Who’d have thought a frumpy middle-aged British singer could steal the spotlight from the flamboyant, black eye-lined glam rocker?
Susan Boyle, that’s who. The British reality show contestant (as opposed to the US reality show contestant) was already one of the biggest stories of the year, but she just added a doozy of a new chapter. Her debut, “I Dreamed a Dream,” tops the Billboard 200 this week with a staggering 700, 763 copies sold, according to Billboard. That would have been a big number even before record sales started their swan dive eight years ago.
That tally is enough to give Boyle the highest first week sales of 2009, handily topping Eminem’s “Relapse” by nearly 100,000 copies. But we’re not done yet. The amount is the most sold by a debut from a female artist since SoundScan launched in 1991. (Snoop Dogg holds the overall record: his “Doggystyle’ sold 803,000 in 1993). The only question left is who is going to play Susan Boyle in the story of her life… we say Kathy Bates.
In other chart news, Adam Lambert, whom many predicted would top this week’s pole, comes in with a really nice number himself: 198,000. Normally that would have been enough for “For Your Entertainment” to capture the top spot, but this week it only lands him at No. 3, as he also comes in behind Andrea Bocelli’s “My Christmas,” which sells 218,000. That’s looking to be the holiday title to beat this Christmas season. And for those “American Idol” obsessives, Lambert’s sales are more than double Kris Allen’s opening frame of 80,000 copies last week for his self-titled debut. Go ahead and place your bets on how Allison Iraheta’s set will do when “Just Like You” debuts next week.
Despite endless amounts of publicity and lots of positive reviews (this critic excepted), Rihanna can only eek out a 4th place start as “Rated R” moves 181,000 copies. Lady GaGa’s gets a nice double hit: “The Fame Monster,” her eight-song EP, comes in at No. 5, while the repackaged “The Fame,” which includes “The Fame Monster,” jumps from No. 34 to No. 6.
The rest of the top 10 shakes out as follows: Miley Cyrus’s Wal-Mart exclusive leaps from No. 29 to No. 7, Taylor Swift’s “Fearless” rises to spots to No. 8, Carrie Underwood’s “Play On” remains at No. 9 and Norah Jones’ “The Fall” does just that, slipping from No. 3 to No. 10. Last week’s chart topper, John Mayer’s “Battle Studies” goes all the way down to unlucky No. 13.
Although it might not affect the top reaches of the chart, expect a lot of reentries and increased sales next week for the leading Grammy nominees. The nominations will be announced later today and will be covered extensively right here on Hitfix.