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The Adam Lambert brouhaha resulting in a sales winner

November 25, 2009 | 11:57 am


As evidenced by Miley Cyrus just a few months ago, a little controversy rarely hurts in the sales department. Adam Lambert is on track to beat retail expectations for his RCA release, "For Your Entertainment," according to early returns compiled by keeper-of-the-charts Billboard Magazine.

The artist appeared on the "The Early Show" this morning on CBS, noting that some of his more aggressive moves on his American Music Awards appearance weren't all rehearsed. "The song lyrically is sexual, and I was just performing the lyrics of my song," Lambert said. "I think in the future I will probably make a little bit more of an effort to stay consistent with what I do during rehearsal to what I do during the show. That's something I'm learning now, and that way if anyone has a problem with what I'm doing, it can be explored during rehearsal."

But all the chatter and debate isn't stopping people from picking up his first post-"American Idol" release. Billboard writes that "For Your Entertainment" should sell at least 225,000 copies when it debuts on next week's chart, and could possibly move more with post-Thanksgiving shoppers invading retailers. Lambert's promo tour continues tonight with an appearance on the "Late Show With David Letterman."

Lambert's sales will be right in line with many a recent "Idol," and will far surpass those of Kris Allen. The latter, who actually won this season's "Idol," landed at No. 11 on this week's chart, selling only 80,000 copies of his self-titled debut, according to Nielsen SoundScan, during the holiday sales season, when numbers are typically inflated. 

Perhaps Allen should scruff up his puppy-dog image. Earlier this year, teen sensation Cyrus was under attack for briefly dancing on a stripper pole during Nickelodeon's Teen Choice Awards. Yet, ultimately, the appearance bolstered Cyrus' star power, as her "Party in the U.S.A." remains in the top 10 of the U.S. pop chart. And her "The Time of Our Lives" EP has sold 780,000 copies in just 13 weeks. 

Lambert's debut week numbers should be somewhere near those for "Idol" winner David Cook, whose self-titled effort last year sold 280,000 copies in the first week. And around the same time, the self-titled effort by last year's "Idol" runner-up, David Archuleta, sold 180,000 copies in its first week.

And those who aren't a fan of either Lambert's or Cyrus' performance shouldn't lose all faith in pop music. One needs to look only to Susan Boyle, who is defying all expectations and may very well end up with the year's best debut week. That is, of course, if stores can even keep the album on shelves.

Billboard puts the sales estimate at somewhere in the 600,000-unit range, but notes that if Sony can keep the album in stock, it could skyrocket. Wrote the magazine's Ed Christman, "Based on past performances of hot-selling titles, Sony Music Entertainment likely will keep pace with demand. But it's scrambling to do so, allocating product daily and making multiple shipments this week to each account. Sony Music's ability to deliver product will be hampered by the holiday weekend, which begins Wednesday afternoon/evening."

Ann Powers discussed the appeal of Boyle in her recent review. Wrote Powers, "Since she first raised her arms in what now seems like a blessing on the talent show 'Britain's Got Talent,' revealing herself as the new queen of pop's Island of Misfit Toys, Susan Boyle has come to mean several things to her fans: hope, the triumph of the ordinary, the reality-television embodiment of the Euro-American Dream. As a singer, though, she offers something else: relief."

-- Todd Martens


Adam Lambert asks and answers 'Whataya Want From Me' on 'The Early Show'

Album review: Susan Boyle's 'I Dreamed a Dream'

Adam Lambert on 'The Early Show' -- no apologies, and a visit from Mom [VIDEO]

Adam Lambert and TV scandal: A match made in rock heaven

Album review: Adam Lambert's 'For Your Entertainment'

Photo: Associated Press