Sade’s ‘Soldier’ marches on

Disc holds on to no. 1 for third week

Sade’s “Soldier of Love” maintains its hold on the No. 1 slot for a third week in another mild stanza for the national album chart.

Renascent vocalist’s Columbia collection sold 127,000 copies, bringing her tally to more than 820,000 units to date, according to Nielsen SoundScan figures for the week ending Feb. 28.

Only other set to rack up more than 100,000 sales this week is the No. 2 title, Lady Antebellum’s “Need You Now” (Capitol Nashville). The country trio, which led the field in Academy of Country Music Awards noms announced Tuesday, reaped sales of 118,000, off 18% but good enough to stay put in its slot.

The group’s sophomore package has rung up 1.1 million units in just five weeks, making it the first 2010 release to sell 1 million.

Lone new title to reach the top 10 is Johnny Cash’s posthumous “American VI: Ain’t No Grave” (American/Lost Highway), bowing at No. 3. The intimate collection, recorded at home by producer Rick Rubin in the days before the country legend’s death in 2003, sold 54,000 in its debut frame.

Remainder of the top 10 comprises familiar titles, almost all of which witnessed percentage declines.

Still feeling the post-Grammys afterglow are a pair of Interscope sets, each dipping one chart rung: the Black Eyed Peas’ “The E.N.D.” (No. 4 at 50,000 units, down 23%) and Lady Gaga’s “The Fame” (No. 5, 48,000, down 23%). Lil Wayne’s “Rebirth” (Cash Money) also slips one slot to No. 6, rocking 38,000 units (off 36%).

Ke$ha’s “Animal” (Kemosabe/RCA) is the sole album in the top 10 to log a sales gain. The collection parties back in at No. 7 behind a 32,000-unit week, tracking a 7% lift.

The top 10 is rounded out by Susan Boyle’s “I Dreamed a Dream” (No. 8, 30,000 units, down 41%), Taylor Swift’s “Fearless” (No. 9, 28,000, down 13%) and Justin Bieber’s “My World” (No. 10, 26,000, down 20%). Teen heartthrob Bieber’s new “My World 2.0” arrives March 23.

New releases by Peter Gabriel, Blake Shelton and Lifehouse should refresh the upper regions of the chart next week.

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