The top of the U.S. album chart presented a study in contrasts last week, as Eminem’s hard-edged side project Bad Meets Evil and tyke vocalist Jackie Evancho debuted at No. 1 and No. 2, respectively.
“Hell: The Sequel” (Aftermath), reunion of Eminem and his Detroit homeboy Royce da 5’9, bowed at the top with a 171,000-unit first week, according to Nielsen SoundScan figures for the week ending Sunday.
Collaborative project succeeded Eminem’s 2010 smash “Recovery,” which has sold 3.9 million to date and still hovers in the national top 50, registering at No. 41.
Evancho’s major-league album debut “Dream With Me” (Columbia) entered in the penultimate slot with 161,000 sold. The 11-year-old former “America’s Got Talent” runner-up made a splash late last year with her bestselling holiday EP “O Holy Night.”
Strong debuts shoved Adele’s “21″ (Columbia) down two posts to No. 3 after 10 non-consecutive weeks at No. 1. Year’s bestselling collection (2.3 million) continues to sell at a six-figure weekly clip, toting 115,000 in its 17th frame.
Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” (Interscope) continued to fade, dropping to No. 4 in its fourth week with 68,000 shifted (off 33%). Jason Aldean’s “My Kinda Party” (Broken Bow) climbed into the top 5, reaching No. 5 behind a 51,000-unit stanza (up 26%).
Owl City’s third album “All Things Bright and Beautiful” (Universal Republic) arrived at No. 6 with 48,000 sold out of the box. Bedroom synth-popper Adam Young made his highest debut to date with his third full-length set.
Barry Manilow returned to the top 10 with “15 Minutes,” which bowed at No. 7 with a 36,000-unit score. It’s the pop singer-songwriter’s first set of new original material since 2001; he has concentrated on interpretive collections of standards for the past five years.
R&B vocalist Ledisi reached a personal best last week as “Pieces of Me” (Verve Forecast) debuted at No. 8 with 36,000 sold. Her previous album “Turn Me Loose” peaked at No. 14 in 2009.
Brad Paisley’s “This Is Country Music” (No. 9, 35,000 sold, down 8%) and the “Book of Mormon” original cast recording (No. 10, 34,000, off 45%) rounded out the top 10.