SoundScanner: Who The Heck Is Chris Tomlin And Why Does He Have The Country’s #1 Album?

by (@grahamorama)


Chris Tomlin —who?— debuts at No. 1, trailed by the scary dudes in Hollywood Undead. Here’s a look at this week’s Nielsen SoundScan sales figures:

CHRIS WHO?: Chris Tomlin tops this week’s chart with his seventh album Burning Lights, which sold 73,000 copies this week, according to Nielsen SoundScan figures released Wednesday. OK, so who is Chris Tomlin? He’s a 40-year-old contemporary Christian artist from Texas whose previous chart high came in 2008 when his album Hello Love debuted at No. 9. Tomlin benefited from a weak sales frame —this week marks the lowest sales tally for a No. 1 album since September, when another Christian act, tobyMac, hit No. 1— and his numbers were buoyed by sales at churches and other non-traditional outlets, which accounted for a full 40 percent of the album’s sales, Billboard notes. Guest artists on Burning Lights include Lecrae, Kari Jobe and Phil Wickham; Tomlin must not have 2 Chainz’ most recent phone number.

P!NK GOES PLATINUM: Congratulations are in order for P!nk, whose September release The Truth About Love crosses the platinum marker this week. The album, which debuted at No. 1 last year with 281,000 first week sales, sold 28,000 copies this week, landing at No. 12 and bringing its total sales to 1.014 million copies. P!nk is mounting a U.S. tour in support of the album which kicks off Feb. 13 at Phoenix’s US Airways Center, and we’re guessing there will be aerial stunts involved.

GOLD FOR 2 CHAINZ, DEL REY: It’s fitting that 2 Chainz recently appeared on the remix of Trinidad James’ All Gold Everything: This week, the Atlanta rapper who appeared on about 100 songs last year, give or take, went gold with his album Based on a T.R.U. Story (or BOATS, as we like to call it). The album is at No. 43 this week, and its 9,600 sales kicked its total to 502,000. A few spots below Mr. Chainz at No. 49, Lana Del Rey‘s much-discussed Born to Die also crosses the 500,000 marker this week, two sales frames shy of its one-year anniversary. Meanwhile Paradise, Del Rey’s Born to Die companion piece that was released in November, sits at No. 70 on this week’s chart, with 151,000 sales to date.

MACKLEMORE STEALS NO. 1: Over on the Digital Songs chart, bargain hunters Macklemore and Ryan Lewis take over the top spot with “Thrift Shop,” which sold 279,000 copies this week. We told you Grandpa Style was the new style! Mack and Lewis boot Taylor Swift‘s “I Knew You Were Trouble” (261,000) down a spot to No. 2, but Swift is already moving on: Her latest entry from Red, “The Moment I Knew” (it’s a track from the album’s deluxe edition bonus disc) enters at No. 19 with 79,000 sales. Meanwhile, the much-ballyhooed new single from David Bowie “Where Are We Now” was a chart non-starter, arriving at No. 78 with 28,000 first-week sales.

UNDEAD ALIVE: Mask-wearing L.A. rap-rock sextet Hollywood Undead follows at No. 2 with its third set, Notes from the Underground. The group, which made headlines last year when members Funny Man and J-Dog allegedly beat up former lead singer Deuce (we’re not making any of this up), previously peaked at No. 4 with 2011’s American Tragedy. Hollywood Undead fun fact: Group member Charlie Scene was previously known for wearing a Del Taco bag on his face on-stage. The dudes in Slipknot never thought of that!


Adam Graham is the Pop Music critic for the Detroit News. He likes tacos, too, you know.

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