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Kelly Clarkson Nabs No. 1 on U.S. Album Chart with ‘Piece By Piece’

The recent streak of albums debuting atop the U.S. album chart continues this week with Kelly Clarkson’s new record, “Piece by Piece.”

Clarkson’s seventh studio album moved 97,000 units in the week ending March 8, according to data from Nielsen Music. “Piece by Piece” marks the original “American Idol” winner’s third album to reach No. 1 on the Billboard Top 200 chart, along with 2009’s “All I Ever Wanted” and her 2003 debut, “Thankful.”

The big debut of “Piece by Piece” serves as a victory for Clarkson against her recent detractors, who have criticized the singer for her weight and lack of originality. Though Clarkson proved that she could handle her critics, the success of her new album surely helps her case.

Coming in right behind Clarkson at No. 2 is the soundtrack of “Fifty Shades of Grey” with 96,000 units sold, up from No. 3 last week but still down 11%. The collection’s lead single, Ellie Goulding’s infectious “Love Me Like You Do,” recently broke Spotify’s record for most streams in one week.

Rounding out the girl power of this week’s top three is Taylor Swift’s unsinkable “1989,” climbing two rungs from last week with 77,000 units moved. In the 19 weeks since her album dropped, Swift has not budged from the top five.

Drake holds his own with mixtape “If You’re Reading This, It’s Too Late,” remaining at No. 4 with 73,000 units moved last week, down 26%. Perhaps Toronto’s golden boy will see a bump in sales as the Drizzy app — which lets users text Drake lyrics from an iOS keyboard with the touch of a button — continues to boom.

Apart from a second debut album cracking the top 10 this week — singer-songwriter Brandi Carlile’s lukewarm 43,000 unit launch of “The Firewatcher’s Daughter” at No. 9 — the rest of the chart offers few surprises.

Big Sean dropped from No. 1 to No. 6 in his second week on the cart with “Dark Sky Paradise,” down 67% with 58,000 units sold. Ed Sheeran’s “X” moved 63,000 units, down 14% but still good for fifth place, and Sam Smith remains in eighth place, with “In the Lonely Hour” moving 50,000, down 17%.

Maroon 5 inched up to No. 7 after coming in 10th last week, up a meager 1% with 50,000 copies of “V” moved. Meghan Trainor’s “Title” bops back up to top-10 territory after dipping to 13th place last week with 38,000 units moved.

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