Friday, April 20, 2012

Week In Music: After 25 Years, Lionel Richie Says ‘Hello’ (Again) To #1

As if it weren’t momentous enough when Lionel Richie debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 two weeks ago—30 years after his first solo album charted—the long-lived singer/songwriter has now done one better. This week, his country duets album “Tuskegee” rises to No. 1 on the album chart. The collection has also topped the R&B/Hip-Hop Albums and Country Albums charts.

Helping fuel its dominance is Richie’s April 13 CBS special "ACM Presents: Lionel Richie & Friends in Concert,” which included performances by and with Kenny Chesney, Tim McGraw, Kenny Rogers, Rascal Flatts, Blake Shelton, Marc Anthony, Martina McBride, Lady Antebellum and others. The show attracted 7.7 million viewers, while “Tuskegee” sold 129,000 copies in its third week, up 35%, following first and second week sales of 294,000. This is his third No. 1 album, following 1986's "Dancing on the Ceiling"—25 years ago(!)—and 1983’s “Can’t Slow Down.”

At No. 2 on the Billboard 200 is Adele with “21” (who, mind you, was not born when Richie was in his heyday), its 60th week in the top 10. It returns to No. 1 in the U.K. for a 22nd week, with 23 total weeks at the chart summit in the States. Paul Grein notes in his Yahoo! Chart Watch column that only one other album in history has logged 20 or more weeks at No. 1 in both countries: the 1958 soundtrack to the movie version of Rodgers & Hammerstein's “South Pacific,” which spent 115 weeks at the U.K. summit and 31 in the U.S.

The No. 3 album is last week’s chart-topping “Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded” from very credible artist Nicki Minaj, with a gargantuan 68% decline; while the highest debut is Monica’s “New Life” at No. 4, her fifth consecutive top 5 LP. The soul singer’s first hit album was 1995’s“Miss Thang,” making Monica somewhat of a veteran, as well, with 17 years of success.

Elsewhere among the top 10 albums, former No. 1 “Up All Night” from Brit boy band One Direction holds at No. 5, while Bonnie Raitt seemingly comes out of nowhere for a No. 6 debut with "Slipstream." Gotye's "Making Mirrors" returns to the top 10, plumping 15-7 following a "Saturday Night Live" performance April 14; Alabama Shakes is No. 8 with "Boys & Girls"; “Changed” from Rascal Flatts is No. 9; and rapper/singer-songwriter Hoodie Allen’s debut EP "All American" bows at No. 10.

On the singles side, Goyte featuring Kimbra brings us a new No. 1 with rocker “Somebody That I Used To Know,” which sold 542,000 digital downloads—the largest one-week tally so far this year—and also tops the new On-Demand Songs chart. “Know,” which has spent 15 weeks on the Hot 100, was energized by both the act’s SNL appearance and the song’s exposure on “Glee” April 10.

"We Are Young" by fun. featuring Janelle Monae, finally slips to No. 2 on the Billboard 100 after six weeks at the top—although it remains tops at radio for the second week, ranked No. 1 on Hot 100 Airplay. Next in line: 3: The Wanted, "Glad You Came" 4. One Direction, "What Makes You Beautiful" 5: Justin Bieber, "Boyfriend” 6: Flo Rida featuring Sia, "Wild Ones" 7: Nicki Minaj, "Starships” 8: Carly Rae Jepsen, "Call Me Maybe" 9: Kelly Clarkson, "Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)" and 10: Katy Perry, "Part Of Me."

Notably, Madonna’s 12th studio album “MDNA,” which launched at No. 1 three weeks ago, is falling fast, down to No. 8 last week and No. 18 this week. This likely has much to do with the set failing to propel a sticky single at radio. “Give Me All Your Luvin’” reached the top 10, but faded within a month, while follow-up “Girl Gone Wild” peaked at a tepid No. 38 on Pop Songs, without debuting on the Hot 100. “Turn Up the Radio” has already been designated as a hastily released third single…

Here’s a chart stat that might make musicologists wince: The cast of Fox's "Glee" ups its total tally of charted songs on the Billboard Hot 100 to a staggering 200 titles—all in less than three years. The cast first appeared on the Hot 100 June 6, 2009, with a No. 4 cover of Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'." This week, it adds two more to the stack, for an even 200: a re-rub of Gotye's No. 1 Hot 100 "Somebody That I Used to Know" and a mash-up of Duran Duran's "Hungry Like the Wolf" and "Rio."

The 200 charted “Glee” hits represents almost twice as many as next-in-line Elvis Presley (108), while the teen-targeted musical series also trumps appearances by Lil Wayne, James Brown, Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, The Beatles, Jay-Z, Elton John and Stevie Wonder. Billboard magazine notes that despite the notable tally, only 33 of “Glee’s” 200 "Glee" entries spent more than a single week on Hot 100.

Next week: *Look for a lofty launch for Jason Mraz's mellow, relationship-based “Love Is A Four Letter Word.” * “California 37” by Train will likely railroad its way to a top 5 debut, previewed by the single “Drive By.” * Jazz trumpeter Chris Botti issues his 14th album, “Impressions.” *                                      (This post original appeared on