Chart Buzz: Eric Church, Kelly Rowland, Britney Spears, Kanye West & Jay-Z

Posted August 5, 2011 by J Matthew Cobb in News

Crazy week on Billboard charts as Country buff Eric Church nabs the Top spot, Amy Winehouse continues to sell and Kelly Rowland nabs No. 3 spot; plus singles from LMFAO, Kanye West & Jay-Z, Britney Spears and Katy Perry dominate Hot 100

You’ve probably never heard of him. And that’s fine. You’ll hear about him now.

Country star Eric Church has done the unthinkable by scoring his first No. 1 album with Chief, his third album to date. According to Nielsen SoundScan, Church’s latest disc sold 145,000 copies. Even Church was shocked at the big debut since analysts originally didn’t predict the massive sales figure. His last album, 2009′s Carolina, only peaked at No. 17 on the Billboard 200 and sold a modest 31,000 in its first week.

Much of the surprise in the big numbers comes from Church’s growing fan base, which results from extensive touring. And don’t look for any of the credit to go to a massive country-pop single either.  He still has failed to transport a single to the Top 40 and has only gone as high as No. 10 on the Hot Country Songs’ survey.

Church talked to Billboard about the good news of his No. 1 album:

People were looking at Kelly Rowland’s numbers. All of a sudden, we blow by everybody and people are asking, ‘Who the hell is Eric Church, and how did he sell this many records without No. 1 songs?’ I don’t tweet. I’m not a Facebook guy. I don’t do any of those things. To have this kind of success the first week, it’s about the music. It’s really restoring my faith.

Just two weeks ago, country nabbed the No. 1 spot with Blake Shelton’s Red River Blue. The album ended up being his career’s first No. 1 after releasing a number of albums failing to take the top spot. This week, the judge of NBC’s hit show “The Voice” slips 6-8 on the Billboard 200 as a new album release from Kelly Rowland makes its debut and fellow country star Jason Aldean climbs back to No. 4 with My Kinda Party.

Kelly Rowland’s third album Here I Am scores high praise with its landing at No. 3. It sold 77,000 copies and easily becomes her highest-charted album to date, with 2007′s Ms. Kelly, appearing at No. 6 while selling 83,000 in its first week. The new album is being supported by a No. 1 R&B single with “Motivation,” which has spent seven weeks at the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs’ chart.

Taking the No. 2 spot on the Billboard Hot 100: Adele‘s 21, which scored 83,000 copies (up 7%) this week.

Amy Winehouse albums continue to sell very well since her unfortunate passing. Back to Black is back in effect, climbing 9-7 and selling 38,000 copies. Frank, her debut album, also makes a significant climb as it goes 57-33 (up 58%).

Along with Rowland’s new release, Joss Stone also jumps into the Top 10 with her latest effort, LP1, selling 30,000 and landing at No. 9.

In singles’ territory, hip-pop duo LMFAO continues their winning streak with “Party Rock Anthem” as it stabilizes at No. 1 for the fifth week in a row on the Billboard Hot 100 and on the Digital Songs survey (202,000 copies).

Much of the attention this week is shifting to Kanye West & Jay-Z‘s “Otis.” The Otis Redding-sampled digital single, being offered as an instant downloadable track when purchasing the Watch The Throne album as a pre-release through iTunes, lands in the top 10 of the Hot Digital Songs’ survey (No. 9, 113,000). The song also peaks in the top bracket of the Billboard Hot 100 at No. 12 on the Billboard Hot 100. No word if the available single is making any major traction at radio or if it will be commercially available as a single release.

Britney Spears has a lot to be thankful for. Despite all the lip-synch dominating her live shows, she scores yet another Top 10 hit. “I Wanna Go,” the third in a secession of singles from her Femme Fatale album, lands at No. 9 on the Billboard Hot 100. Femme Fatale actually becomes the first album Spears has released that includes three Top 10 singles. “Hold It Against Me” debuted at No. 1 and “Til The World Ends” peaked at No. 3 back in May. Spears still has to beat the record of Rihanna (18 Top 10 singles to date) and, most recently, Katy Perry, who is now proving to be the leading ladies of consecutive singles from single album releases. Perry’s “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)” settles at No. 2 this week on the Hot 100 after radio helped push the album to No. 1 on the Billboard’s Pop Songs’ survey a week prior. Perry’s Teenage Dream is the only album in Billboard history of the Pop Songs’ survey to pump out five No. 1 singles (“California Gurls,” Teenage Dream,” “Firework,” “E.T,” “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.”). If “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)” scores the top spot on the Hot 100, Katy Perry will have amassed five No. 1′s from one album. She may get that chance when Monday arrives as a radio-ready version of “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)” featuring a rap cameo from Missy Elliot plans to make landfall. And the word is out that maybe another single from Teenage Dream could be brewing for a release date. We just have to wait and see.

On the Billboard Hot 100 (Week of Aug. 13, 2011):

#1 “Party Rock Anthem” – LMFAO feat. Lauren Bennett & GoonRock
#2 “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)” – Katy Perry
#3 “Super Bass” – Nicki Minaj
#4 “Give Me Everything” – Pitbull feat. Ne-Yo, AfroJack & Nayer
#5 “How to Love” – Lil Wayne
#6 “Rolling In the Deep” – Adele
#7 “Lighters” – Bad Meets Evil feat. Bruno Mars
#8 “Tonight Tonight” – Hot Chelle Rae
#9 “I Wanna Go” – Britney Spears
#10 “The Edge of Glory” – Lady Gaga

CHART BUZZ is a bi-monthly series tracing the latest airplay, radio impressions  and unit sales numbers governed by Billboard and measured by Nielsen Soundscan. For more chart information and additional chart data, go to or Visit our abbreviated Billboard and iTunes charts at:

About the Author

J Matthew Cobb

Managing editor of HiFi Magazine

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