Janet Jackson and Usher top the music charts

She won the battle, but she may not necessarily be winning the war. No, this is not another story about Hillary Clinton’s mixed primary news. We’re talking about Janet Jackson, who’s looking to regain her former chart dominance. The good news: Her new album, Discipline, entered the sales chart at No. 1, while her last two albums never got above No. 2. The bad news: It did that with a significantly lower total than any of her other Soundscan-era CDs. It sold 181,000, versus the 296,000 that her previous effort, 20 Y.O., opened with a year and a half ago. Since that stronger-starting album went on to sell fewer than 700,000 copies — her weakest total to date — the math for an all-out comeback is probably not in her favor.

Having a good week with no asterisks attached, meanwhile, is Usher. There’s no news yet about a release date for his next album, but his single, “Love in This Club,” just entered the digital songs chart at No. 1, with one-week sales of 198,000, without massive amounts of promotion on his part. That’s good news not just for Usher and his patient fans but for anyone sick with boredom from having seen Flo Rida’s “Low” command that chart week after week after week.

We suspect Flo Rida won’t feel too low about being banished to No. 2
on that digital songs chart, since “Low” added another 118,000 in sales
this week to its staggering 3,121,000 total. What’s more, Flo Rida has
another song in the top 10, “Elevator.” That one had a 45 percent sales
increase this week, selling 93,000 singles and moving from No. 10 to
No. 6, so Usher better not settle in too comfortably atop the chart.

Moving back to the land of full-length long-players: Erykah Badu’s first full album since 2000, New Amerykah Part One, had a strong debut at No. 2 with sales of 181,000. Determinedly dirty-mouthed rapper Webbie’s Savage Life 2 bowed with 72,000 at No. 4. The next highest debut was at No. 13: Shawty Low’s Units in the City,
with 31,000 units moved in many, many cities. Non-city gal Dolly Parton
had her highest charting album to date, at No. 17, with Backwoods Barbie, released on her own label; it sold 27,000.

The biggest increase among high-charting holdover albums came with the soundtrack to Once,
which sold 47,000 and moved up from No. 31 to No. 7. Thanks, Oscar. An
even more impressive leap was made by the album’s Academy Award-winning
song, “Falling Slowly,” which had a 199 percent post-awards increase and sold
41,000 digital singles — nearly half of the tune’s 94,000 total to date.

Besides Once, only one other already-charting album in the top 20
moved up the ladder, and that one had an Oscar connection, too. The
Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus double CD jumped from No. 14 to No. 6 — due
largely, presumably, to Cyrus’ appearance on the Oscar-night Barbara
Walters special. The rest of the holdovers in the top 20, each of which
fell at least a couple of spots: Jack Johnson (still strong at No. 3),
Alicia Keys, the Juno soundtrack, Sara Bareilles, Amy Winehouse, Mary J. Blige, Taylor Swift, the Step Up 2 the Streets soundtrack, Sheryl Crow, Keyshia Cole, Chris Brown, Colbie Caillat, and Daughtry.

Back on the digital songs chart, a few notable increases: Jordin
Sparks’ “No Air” had a very strong 41 percent sales bump, selling 103,000 for
the week and 482,000 to date. Janet Jackson’s single, “Feedback,” had
been languishing in chart purgatory for weeks, but the TV promotion she
did for her album’s release paid off with a 96 percent increase for the
song, which sold 81,000 this week for a total of 353,000 to date. One
to keep an eye on is Leona Lewis’ “Bleeding Love,” which has hit the
top of the charts in more parts of the world than not. It didn’t get
off to an instantaneously massive start here in the States, but this
week it does move up from No. 41 to No. 21 on the digital songs chart,
which augurs well for the ballad. Finally, imagine John Lennon’s
“Imagine” being a minor hit again. It’s easy if you try: Thanks to American Idol exposure, it sold 24,000 as a digital track this week, good enough to enter the chart at No. 47.

Good times aren’t coming back for the music industry, at least in the near future, but look for Alan Jackson’s Good Time to head up the album chart next week with a likely six-figure bow.

We suspect Flo Rida won’t feel too low about being banished to No. 2on that digital songs chart, since "Low" added another 118,000 in salesthis week to its staggering 3,121,000 total. What’s more, Flo Rida hasanother song in the top 10, "Elevator." That one had a 45 percent salesincrease this week, selling 93,000 singles and moving from No. 10 toNo. 6, so Usher better not settle in too comfortably atop the chart.

Moving back to the land of full-length long-players: Erykah Badu’s first full album since 2000, New Amerykah Part One, had a strong debut at No. 2 with sales of 181,000. Determinedly dirty-mouthed rapper Webbie’s Savage Life 2 bowed with 72,000 at No. 4. The next highest debut was at No. 13: Shawty Low’s Units in the City,with 31,000 units moved in many, many cities. Non-city gal Dolly Partonhad her highest charting album to date, at No. 17, with Backwoods Barbie, released on her own label; it sold 27,000.

The biggest increase among high-charting holdover albums came with the soundtrack to Once,which sold 47,000 and moved up from No. 31 to No. 7. Thanks, Oscar. Aneven more impressive leap was made by the album’s Academy Award-winningsong, "Falling Slowly," which had a 199 percent post-awards increase and sold41,000 digital singles — nearly half of the tune’s 94,000 total to date.

Besides Once, only one other already-charting album in the top 20moved up the ladder, and that one had an Oscar connection, too. TheHannah Montana/Miley Cyrus double CD jumped from No. 14 to No. 6 — duelargely, presumably, to Cyrus’ appearance on the Oscar-night BarbaraWalters special. The rest of the holdovers in the top 20, each of whichfell at least a couple of spots: Jack Johnson (still strong at No. 3),Alicia Keys, the Juno soundtrack, Sara Bareilles, Amy Winehouse, Mary J. Blige, Taylor Swift, the Step Up 2 the Streets soundtrack, Sheryl Crow, Keyshia Cole, Chris Brown, Colbie Caillat, and Daughtry.

Back on the digital songs chart, a few notable increases: JordinSparks’ "No Air" had a very strong 41 percent sales bump, selling 103,000 forthe week and 482,000 to date. Janet Jackson’s single, "Feedback," hadbeen languishing in chart purgatory for weeks, but the TV promotion shedid for her album’s release paid off with a 96 percent increase for thesong, which sold 81,000 this week for a total of 353,000 to date. Oneto keep an eye on is Leona Lewis’ "Bleeding Love," which has hit thetop of the charts in more parts of the world than not. It didn’t getoff to an instantaneously massive start here in the States, but thisweek it does move up from No. 41 to No. 21 on the digital songs chart,which augurs well for the ballad. Finally, imagine John Lennon’s"Imagine" being a minor hit again. It’s easy if you try: Thanks to American Idol exposure, it sold 24,000 as a digital track this week, good enough to enter the chart at No. 47.

Good times aren’t coming back for the music industry, at least in the near future, but look for Alan Jackson’s Good Time to head up the album chart next week with a likely six-figure bow.

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Comments (7 total) Add your comment
  • Aboboan

    OMG. I just read her blog on a celeb site called ‘Searching Millionaire DOTcom’.can’t believe she is also a good writer.

  • Gilly

    This writer needs to do some research. This is one of the slowest selling periods for music. Last year Daughtry went #1 with selling 90,000 units. Janet went #1 with twice the amount. Would it kill you to do some research por favor?

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