Rihanna collected her first No. 1 album this week, as “Unapologetic” topped the U.S. album chart with the pop-R&B singer’s biggest sales week to date.
The Def Jam album bowed at the top with a first-week tally of 238,000 copies sold, according to Nielsen SoundScan data for the week ended Nov. 25. It succeeded her No. 1 single “Diamonds.”
The sultry vocalist’s previous personal best came in 2007, when “Good Girl Gone Bad” placed at No. 2. Last year’s “Talk That Talk” peaked at No. 3.
The singer — whose much-hyped, lightning “777” tour of seven cities in seven days with an airborne posse of journalists and fans prefaced the set’s release — was the major beneficiary of post-Thanksgiving sales.
The Black Friday retail rush pushed nine of the national top 10, including four debuts, to sales of more than 100,000. Last year, eight of the top 10 titles sold in six figures.
Taylor Swift hung onto No. 2 with her fourth studio album, “Red” (Big Machine), which tracked 185,000 units (up 28%) in its fifth week; the set has topped the 2 million mark. Last week’s No. 1 debut, One Direction’s “Take Me Home,” slipped to No. 3 with sales of 176,000 (off 67%).
Reigning “American Idol” champ Phillip Phillips’ first full-fledged album, “The World From the Side of the Moon” (19/Interscope), arrived at No. 4 with a 169,000-unit score. Phillips warmed up for his official debut with a compilation album and an EP earlier this year.
Detroit rap-rocker Kid Rock’s “Rebel Soul” (Atlantic) charged in with a 146,000-copy first week. Set equaled the peak position of his previous album, “Born Free,” released two years ago this month.
Rod Stewart’s “Merry Christmas Baby” (Verve) continued to spread seasonal sales cheer, holding at No. 6 with 117,000 (up 47%).
Running up sales behind mass merchant discounting on Black Friday and a chatter-producing American Music Awards shot, Pink’s “The Truth About Love” (RCA) vaulted back into the top 10 at No. 7, making a 334% leap and gaining 15 chart positions with a 114,000-copy stanza. Collection became the singer’s first No. 1 set in September.
Another returning No. 1, Jason Alden’s “Night Train” (Broken Bow), was launched back to No. 8 with a 157% gain, reaping 103,000.
Metal gods Led Zeppelin returned with “Celebration Day” (Atlantic), an audio-video package documenting the band’s 2007 reunion set at London’s O2 Arena. Title bowed at No. 9 with a 101,000-unit week. Band last appeared in the top 10 in 2007, when the hits package “Mothership” rose to No. 7.
R&B singer Keyshia Cole rounded out the top 10 with “Woman to Woman” (Geffen), which debuted at No. 10 with 96,000. It’s the vocalist’s fifth consecutive top-10 release; the run began with her 2005 bow “The Way It Is.”
In an historic footnote, Adele’s “21” (Columbia) topped the U.S. 10 million mark in its 92nd chart week with a 28,000-unit frame (good for No. 35 on the chart). The blockbuster album is the bestselling title of both 2011 and 2012.
Alicia Keys’ “Girl on Fire,” featuring the title hit, will weigh in on the chart next week.