Black Friday boosts all 10 top albums to six-figure sales
Kanye West’s “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy” blew in at No. 1 on the U.S. album chart. And all the albums in the top 10 — five of them debuts — sported six-digit sales figures in the post-Black Friday afterglow.The shoot-from-the-lip rapper’s fifth set sold 496,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan figures for the week of Nov. 22-28, for the fourth-highest No. 1 bow of the year. Roc-A-Fella/Def Jam package is West’s fourth consecutive No. 1 debut and his first since his highly publicized contretemps with Taylor Swift at the 2009 MTV Awards. “Fantasy” benefited from West’s decision to preview tracks from the album on his Web page, as well as hyperactive dialog on his Twitter account. Nicki Minaj’s first album, “Pink Friday” (Young Money), was a Black Friday hit, ringing up debut sales of 375,000 units, good for No. 2. Distaff member of Lil Wayne’s Young Money posse has cut a number of high-profile collaborations with Mariah Carey, Ludacris, Trey Songz and West. The hip-hop invasion dislodged Susan Boyle’s holiday collection “The Gift” (Columbia) from its chart-topping perch of two weeks. The matronly Scottish songbird settled for No. 3, notching sales of 263,000 in a 21% decline. Taylor Swift’s “Speak Now” (Big Machine) was the big beneficiary of the holiday shopping rush. Set gained 64% (the only boost in the top 10) and rose five slots to No. 4, selling 241,000. Country-pop vocalist’s album is now hovering near the 2 million mark after five weeks in stores. “America’s Got Talent” phenom Jackie Evancho’s “O Holy Night” (Columbia) fell three positions to No. 5, shifting 142,000 units (a 41% decline) in its second frame. Rihanna’s “Loud” (Def Jam) dropped three slots in its second week, moving 141,000 (off 32%). Justin Bieber’s “My Worlds Acoustic” (Island) arrived at No. 7 with a 115,000-unit debut week. Sales of the teen star’s third release, while not as impressive as his earlier numbers, are still notable, since the acoustic set was available only at Walmart outlets. My Chemical Romance’s “Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys” (Warner Bros.) moved in at No. 8, bowing with 112,000 shifted. Jersey act’s latest conceptual album is the long-gestating sequel to 2006′s well-received “The Black Parade.” Ne-Yo’s “Libra Scale” (Def Jam) arrived at No. 9, trailing My Chemical Romance’s out-of-the-box total by less than 300 units. Bow for R&B singer’s fourth studio set must be deemed tepid: 2008′s “Year of the Gentleman” entered at No. 2, while his previous two collections topped the chart. The “Glee” cast’s “Glee: The Music: The Christmas Album” (Columbia) dropped two poles to No. 10, with 108,000 units moved (off 33%). Just outside the top 10, Kid Rock’s “Born Free” (Atlantic) maintained its six-figure pace, drifting down six positions to No. 11 with 104,000 sold in a 45% decline. Despite the robust week, some label execs must be distressed by swiftly cooling sales of new titles by such established stars as Josh Groban (No. 12 this week), Rascal Flatts (No. 13) and Keith Urban (No. 14). Next week, the Black Eyed Peas’ “The Beginning,” a sequel to their tireless 2009 package “The E.N.D.,” will leap onto the chart.
For all variety's headlines, follow us @variety on twitter