Country trio sold 481,000 units in its first week

On the strength of its titular hit single, Lady Antebellum’s “Need You Now” swept in at No. 1 on the national album chart last week.

Hot country trio’s Capitol Nashville release sold 481,000 units in its first week in stores, according to Nielsen SoundScan data for the week ended Sunday. Group’s self-titled debut release remains potent on the chart, hanging in at No. 15 with a 32% gain, moving 24,000.

It was an upbeat stanza for struggling EMI Music, fourth-ranked among the big four labels, as two other acts from the company’s stable also bowed in the top 10.

U.K. songbird Corinne Bailey Rae’s “The Sea” (Capitol) entered at No. 7 with a 53,000-unit debut week, while Celt-pop unit Celtic Woman’s “Songs From the Heart” (Manhattan) arrived at No. 9, moving 42,000.

Back near the top of the chart, thedigital-only “Hope for Haiti Now” benefit compilation, which made history with its No. 1 debut, dropped to No. 2 with 143,000 downloads sold (down 16%). Lady Gaga’s “The Fame” (Interscope) held at No. 3; Sunday’s Grammy Awards leadoff hitter marked a 10% gain, selling 68,000.

For the first time in two months, Susan Boyle’s “I Dreamed a Dream” (Syco/Columbia) occupied a position lower than No. 2: Scottish thrush’s bow slipped to No. 4, declining 31% with 59,000 sold.

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, Barry Manilow’s “The Greatest Love Songs of All Time” (Arista) entered at No. 5, moving a romantic 57,000.

Michael Jackson’s “This Is It” (Epic) bounced up 11 chart rungs to No. 6, no doubt lofted by the like-titled doc’s arrival on DVD last week. Posthumous compilation gained 136%, selling 55,000.

Though the Grammycast witnessed a huge ratings gain on Sunday, its companion “2010 Grammy Nominees” disc (EMI) lost its initial steam, falling three positions to No. 8 in its second week, off 7%. The hits compilation sold 45,000.

Rounding out the top 10, those inevitable Black Eyed Peas marched on: “The E.N.D.” (Interscope) slipped a notch to No. 10 despite a 14% rise, selling 40,000 in its 34th week.

This week’s chart should witness big bumps for Grammy winners and performers. Despite multiple delays, online leaks and negative advance word, rapper Lil Wayne’s “Rebirth,” finally released Tuesday, is primed for a big debut; the first solo effort by Nick Jonas of the Jonas Brothers and his band the Administration also looms large.

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