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Michael, Maxwell and Miley: The music you bought this week

July 15, 2009 |  2:03 pm


Fans continued to feverishly purchase Michael Jackson albums in the days after his Staples Center memorial last week. More than 1.1 million copies of Jackson's catalog were sold through Sunday, according to Nielsen SoundScan figures released to Billboard.

Jackson was expected to be the week's hot seller, but it was a bit of a surprise to see the numbers increase once again. Overall, Jackson's sales jumped 37% over the previous week. His sales were led by "Number Ones," which sold 349,000 copies, followed by "Thriller," which sold 264,000 copies.

Jackson again, however, is relegated to Billboard's catalog charts, as are any albums that are older than 18 months and have fallen below No. 100 on the U.S. pop chart. In two and a half weeks, Jackson titles have sold 2.3 million copies.

On the current U.S. pop charts, R&B singer Maxwell leads. His "BLACKsummers'night" opened with 316,000 copies, and Billboard reports that's a career best. His last album, 2001's "Now," debuted with 296,000 copies.

Also new is Miley Cyrus' latest soundtrack to the "Hannah Montana" TV series. The album lands at No. 3, having sold 137,000 copies in its first week. That number is significantly lower than some past "Hannah Montana"-branded titles. A 2006 soundtrack to the Disney Channel series sold 281,000 copies in its first week, and a double-disc effort in 2007 bowed with 326,000 copies.

Yet don't make the mistake of thinking that "Hannah Montana" has run its course.

The soundtrack to "Hannah Montana: The Movie" debuted earlier this year with sales of 139,000 copies, but has gone on to 1.2 million copies sold, one of 2009's top-selling albums. Additionally, the latest Hannah single, "He Could Be the One," has been the second-best seller on iTunes over the last week, according to data from Big Champagne.

Another artist doing well on the Web this week is Mariah Carey. The video for her new single, "Obsessed," officially debuts today. Carey has experienced a massive increase on Twitter recently, with Big Champagne tallying that she gained more than 100,00 followers over the last week, the most significant jump for an artist this month. "Obsessed" has also been a top 5 selling song on iTunes for much of the last week.

Also new this week is Warped Tour power-pop act All Time Low. The act has its first top 10 debut, landing at No. 4 after selling 63,000 copies.

Billboard notes that album sales for the last week totaled 7.3 million, up about 4.5% from the previous week. For the year to date, however, sales are still down about 14% from the comparable period last year.

-- Todd Martens

Photo: Maxwell. Credit: Getty Images