Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Week In Music: It's All About Adele & Whitney (Again)

Prince, watch your back, baby. Adele’s Grammy-winning “21” logs a 23rd astonishing week atop the upcoming Billboard 200 album chart for March 17, 2012. That makes it the longest-running chart-topping set since “Purple Rain” from Prince & The Revolution spent 24 weeks at No. 1 in 1984 and 1985—some 27 years ago. Sales for “21” this year alone have now reached 2.07 million, according to Nielsen SoundScan, easily making it the best-selling album for the first quarter of 2012.

Next in line: Whitney Houston's "Whitney: The Greatest Hits," at 527,000 (which is this week’s No. 2 album). Further attesting to Adele’s unstoppable momentum, it’s been nine years since an album sold 2+ million copies this early in the year, with 50 Cent's "Get Rich Or Die Tryin'." Meanwhile, Adele’s debut “19” endures at No. 7 on the album chart.

But don’t expect a 24th week for Adele when the next chart hits. Bruce Springsteen’s 17th studio album “Wrecking Ball,” was released Tuesday, March 7. Given its typically venerating reviews, it’s hard to imagine that Bruuuuce won't debut at No. 1 next week.

In other Whitney Houston news, her death Feb. 11 continues to conjure sentimentality. In addition to “The Greatest Hits” at No. 2 on the Billboard 200, "The Bodyguard" soundtrack rises a rung to No. 5; while debut "Whitney Houston" falls one to No. 10. She has a total of nine albums on that chart in the coming week, also ringing up Nos. 13, 21, 31, 32, 50 and 80. The last time one act had as many as nine among the week's top 100 sellers was October 2009, when the Beatles drained 11 out of the top 100. In addition, Houston is one of only six artists to have three or more of the 10 best-selling albums in the U.S. since August 1963, alongside The Beatles, Peter, Paul & Mary, Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass, Simon & Garfunkel and Michael Jackson. She is the only woman to achieve the feat.

On the singles side, Fun becomes the first rock band in more than 10 years to launch its debut track to the top of Billboard Hot 100, as "We Are Young," featuring Janelle Monae, rises 3-1. The song is also on top of the Digital Songs chart for a third week. Last time a debut rock song accomplished the same was December 2001/January 2002, when Nickelback spent four weeks at No. 1 with "How You Remind Me.” Fun was featured in a Super Bowl ad for Chevrolet's Sonic, explaining its radio and retail combustion. In all, the song has sold 1.1 million downloads.

At Nos. 2 and 3 are two former chart-toppers: First is "Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)" from Kelly Clarkson, followed by Adele's "Set Fire to the Rain."

Next week: Will The Monkees return to the charts, following the untimely death of Davy Jones at age 66? And one more tidbit to demonstrate that no matter what, the world keeps turning: On Friday, March 2, Grammy-winning rocker Jon Bon Jovi turned 50. *

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