Fabolous, outsold by Michael Jackson, tops the albums chart

Fabulous-Losos-Way_lFabolous puts out pretty much the same exact album every couple of years. Hey, it’s a pretty good album — why tamper with success? The 99,000 fans who, according to Nielsen SoundScan, bought this year’s model, Loso’s Way, represent a bit of a decline from the 150,000-ish base that’s turned out for the Brooklyn punchline master’s four previous releases in their respective first weeks. I doubt Fab cares too much about that, though: This being a slow week, 99,000 was still enough to win him his first No. 1 debut on the Billboard 200.

Here’s where I note that, yet again, Michael Jackson’s Number Ones was the actual top-selling album in the country this past week, with another 114,000 units shifted, but it didn’t count for the flagship Billboard 200 chart because it’s too old. It’s getting to the point where it’s more surprising when MJ doesn’t outsell the Billboard 200’s No. 1 — which is funny, since up until the week of Jackson’s death a catalog album had never accomplished that feat in Billboard history. I hate to keep harping on this point every Wednesday, but the fact is that Michael Jackson’s greatest hits continue to show the kind of chart legs that precious few new releases can muster these days. In fact, Number Ones has now sold 1.37 million copies in 2009 — more than any other album this year save Taylor Swift’s Fearless, which stands at about 1.5 million. And so the asterisks march on.

Returning to the Billboard 200, the only other top-20 debut this week came from Ashley Tisdale, whose Guilty Pleasure sold only 25,000 copies, less than half of the 64,000 her debut notched two years ago. No one ever said life after High School would be easy, did they?

What do you think of this week’s chart numbers? The comments section awaits below.

More from EW’s Music Mix:
Demi Lovato tops albums chart, but Michael Jackson outsells her
MTV’s Video Music Awards: Will it be Beyonce or Lady Gaga?
Watch Modest Mouse’s new Heath Ledger-directed video
Biz Markie, “Just A Friend”: The literal video!

Comments (15 total) Add your comment
  • Via

    This year’s model? Funny. I just expressed the same sentiment to someone about Fabolous. He’s definitely a student of the “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it,” theory of music making. On the other hand, I am kind of surprised that MJ is still selling. Not because his music wasn’t great, it’s just I figured people were purchasing his music in a nostalgic knee jerk reaction to the shocking news of his death. Now that the news has settled in, it is certainly impressive that he continues to outsell new music. But the thing is, very few artists are concerned with creating a timeless sound these days which is why they can’t muster those chart legs mentioned. It’s the reason that,try as he might, Jay Z can’t quite kill auto tune. If you add it to a so-so song, it almost becomes an instant radio hit. Everyone is concerned about that since lables aren’t in the business of artist development anymore.

  • Sean

    I do not understand the logic behind the Billboard 200. Singles like Walk This Way and Stand By Me, are allowed to re-enter the chart on the Hot 100 should they become hits again, why not albums?! Billboard has all kinds of charts that allow for cross-over or re-entry. While it is great to have the top catalog albums chart, the Billboard 200 should still reflect the 200 best selling titles at any given time, regardless of age. Charts in other countries simply reflect current best sellers. What is Billboards excuse?

    • Johnny

      Actually Sean, only singles that are actively being promoted at radio are allowed to debut on the Hot 100.
      Songs like Walk This Way & Stand By Me were either rerecorded or serviced to radio stations by record companies.

  • KKaran

    Boy! MJ really did know how to kick it up the notches even in death. Perhaps because he was into creating music that is timeless. Long live the King of Pop.

  • jrb

    I don’t know that artists aren’t interested in creating timeless music anymore (after all, how can we really say what is timeless in the present), but I can’t help but think that the Majors’ lack of desire to take risks and let artists develop is a huge part of the problem. Even major rock acts like Nickleback, who appear to have autonomy, are little more than post-grunge clones with bad attitudes to match their angry white male (and angry white female) fan base. Basically, they, along with most popular music is determined by market base. Surely, we’ve seen this can be practical and work for the short term. But perhaps what we can learn from this Michael Jackons sales boom is that artists need to do more than appeal to people with a predilection towards that style of music. It’s kind of like food–some weird dish with frog legs and scallops or something could be someone’s favorite food but they may never know it because everyone keeps making them hamburgers because, well, everyone love’s hamburgers. But down the road, odds are none of those hamburgers are going to be particularly memorable…

  • Angie

    I saw a vid on youtube about this, and the person clearly explain how the did everything possible to ignore Michaels albums on the list, just the same with rolling stones magaazine…

  • Selena

    That’s a shame. They should include Michael Jackson on the list!!! Cause he’s the one that deserves to be on there even though he’s selling more anyways.

  • sally1018

    Get Maxwell’s CD.

  • Nate

    Simon, we know! MJ is king and the billboard 200 doesn’t recognize it because of it’s rules, now get freaking over it and stop talking about it week in and week out.

  • Rich

    There’s no reason why Jackson can’t sit atop both the Catalog and Top 200 Charts simultaneously. I firmly believe the Top 200 Chart should reflect the “best-selling” albums of the week. Period. The age of the album should not be a factor. Billboard, you need a course in common sense.

  • Theresa

    Well,point is.Shows tht he will live on as the king.&& if he would have mad tht comeback he would have sum #1 hits.So whatever.He is the KING OF POP AND WIL ALWAYS BE THE KING OF POP!
    his songs live on forever.&& yet micheal has not left this world.His spirt is still here.Threw our hearts and his music.

  • Jenny

    These are links to a site,, blog and youtube where you’ll hear and can read close to 8 hours of (put together different phone conversations) back in 1992 between Michael and a very close friend of him Glenda.

    Her husband thought they were having an affair and taped them, but during the “chandler case” the police got their hands on it, but got pi**** off when they realise it only prooves how normal, healthy and into women MJ is! he talks about his life, father childhood, and all the women in his life that we had no idea about. during the conversation he talks about his recent affair with a 21 year from the royal family of BRUNEI who’s doesn’t want to marry the man her family has chosen for her but loves MJ and wants to stay in neverland etc….

    it’s an invasion of privacy i give you that, BUT it’s a hell of slap to MJ haters!



  • agent58
  • Muffy

    MJ did make his big comeback. Just not in the way we expected. RIP MJ.

  • alexaaaish

    ahhh no fair. MJ should be number one no matter how old =)

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