Sia Earns First Top Spot on U.S. Album Charts

Aussie chanteuse Sia collected her first U.S. No. 1 album with by far the smallest chart-topping numbers in recent memory.

The vocalist, born Sia Furler, commanded the domestic album chart as her Monkey Puzzle/RCA set “1000 Forms of Fear” moved 52,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan data for the week ending July 13. Sia, who has logged several collaborative pop, dance, and rap hits as a singer and writer, is currently riding her own breakout single, “Chandelier.”

The album’s victory is something of a Pyrrhic one, from an industry standpoint, for “1000 Forms of Fear” notched the lowest sales for a No. 1 album since August 2012, when the Zac Brown Band’s “Uncaged” moved 48,000. Amos Lee’s “Mission Bell” sold a record low 40,000 copies in 2011.

Two other albums made meek debuts during the stanza. Incredibly, veteran metal act Judas Priest scored its first top-10 album and highest U.S. debut with its 17th studio release “Redeemer of Souls” (Epic), which captured No. 6 with sales of 33,000. The 40-year-old unit’s previous peak came in 2008, when “Nostradamus” reached No. 11.

Huntington Beach reggae-rock fusion act the Dirty Heads took the No. 8 slot with their fourth studio effort “Sound of Change” (Five Seven), tracking 21,000. It’s the band’s first top 10 title; the group rose to No. 18 in 2012 with “Cabin By the Sea.”

Filling out the top 10 were the “Frozen” soundtrack (No. 2, 46,000 sold, up 23%), Sam Smith’s “In the Lonely Hour” (No. 3, 42,000, down 6%), Trey Songz’s “Trigga” (No. 4, 35,000, down 66%), Ed Sheeran’s “x” (No. 5, 35,000, off 34%), the “Now 50” compilation (No. 7, 22,000, flat), Miranda Lambert’s “Platinum” (No. 9, 20,000, off 20%) and Lana Del Rey’s “Ultraviolence” (No. 10, 18,000, down 29%). “Frozen” saw a lift from steep discounting by Amazon MP3 and Google Play; Songz’s and Sheeran’s albums were separated by about 300 units.

Pop singer Jason Mraz, post-punk icon Morrissey and parodist “Weird Al” Yankovic are leading contenders for next week’s top 10.

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