It was a big week for country acts in the wake of the Academy of Country Music Awards, but Paramore still managed to snag the No. 1 spot. Here’s a look at this week’s Nielsen SoundScan sales figures:
PARAMORE ON TOP: Paramore notches its first No. 1 album this week, as the returning rockers edge out Brad Paisley’s latest to top Nielsen SoundScan’s Top Current Albums chart. Less than 6,000 sales separated the two sets, with Paramore’s self-titled fourth album selling 106,000 copies and Paisley’s Wheelhouse earning the runner-up position with 100,000 sales. Paramore’s previous album, 2009’s Brand New Eyes, shifted 185,000 copies its first week, but only managed a No. 2 debut. Paisley knows the No. 2 spot well: Wheelhouse marks his fourth No. 2 debut, and he has yet to snag a No. 1 album. Meanwhile, Paisley’s instantly notorious “Accidental Racist” song, featuring LL Cool J’s awkward shout out to Robert E. Lee, debuts at No. 50 on SoundScan’s Digital Songs chart, selling 43,000 copies its first week.
CHURCH, TYGA ARRIVE HIGH: Paisley and Paramore lead a surge of new albums hitting the top of the charts, as four other sets make Top 10 arrivals. Country star Eric Church’s live album Caught in the Act arrives at No. 5 with 61,000 sales, while rapper Tyga earns the No. 7 position with his latest, Hotel California, which sold 54,000 copies. New albums from Danish rockers Volbeat (No. 9, 39,000) and Slipknot frontman Corey Taylor’s Stone Sour (No. 10, 35,000) round out the top debuts. As for Justin Timberlake, who held down the chart’s No. 1 position the last three weeks, his 20/20 Experience slips down two spots to No. 3.
’CAN’T HOLD’ MACKLEMORE: While P!nk and Nate Reuss’ “Just Give Me a Reason” returns to No. 1 on the Digital Songs chart, thrift shoppers Macklemore and Ryan Lewis are knocking on their door with “Can’t Hold Us,” which jumps up four spots to No. 2. The song, which is near-ubiquitous in those Microsoft Outlook TV ads, sold 208,000 copies this week, bringing its total to 993,000. The duo’s “Thrift Shop,” meanwhile, is at No. 5 this week, and has sold 5.67 million copies to date. Last week’s No. 1 Digital Song, Bruno Mars’ “When I Was Your Man,” slips five spots to No. 6.
PSY’S SEQUEL: Can Psy do it again? The “Gangnam Style” star reappears on the Digital Songs chart with his new single “Gentleman,” which lands at No. 85 with 27,000 first week sales. That’s only about 2,400 more copies than “Gangnam Style” (No. 92) sold this week. “Gentleman” might not be the first word used to describe Ray J, but his new TMZ-baiting single “I Hit It First” fares better, debuting at No. 55 with 41,000 first-week sales. No telling yet how many of those singles were instantly deleted after people heard the song, however.
ACMA FUELS SALES: Miranda Lambert won big at this month’s Academy of Country Music Awards, earning Female Vocalist of the Year honors along with Song and Single of the Year awards for “Over You,” and this week her 2011 album Four the Record jumps up 24 spots to No. 39. That brings the album to 797,000 total sales. Also seeing big ACMA sales spikes are Vocal Group of the Year winners Little Big Town (No. 26, up 32 percent) and Eric Church, who in addition to his No. 5 debut also sees his Album of the Year-winning Chief re-enter the Top 20 at No. 18. Meanwhile, ACMA co-host Luke Bryan watched his single “Crash My Party” rise from No. 87 to No. 7 on the Digital Songs chart, a 526 percent sales increase.