SOUNDSCANNER: Eminem Sells More Records Than Anyone This Year (Well, Except Justin Timberlake)

You know Eminem, who makes a massive splash this week with his The Marshall Mathers LP 2, which arrives with the year’s second biggest sales week. But what do you know about A Great Big World? Get to know the SoundScan upstarts, who land this week’s No. 1 song, in this week’s SoundScanner:


EMINEM OFF TO A ’MONSTER’ START: Eminem’s The Marshall Mathers LP 2 crashes SoundScan’s Top Current Albums chart this week, landing at No. 1 with a sizable 792,000 sales. That’s healthier than the 700,000 to 750,000 albums the set was forecast to sell, and bigger even than 2010’s Recovery, which began its chart run with 741,000. It’s also the year’s second biggest sales tally, following Justin Timberlake’s 968,000 launch of The 20/20 Experience back in March. (It well outpaces Drake’s Nothing Was the Same, which began with 658,000, now the year’s third biggest debut.) The “Rap God” has some of the most impressive sales stats in SoundScan’s history; his first Marshall Mathers LP sold 1.76 million copies its first week in 2000, while The Eminem Show sold 1.3 million copies its second week (its release was stuttered due to retail leaks) in 2002. Elsewhere, 2009’s Relapse opened with 608,000, 2004’s Encore began with 710,000 (also an abbreviated sales frame) and 1999’s The Slim Shady LP started with 283,000.

A GREAT BIG WORLD ARRIVES: Thanks to an assist from Christina Aguilera and some prime real estate on NBC’s The Voice, pop duo A Great Big World crashes SoundScan’s Digital Songs chart and lands at No. 1 with “Say Something.” The group performed the song with Aguilera on The Voice last week, which resulted in an immediate sales boost, catapulting the song from No. 149 all the way to No. 1, where it topped Lorde’s “Royals” by a little more than 3,000 sales. A Great Big World – the duo of Ian Axel and Chad Vaccarino – were previously best known for their song “This Is the New Year,” which was performed on an episode of Glee. Now the pair is riding high and is set to release their debut album Is There Anybody Out There in January. First up, however, the group will make an appearance on the 2013 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. Make us proud, boys.

CELINE DION, AVRIL LAVIGNE DEBUT: Behind Eminem, two more albums debut in this week’s Top 5. Celine Dion’s Loved Me Back to Life debuts at No. 2 with 77,000 sales, though that is a far cry from her last studio album, 2007’s Taking Chances, which began its chart run with 214,000. And Avril Lavigne lands at No. 5 with her new self-titled set which begins with 44,000, although that marks her weakest debut to date. Lavigne’s last album Goodbye Lullaby started out with 87,000, and her high water mark came with 2004’s Under My Skin, which sold 381,000 copies its first week. Meanwhile, her The Best Damn Thing kicked off with 289,000 sold in 2007, and her debut album, 2002’s Let Go, opened with 62,000.

’DUCK DYNASTY’ GROWS: Elsewhere in this week’s Top 10, the holiday album from the Duck Dynasty dudes jumps up a spot to No. 3 on a 5 percent sales uptick. The album sold 73,000 copies, up from last week’s 69,000, bringing its two-week sales total to 138,000. That’s cause for celebration, and has to have Kelly Clarkson feeling red; the American Idol’s Christmas set Wrapped in Red dips 39 percent this week, coming in at No. 6 with 43,000 and bringing its two week total to 113,000. Maybe Clarkson needs to grow a beard.

LITTLE BIG TOWN GOES PLATINUM: Congratulations are in order for Alabama foursome Little Big Town, who hit the platinum sales marker this week with their 2012 album Tornado. In its 60th week on the chart, the album leapfrogs from No. 197 to No. 56 on a 240 percent sales boost (thanks to an appearance on last week’s CMA Awards, where the group snagged Vocal Group of the Year honors), bringing its total sales to 1.003 million. Tornado started its chart run at No. 2 with 113,000 first-week sales. Little Big Town were one of many benefactors from the CMA Awards; Luke Bryan (No. 10, up 27 percent), Florida Georgia Line (No. 13, up 69 percent), Blake Shelton (No. 14, up 148 percent), Kacey Musgraves (No. 22, up 567 percent), Taylor Swift (No. 47, up 79 percent) and more all saw sales boosts from the show.