Love & Hip Hop star K. Michelle nets a big debut on this week’s Nielsen SoundScan albums chart, while Katy Perry’s “Roar” makes a lot more noise than Lady Gaga’s “Applause” on the singles chart. #SoundScanner investigates:
K. MICHELLE MAKES A SPLASH: Love & Hip Hop Atlanta’s K. Michelle makes a big debut on this week’s Top Current Albums chart, landing at No. 2 with her debut set, Rebellious Soul. The album—not to be confused with Kid Rock’s Rebel Soul—sold a strong 72,000 copies its first week. Lead single “V.S.O.P.” has racked up more than 3 million views on YouTube and has garnered 337,000 plays on Spotify. The album follows several mixtapes from K. Michelle, who previously appeared on R. Kelly’s 2010 album Love Letter.
KATY PERRY DECIMATES LADY GAGA: In the week’s big pop showdown that wasn’t, Katy Perry’s “Roar” ran circles around Lady Gaga’s “Applause.” “Roar” sold a massive 557,000 copies, netting the third largest debut for a digital single ever and shooting straight to No. 1. Gaga’s “Applause,” meanwhile, lands at No. 3 with a weaker-than-expected 218,000 sales. (It was outsold by Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines,” which moved 291,000 copies in its 21st week on the chart.) Chart watchers had predicted a tight race between the two singles, the lead offerings from Perry’s Prism and Gaga’s Artpop, both due this fall. In an interesting aside, many noted the similarities between “Roar” and Sara Bareilles’ “Brave,” and the latter enjoyed an 80 percent sales boost this week, jumping 31 spots to No. 27 on sales of 51,000 copies, bringing its 17-week total to 446,000 downloads.
BRYAN’S BIG DEBUT: Country party boy Luke Bryan invited fans to Crash My Party, and they did, to the tune of 528,000 first week sales. That gives the 37-year-old ACMA Entertainer of the Year winner the year’s third biggest debut, behind Justin Timberlake‘s The 20/20 Experience, which opened with 968,000 sales, and Jay Z’s Magna Carta Holy Grail, which also started with 528,000 and narrowly edged out Bryan’s sales. Crash My Party is Bryan’s second No. 1 album of 2013, following his Spring Break… Here to Party compilation, which launched at No. 1 back in March. Bryan also sees his single “That’s My Kind of Night” open at No. 5 on the Digital Songs chart with 164,000 downloads.
OH, LORDE: “Royals,” the buzzworthy single from New Zealand 16-year-old Lorde, climbs into the Top 10 on the Digital Songs chart this week, selling 107,000 downloads. The single has been steadily climbing the chart since it debuted at No. 190 ten weeks ago, and has sold 454,000 copies to date. Lorde, aka Ella Yelich-O’Connor, releases her debut album Pure Heroine next month, and this certainly sets the stage for her. Her The Love Club EP is at No. 23 this week and has sold 73,000 copies to date.
KENDRICK GOES PLATINUM: Kendrick Lamar shook up the hip-hop industry last week with his inflammatory verse on Big Sean’s “Control,” and this week he has even more to celebrate, as his debut set good kid, m.A.A.d city crosses the 1-million sales plateau. The album enjoyed a 45 percent sales boost from the previous week, selling 9,300 copies and bringing its 43-week total to 1.003 million copies. The Compton MC isn’t the only one toasting to platinum sales this week, as country duo Florida Georgia Line also hit the 1-million sales mark with their Here’s to the Good Times, which sold 31,000 copies this week and lands at No. 8 on this week’s chart. And Train’s latest, California 37, hits gold this week, its 2,500 sales bringing its total to 501,000 copies.
[Photo: VH1/Lauren Weissler]