Expect Keith Urban's "Defying Gravity" to debut at No. 1 on the album charts next week. The country gunslinger will shoot it out with another guitar hero, Prince, according to industry website, Hits Daily Double. The Purple One's three-pack, available only through Target and his website, could upset Urban, but it's not likely.
The other day, someone asked me how the retail exclusives work. They all have different specifics, but generally, they are really great deals for artists because they are one-way deals. That means the retailer agrees to buy a specific number of CDs and pays the artist for the entire initial shipment. There are no returns, meaning if a title stiffs, the retailer is stuck with those CDs that the store has already paid the artist for. Because the CDs are often priced at an amazingly low price-Prince's three CDs are under $12 total-the artist may get less per CD than a normal rate, but they are guaranteed payment.
Projected to come in at No. 3 is jazz singer Diana Krall with cover album "Quiet Nights." She has a strong following, plus her demo is one that isn't likely to illegally download.
Rap act UGk may come in around No. 7. This marks the last CD from the duo and includes the last recordings from Pimp C, who died in December 2007. Bun B has said he will become a solo act after this CD.
Flo Rida's "R.O.O.T.S" looks solid for a debut in the bottom half of the Top 10. I thought he'd come in higher, but he is proving to truly be an artist for the digital download age: his singles sell millions digitally (and we mean, literally millions), but fans don't care about his full length CDs. His "Right Round" has been the No. 1 single for a few weeks now and set a new record for selling more than 600,000 downloads in its first week of release.