Category: Adele

Alan Jackson, Beach Boys, Neil Young chart with top 10 debuts

Alan Jackson's 'Thirty Miles West' album enters national sales chart at No. 2Adele, country singer Alan Jackson, the reunited Beach Boys and veteran rocker Neil Young all have noteworthy entries on the new Billboard Top 200 Albums chart.

In reclaiming the No. 1 spot after selling an additional 75,000 copies of her blockbuster "21" album, Adele has logged her 24th nonconsecutive week at the top, the most since Prince’s “Purple Rain” in 1984.  It will be a while, however, before she catches up to the next-longest run as the nation’s bestseller. Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” stayed at the top for 37 weeks in 1983.

Meanwhile, Alan Jackson has proved that switching record companies after 20 years with the same label doesn’t have to slow a musician’s momentum: his new “Thirty Miles West,” the first for his Alan Country Records label, distributed by EMI Nashville, entered the chart at No. 2 with first-week sales of 73,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

That’s a smidge better than his final Arista album, “Freight Train,” did two years ago, selling 72,000 out of the gate for a No. 7 chart debut.

Right behind him are the Beach Boys and Young, both with their highest charting albums since the 1970s.

Coming in at No. 3 is the Beach Boys’ “That’s Why God Made the Radio,” the group’s first album of new music with creative leader Brian Wilson aboard in more than two decades. The new set sold 61,000 copies, giving the veteran Southern California band its highest chart debut ever and its best chart showing since the 1974 hits-compilation album “Endless Summer” went to No. 1, according to Billboard. The group is currently on a nationwide 50th anniversary reunion tour.

Another reunion -- this one between Young and his periodic collaborators in the band Crazy Horse -- has given him his highest charting album since “Harvest,” which went all the way to the top in 1972.  Young and Crazy Horse’s “Americana,” which digs into the treasure trove of traditional folk music with their versions of such songs as “Oh Susannah,” “Clementine” and Woody Guthrie’s “This Land Is Your Land,” sold 44,000 copies and enters the Billboard chart at No. 4 this week.

In a recent interview with The Times, Young said the idea for the album was spurred by writing his first book, “Waging Heavy Peace,” which is scheduled for Oct. 1 publication.

“One of the things I remembered that I was writing about was that there was this musician Tim Rose, who was in a group [in Canada] called the Big Three, and after that he was in a group called the Thorns," he said. "I saw the Thorns in 1963 or ’64, and they were doing ‘Oh! Susanna.’ That arrangement blew my mind. That was Tim Rose’s arrangement of ‘Oh Susannah’ [used on ‘Americana’]. My band, the Squires, was playing folk-rock, which was kind of happening at that time. So I made a lot of songs that way in that time. That’s where we got to that.”

This week’s chart also includes two rap albums in the top 10: Big K.R.I.T.’s “Live From the Underground,” entering at No. 5 with sales of 41,000 copies, and Curren$y’s “The Stoned Immaculate,” bowing at No. 8 having sold 36,000 copies.

The final new top 10 entry is Brandi Carlile’s “Bear Creek,” at No. 10 with sales of 27,000.


Neil Young amps up his life

Album review: Alan Jackson's 'Thirty Miles West'

Album review: The Beach Boys' 'That's Why God Made the Radio'

-- Randy Lewis

Photo: Alan Jackson performs in September at the Concert for Hope in Washington, D.C., marking the 10th anniversary of Sept. 11. Credit: Charles Dharapak / Associated Press.

No luck needed, 'Hunger Games' dominates U.S. pop chart

The soundtrack to "The Hunger Games" debuted at No. 1 this week

The musical companion to "The Hunger Games" emerged as the clear leader on this week's pop chart, bolstered by contributions from the likes of Taylor Swift, the Arcade Fire, the Decemberists and Maroon 5, among many others. The disc, "The Hunger Games: Songs From District 12 and Beyond," sold 175,000 copies in its first week of release, according to Nielsen SoundScan, easily placing it ahead of longtime chart ruler Adele. 

However, "The Hunger Games" didn't quite dominate the music industry in the way it did the film business this past week, as the instant blockbuster debuted with a staggering $155 million take at the box office, but it is the first soundtrack to top the Billboard charts since "Michael Jackson's This Is It" did so in late 2009. Yet the soundtrack, released by Universal Republic, is something of a stand-alone set piece, as only three of its 16 tracks are actually in the film. Those that made the cinematic cut can be heard in the end credits. 

Alongside its roster of big-name artists, the soundtrack does showcase two students from the USC Thornton School of Music. Singer-songwriter Jayme Dee has a song of her own, “Rules,” on the album, and junior Rozzi Crane is featured singing with Maroon 5 on the track “Come Away.” 

The soundtrack is one of five debuts inside the top 10, but the only real contender for the top spot. Adele's Grammy-winning "21" is at No. 2 this week, adding an additional 130,000 sales to its tally of more than 8.3 million.

The major label debut from pop band the Shins, "Port of Morrow," lands at No. 3. The former Sub Pop act is now working for Sony's Columbia Records, and "Port of Morrow" sold a little more than 74,000 copies this week.The Shins' final album for Sub Pop, 2007's "Wincing the Night Away," bowed at No. 2 after selling 118,000 copies in its first week.

Controversy-courting local hip-hop outfit Odd Future is also working with Sony, partnering with the major for its own Odd Future Records, and the act scores a No. 5 debut this week with  "The OF Tape Vol. 2." The collection sold 40,000 copies this week. It's similar to where the act's creative center, Tyler, the Creator, entered the chart about one year ago. His "Goblin," released independently on XL Recordings, also landed at No. 5, having sold 45,000 copies in its first week. 

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Kid Cudi's WZRD and jazz artist Robert Glasper score high debuts

Robert Glasper
Welcome to week No. 23 at the top of the U.S. pop charts, Adele. The Grammy star maintains her grip on the pole position of the chart, as her "21" again faces no significant challengers. In its 54th week of release, the album sold more than 246,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan, and has now sold more than 7.8 million copies. 

As "21" approaches 8 million copies sold, Adele's debut, "19," also continues to find a new audience. The album is at No. 7 this week, having sold an additional 37,000 copies. The 2008 album has crossed the 2 million mark. Meanwhile, Adele's "Set Fire to the Rain" is the sixth-best selling digital single in the U.S., having sold 144,000 downloads this week. 

The week's top debut, and indeed the only debut inside the top 10, is Kid Cudi's psychedelic rock project WZRD. The self-titled album sold more than 66,000 copies. There was a bit of controversy in the release, as last week Kid Cudi took to Twitter to blast his label, Universal Republic, for shipping only 55,000 units to retail. There still should be plenty on the shelves, as 45,000 of "WZRD's" sales were for digital albums.

Other notes from this week's charts:

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Adele, Bruno Mars, Civil Wars among Grammy sales winners

Adele at the 2012 Grammy Awards

Adele's latest album has only 304 million people left in the U.S to reach. One full year after its release, her "21" continues to find a new audience. In its 52 weeks in the top 10 of the U.S. pop charts, "21" has now sold more than 7.3 million copies in the U.S., according to Nielsen SoundScan. 

In the first full sales week after her Grammy wins and performance, Adele's "21" has tallied its best week ever on the U.S. pop chart, selling another 730,000 copies to its total. This places it atop the pop charts for the 21st nonconsecutive week. The run, as reported earlier, sees Adele surpass the 20-week grip at the top of the pop charts by the Whitney Houston-led soundtrack to "The Bodyguard."

Adele, back in the news last night for flipping the bird at the Brit Awards, has two albums in the Top 5. Her 2008 debut, "19," sold 87,000 copies this week, and has sold just shy of 2 million since its release. The mighty increase by her "21," however, is the largest post-Grammy sales bump since SoundScan began providing the music industry with accurate sales data in 1991. The previous post-Grammy high was held by Norah Jones, whose "Come Away With Me" sold 621,000 copies after her multiple Grammy wins in 2003. 

The Feb. 12 Grammy telecast was kind to numerous other artists as well. Bruno Mars saw his genre-hopping, R&B-centered debut, "Doo-Wops & Hooligans," rocket back into the Top 10, up from No. 30 to No. 8 this week. Mars performed his vintage rocker "Runaway Baby" near the top of the Grammy telecast, and his album sold 38,000 copies this week compared with 16,000 the previous week. 

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Adele's '21' sets record with 21st week at No. 1


This post has been corrected. See note at the bottom for details.

Adele's momentum is showing no signs of slowing. After winning six Grammy Awards and taking the top prize at the Brit Awards, the young soulful star bested a chart record set by another vocal powerhouse, the late Whitney Houston. Adele's "21" coasted to another week at the top of the pop charts, giving it 21 nonconsecutive weeks in the pole position. That's the most by any album in the modern sales era. 

Buoyed by her Grammy wins and return to the stage after vocal cord surgery, "21" sold a mighty 730,000 copies in the United States for the week beginning Feb. 13, according to Nielsen SoundScan stats released by Billboard. The tally gives Adele her best sales week. The album, which has now remained in the top-10 for one full year, has sold more than 7.3 million copies. 

With another week at No. 1, Adele has bested a chart record set by the Houston-led soundtrack to "The Bodyguard," the Grammy album-of-the-year winner for 1993. SoundScan began providing accurate sales data for the music industry in 1991, and "The Bodyguard" had its run at the top of the charts beginning in late 1992. 

Artists who perform at the Grammy Awards typically experience a sales bump in the days that follow, yet Adele's 207% sales increase is rare any time of the year (the album sold 237,000 copies for the week ending Feb. 12). Adele's "21" is the best sales week for an album since Lil Wayne's "Tha Carter IV" debuted at No. 1 with 964,000 late last fall. 

By comparison, last year's album-of-the-year winners the Arcade Fire sold 41,000 copies of its "The Suburbs" in the first full sales week after the Grammy Awards. For the week heading into the awards, "The Suburbs" had sold 12,000 copies. 

Complete chart data will be released early in the day on Wednesday.

[FOR THE RECORD, FEB. 28: An earlier version of this post stated that the Whitney Houston-led soundtrack to “The Bodyguard” won the Grammy album of the year in 1992. The album was released in 1992 but was honored with the 1993 album of the year Grammy.]  


Brit Awards: Blur returns and Adele raises her middle finger

Rihanna and Chris Brown put forth two songs and raise questions

Whitney Houston appreciation: A voice for the ages tarnished by addictions

-- Todd Martens

Photo: Adele performs during the 54th annual Grammy Awards on Feb. 12 in Los Angeles. Credit: Matt Sayles / Associated Press


Brit Awards: Blur returns and Adele raises her middle finger

Image: Adele and James Corden at the Brit Awards. Credit: Associated Press

Welcome home, Adele. Now please, step aside for Blur.

London's soulful singer, who won six Grammy Awards and performed for the first time earlier this month after undergoing vocal cord surgery, unexpectedly took top honors at the 2012 Brit Awards. Her "21" won album of the year, but her triumphant homecoming was cut short.

Immediately after declaring that she is "so, so proud to be British," host James Corden was forced to rush Adele off the stage to welcome a reunited Blur for a rousing, 10-plus-minute show-closing set. Yet even as Adele was asked to exit the stage, she still managed to get the last word. Adele shrugged and raised a middle finger as Corden turned the proceedings over the Blur.

"Nothing makes me prouder that coming home with six Grammys and then coming to the Brits and winning album of the year," Adele said during her acceptance speech. "I’m so, so proud to be British and to be flying our flag and I’m so proud to be in the room with all of you."

As Corden approached Adele, he apologized and said he "can't believe" he's about to cut off the superstar, who performed her "Rolling in the Deep" live in her native country for the first time since undergoing surgery in November. "You're gonna cut me off?" Adele remarked as he approached, and then added, before extending her finger, "Can I just say then, goodbye, and I’ll see you next time round, then." 

Multiple press outlets have quoted Adele as saying backstage that the gesture was meant "for the suits, not the fans." Regardless, consider Adele's chances of performing at the 2013 Super Bowl now slightly decreased. 

As far as the awards, the British equivalent of the Grammys named Adele the top British female solo artist, and bestowed the male prize upon wispy young singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran. The latter was also crowned this year's breakthrough act, and American Lana Del Rey was awarded the trophy for international breakthrough act. 

But let's skip to the performance for which Adele's speech was cut short. Blur, who were recognized at the Brit Awards for outstanding contribution to music, performed five songs, "Girls & Boys," "Song 2," "Parklife," "Tender" and "This Is a Low." The mini-set was absent any Grammy-like shenanigans, as Blur wasn't forced to awkwardly join forces with any younger artists.

Instead, the set showcased the adventurous band's breadth throughout its decade-plus career, including the dance-club inflections of "Girls & Boys,"the gospel-tinged "Tender" and the anthemic rock 'n' roller "Song 2." After the jump, watch the band's performance of its acidic, upper-crust take down that is "Parklife" with actor/comedian Phil Daniels. No doubt it won't be on YouTube for long.

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Adele, Whitney Houston, Fun make an impact on the charts

Adele, Whitney Houston, Fun make an impact on the charts

Adele's "21" has now spent 51 weeks in the top 10 on the U.S. pop chart, but it still, apparently, has room to grow. Buoyed by her multiple Grammy wins Sunday night and return to the stage after vocal cord surgery, "21" holds its grip on the No. 1 spot on the U.S. pop charts, selling an additional 237,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan, With sales up 95%, Adele out-sells Van Halen's first full-length with David Lee Roth since 1984.

Adele's album has now spent a total of 20 weeks at No. 1, giving it the longest run at the top spot since Whitney Houston's soundtrack to "The Bodyguard" racked up 20 weeks in the pole position beginning in late 1992. SoundScan tracks sales through Sunday evening, so the full effect of the Grammy Awards won't be evident until next week's charts are revealed. Already, however, "21" has now sold more than 6.6 million copies.  

While the Grammys celebrated the return of one signature voice, they also paid tribute to the loss of another. Houston died suddenly on Grammy eve, and her passing resulted in nearly instant sales of her work. Houston's "Greatest Hits" re-entered the chart at No. 6, having sold the bulk of its 64,000 copies in less than 24 hours. 

Houston's cover of Dolly Parton's "I Will Always Love You," her signature song from "The Bodyguard," sold more than 194,00 digital downloads in the same time span. It's the No. 3 selling digital single in America. Fans also gravitated toward Houston's "I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)," which sold 74,000 downloads. All told, Houston sold more than 100,000 albums and nearly 900,000 individual tracks in a little more than 24 hours.

"There’s a duty almost, I guess you could say, for the music community to make the music available," said Jim Donio, president of the National Assn. of Recording Merchandisers, a trade organization representing music retail. "People want to remember her. People want to celebrate her. People want to own it and listen to it. It’s important that it’s there for people.

"You can’t look away from the fact that there’s a commercial dimension, one that’s pretty significant, and that’s the nature of the situation. The bottom line is to be able to have the music be available for those who to remember her."

Including her soundtrack work on "The Bodyguard" and "The Preacher's Wife," Houston placed six albums on the Billboard top 200. 

A reconciled Van Halen returns to the top 10 at No. 2 this week with new album "A Different Kind of Truth." Released in conjunction with the launch of a new tour, the Roth-fronted Van Halen album sold 187,000 copies. The group's last studio set,"Van Halen 3," featuring Gary Cherone on vocals, entered at No. 4 with 191,000 copies sold, according to Billboard. That album, however, was released during the flusher sales era of the late '90s.

Other notes from this week's pop chart:

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Adele's '21' poised to tie 'Bodyguard' soundtrack for No. 1

 Adele could tie Whitney Houston for the longevity record at the top of the album chart

This post has been corrected. See note at the bottom for details.

Adele’s “21” album is that rarity: a collection that’s the nation’s bestseller collecting the album of the year Grammy Award.

The recordings and artists who land the top awards and get significant camera time during the Grammy telecast can count on major sales bumps in the days after the show, which puts “21” in a good position to extend its run at No. 1, now totaling 19 weeks.

Should it hit a 20th week, that will put it in a tie for the all-time chart leader with ... Whitney Houston’s “The Bodyguard” soundtrack album -- the Grammy album of the year winner for 1993.

PHOTOS: Best and worst at the Grammys

“We had the all-time record with ‘The Bodyguard,’ so this one has a personal impact too,” Clive Davis said last week, before Houston died a few hours before Davis Grammy-eve soiree at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.

The sales fallout from Sunday’s show won’t fully be reflected in the next Nielsen SoundScan sales report, which covers a sales period from Monday through Sunday. Chart watchers are projecting the new Van Halen album will displace Adele on Wednesday, when the new sales figures are made public, but with the boost “21” will be getting, Adele may well be back at the top of the heap.

And if she scores a 21st week and breaks the tie?

“Records are made to be broken,” Davis said, “so I celebrate Adele achieving all this.”

[FOR THE RECORD, FEB. 28: An earlier version of this post stated that the Whitney Houston-led soundtrack to “The Bodyguard” won the Grammy album of the year in 1992. The album was released in 1992 but was honored with the 1993 album of the year Grammy.]  


Full coverage

PHOTOS: Grammy winners

PHOTOS: Grammy Awards red carpet

Adele's magnificent return to the stage

Adele is affirmed, Whitney Houston is grieved

--Randy Lewis

Photo of Adele collecting her Grammy Award for album of the year for "21." Credit: Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times

Adele, Lana Del Rey and Leonard Cohen lead the pop charts

Lana Del Rey at the Amoeba Music in Hollywood on Feb. 7, 2012. Credit: Kevin Winter / Getty Images.
The charts have a much-publicized newcomer near the top, but vampy pop chanteuse Lana Del Rey is a distant No. 2. Her Interscope debut "Born to Die" lands in the runner-up spot with more than 76,000 copies sold in the U.S., according to Nielsen SoundScan. Del Rey, the subject of much debate following her "Saturday Night Live" appearance, is one of three newbies on this week's chart, in which only one artist sold more than six figures.

It's no real guess as to who, as British soul sensation Adele once again leads the top of the U.S. pop charts. Her "21," in week No. 50, sold 122,000 copies. To date, she's sold more than 6.3 million, and that tally will see an even bigger bump in the next two weeks after Adele returns to the stage at this Sunday's Grammy Awards. It will be her first live performance since undergoing vocal surgery, and how she'll sound is one of the bigger story lines of this year's Grammy show, as Adele is the clear front-runner for album of the year.

Elsewhere in the top-10, Leonard Cohen's "Old Ideas" bows at No. 3, having sold 41,000 copies. The 12th studio album from the legendary artist is his best-ever sales week since SoundScan began tracking music sales data in 1991, reports Billboard. The 77-year-old singer has been back in the public's eye the last few years. In 2009 he staged his first U.S. tour in nearly 15 years and played the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival 

Farther down, gospel artist Fred Hammond enters at No. 8 with his "God, Love & Romance,' which sold 26,000 copies.

Other notes from this week's sales chart:

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Newcomers rush the charts, but again, it's Adele at the top

The music you bought this week: The weekly Pop & Hiss run-down that highlights some of what's on the charts. While the metrics for success continue to change, these are the artists that inspired folks to part with cash, from Adele to Tim McGraw to Gotye. 

With the pop music world in the midst of the lead-up to the Grammys, the U.S. pop charts have an expected name at the top: Adele. Yet this time, the album of the year favorite has company,  as seven albums arrive in the top 10.

With releases ramping up after the typically slow January, expect the pop charts, maintained by industry trade Billboard Magazine, to start to get a little more interesting again. Next week, for instance, the much-debated pop chanteuse Lana Del Rey will make an appearance near the top with her debut, "Born to Die," and her as-yet-unknown sales figures are sure to inspire more debate on the young artist. 

At the top: Now in Week 49 of official release, Adele's "21" should be able to maintain its grip on the top of the U.S. pop charts into and after the Grammy Awards on Feb. 12. Her sales are up 22% this week to 116,000 copies sold, according to Nielsen SoundScan, helped in part no doubt by her latest strong-selling single, "Set Fire to the Rain." The cut is at No. 2 on Billboard's digital tracks tally with more than 166,000 downloads sold. 

With Adele now set to perform at the Grammy Awards show, "21" should see a surge in sales in the days after the ceremony. Already, the album has sold more than 6.3 million copies. 

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