to jazz bassist Spalding, had the No. 1 album this week, as his "Never Say Never: The Remixes" bowed in the pole position with 161,000 copies sold. Bieber was a Grammy performer, but the Grammy impact is harder to pinpoint for the 2010 breakout star.
Bieber hype continued to be fed with not only the release of the remix effort, but his 3-D film “Never Say Never” as well, which tallied more than $50 million in the U.S. in two weeks. Bieber chart dominance extends well beyond his No. 1 album. His "My World 2.0" is at No. 8 this week (2.4 million sold to date) and the softer, gentler side of Bieber is a hit as well, as "My Worlds Acoustic" is at No. 18 (526,000 sold to date).
Other highlights from this week's sales chart:
Album of the year winners Arcade Fire made some new fans, at least those who were willing to stay up late on a school night. The Montreal-based orchestral pop act was saddled with the final performance on the telecast, airing as the Grammys had passed 11 p.m., but still sold an additional 41,000 copies of "The Suburbs" this week, up from 12,000 the prior week to bolt from No. 52 to No. 12 on the chart. So far, the band has sold a total of 537,000 copies. Many, including this blog, had pegged rapper Eminem to win album of the year, but no one should feel too sorry for the Detroit star. His "Recovery" added an additional 61,000 copies sold, and has moved more than 3.6 million since its release.
While media pundits are obsessed with discussing the similiarities between Lady Gaga's "Born this Way" and Madonna's "Express Yourself," the cut maintains its grip on the top of the digital sales chart. This week, the song sold 508,000 downloads, besting the 448,000 it sold in its debut week.
R&B producer/chameleon Bruno Mars sold 61,000 copies of his "Doo-Wops & Hooligans," up from about 40,000 last week. The album, which has sold 727,000 copies to date, is at No. 6. Mars' magic touch (the artist produced/cowrote Cee Lo Green's "[Forget] You," which has now sold more than 2.8 million downloads) didn't extend to all his Grammy performance mates. Criticial favorite Janelle Monáe, for instance, was unable to muscle her way back onto the top 200. Country-flavored pop stars Lady Antebellum, however, continued to rack up sales, as "Need You Now" added an additional 85,000 copies, bringing its 56-week total to above 3.2 million.
Surprise best new artist winner Spalding, however, shot into the top 50 on the sales chart. Her "Chamber Music Society" sold 18,000 copies this week, up from about 3,000 last week. So far, Spalding's third album has sold 52,000 copies.
The Grammy Awards kept attention away from a number of new albums that debuted on the chart. Bright Eyes' "The People's Key" landed at No. 13 (41,000 copies), Ginuwine's "Elgin" bowed at No. 30 (19,000 copies) and PJ Harvey's "Let England Shake" landed at No. 32 (18,000 copies), among others.
-- Todd Martens
Photo: Marcus Mumford of Mumford & Sons / Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times