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

February 15, 2012 |  1:10 pm

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:

Van Halen's "A Different Kind of Truth" is one of five new albums to land inside the top 10. The 41st volume of the "NOW! That's What I Call Music" series enters at No. 3 with 142,000 copies sold, while the latest from heartfelt rockers the Fray, "Scars & Stories," enters at No. 4 with 87,000 copies sold. 

Paul McCartney's newest, "Kisses on the Bottom," enters at No. 5 with 74,000 copies sold. Expect the album to perform relatively well in its second week, as McCartney was given two performance slots on Sunday's Grammy Awards. 

• Country star Dierks Bentley enters at No. 7 with his "Home," which sold about 55,000 copies. His "Up on the Ridge" entered at No. 9 with more than 38,000 copies sold in 2010.

 Expect foksy rock duo the Civil Wars to be among the big sales winners in the wake of the Grammy Awards, when more complete data are available next week. The band's debut, "Barton Hollow," experiences a 195% sales burst this week, up from No. 121 to No. 41. The album sold just under 13,000 copies this week, and has moved close to 300,000 copies since its release. The act was given a showcase slot on the Grammy telecast, and introduced Taylor Swift's performance. 

The top-selling digital track in the U.S. is Fun's "We Are Young," The song, which also features out-of-this-world R&B artist Janelle Monáe, sold 296,000 downloads this week. While the single was released in late 2011, it has found a new audience after being featured in a Chevy ad that began airing during the Super Bowl. The band's second album, "Some Nights," which features the single, is out on Feb. 21. 


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-- Todd Martens

Image: Adele after Sunday night's Grammy Awards. Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times