Beyonce tops Billboard albums chart -- but marks her lowest debut as a solo star

Macys-Beyonce

Image Credit: WireImage.com

Beyoncé, unsurprisingly, leads the Billboard 200 albums chart this week with her fourth album, 4.

What should raise a few eyebrows, however, is that it sold 310,000 copies—her lowest opening yet as a solo artist. Her 2003 debut Dangerously in Love opened with 317,000 albums.

Considering that 4 has yet to spawn a hit single, the numbers actually do make sense, though. Her first pitch, “Run the World (Girls),” failed to crack the top 25 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart, marking the first time that a lead single from Beyoncé didn’t jump into the top 10.

For comparison and contrast, Lady Gaga’s Born This Way debuted with a robust 1.1 million (with the caveat that her sales were significantly goosed by a 99-cent Amazon price run) and Adele’s 21 bowed with 351,000 albums.

Adele’s 21 continues to hang in some five months after its release, jumping back up one spot to No. 2, with 92,000 units sold. At No. 3 is Kanye West protege Big Sean’s debut album Finally Famous, with 87,000 sets bought.

Check out the rest out the top 10 after the jump.

July 6, 2011′s Billboard 200 albums top 10

No. 1 – Beyoncé, 4, 310,000

No. 2 – Adele, 21 – 92,000

No. 3 – Big Sean, Finally Famous – 87,000

No. 4 – Selena Gomez & the Scene, When the Sun Goes Down: 78,000

No. 5 – Jill Scott, The Light of the Sun: 55,000

No. 6 – Jason Aldean, My Kinda Party: 48,000

No. 7 – David Cook, This Loud Morning: 46,000

No. 8 – Jackie Evancho, Dream With Me: 44,000

No. 9 – Bad Meets Evil, Hell: the Sequel: 42,000

No. 10 – Scotty McCreery, American Idol Season 10 Highlights: 40,000

Comments (81 total) Add your comment
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  • Sebastion

    ALL HAIL THE QUEEN!!! GO BEY0NCE’.

    • Johnny

      The queen that is not even 30 and already unable to get a hit from a lead single from a highly anticipated new album? And her second single is already struggling to get any significant airplay. The queen is showing her age… LOL

      • Sebastion

        Her 2nd single is moving up the charts. Before long it will be number one. Dont count her out just bc her first single didnt go to number one.

      • Frank

        #1’s await if they do the Gaga stunt….99cents!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • psychoanalyzer

        Oh please, have you even listened to her album? This is her most soulful and mature album to date. It doesn’t have any huge Single Ladies songs on there (thank goodness), but it brought back soul, R&B, and depth to mainstream music. It’s hands down better than anything on the radio today.

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  • mm

    Beyonce’s album is excellent. Different, eccentric, soulful. Even if it isn’t a big hit, she should be proud of it

    • SaraS

      I like her, but wouldn’t buy this album. A song like “Best You Never Had” is a perfect example why — what a great song, with an interesting concept, and she OVER-sings the entire thing. Sing all crazy on the live version, Beyonce. I don’t need you screaming at me while I drive my car to work.

  • Dee Jones

    That`s a hit considering the music business today. They put so much on her because of her star status. No albums are doing well these days.

  • Matt

    It’s still the 3rd best debut of the year – With Adele being the unstoppable powerhouse and Gaga’s Amazon gimmick, I still think that’s pretty good.

    • PN

      That she could sell as well as Adele’s album her first week and be the 3rd best selling this year proves that females are doing it these days on the charts! They’re doing their thing! You go girl, Beyonce!!!!!

  • Strepsi

    I think it’s only a small drop, and consider as well that
    “Girls Rule the WOrld” is not nearly as good as “Single Ladies”
    and “Best Thing I Never Had” is not nearly as good as “Halo”
    … so all in all numbers seem fair.

  • One

    I like her dress in the pic.

  • Jay

    I think it’s also pretty darn good considering the full album leaked three weeks before its release.

  • PN

    I think the sales are parallel to the lower selling album sales going on with most artists now. But that’s a good start for Beyonce with 310,000 despite not having a top 10 hit on the Hot 100 with her two singles from the album stalling in the 20s and 30s. I think people are buying it for the quality of the songs and don’t care if the singles do well or not. This is the album Beyonce wants to do,not what the corporate suits at the label want.

    • Meg

      No. This is the first week, these sales are the staunch fans who rushed out and bought her album sight unseen. They would buy the album no matter what. It’s the subsequent weeks that will tell the tale. But not having any hit record on the radio bodes badly for the album’s staying power. I wouldn’t be surprised if it had a steep drop next week.

      • divalicious

        At least she didn’t go desperate like Gaga and started selling her album for 99 cents.

      • James

        No offense but gage aint desperate honey. Gaga is by far the hottest female artist out right now, makes B look dated. Its just there’s so much competition now. Then you have young ones coming up like Pia Toscano etc. B will never sell like she did BUT she’ll always be one of the best ever.

      • Ken Barb

        If Gaga is so hot then why are Adele & Katy Perry crushing her on the charts right now?

  • jfms777

    I wonder if it will have “staying power.” Adele has staying power. Gaga
    not so much (at this stage).

    • Mike

      The Gaga backlash would’ve been much more obvious if her first-week sales hadn’t been propped up by those 99cent downloads. EW seems incapable of writing articles that are critical of Gaga, but shouldn’t it be sounding alarms that Born This Way is already out of the top 10, while Adele is still at #2???

      And, by the way, I’m a big fan of Born This Way (the album, not the song), so please don’t call me a hater.

  • Jen

    You mean to tell me that the CD of the Decade is NOT EVEN IN THE TOP 10…after only a few weeks???? Nah, I wouldn’t believe it. Those little monters would pay bazillions to listen to her mouth words in German. Did Gaga even have to stunt her CD sales in the first place? Before you monsters break out the heehee….giggle…um..claws that Gaga had NOTHING to do with Amazons ‘promotion’, she certainly was able to TERMINATE her CD association with Target with no problem. The woman is a two-faced fraud. Judas flopped and The Edge of Glory is fading fast. What to do…go on the cover of gay magazine The Advocate…gotta galvanize the gays!!!!!!!!!! Gaga’s peeps and the recipients of her self-proclaimed anthem, Born This Way. I’m relishing in the fact that Gaga isn’t the Superstar she calls herself. People are finally getting fed up with her….and Amazon can only do so much.

    • fancypants

      It seems like Adele’s 21 is the album of the decade, if any. Lady Gaga was foolish to hype her album so much. If your work is supposed to be so great, let other people hype it for you….let the work speak for itself. Like Adele. There’s no attention-whoring from Adele, she just puts her talent and her music front and center. Adele is truly a breath of fresh air. She has no gimmicks, just great music and real talent.

    • Amanda

      Gaga is as big a fraud and nontalent as I have seen in YEARS! And YES EW should be talking about why Gaga’s album is at number 12 this week. And EW should shut up about Beyonce,who had a leak 3 weeks before her debut. Gaga had a YEAR of promo,quips about this being the album of the decade and then put out Madonna’s Express yourself! And Billboard was wrong to allow that Amazon sale thing to stand,their own rules prohibit bundled sales and giveaways counting,so they should not have counted whatsoever. And frankly,the rest of the downloads on ITunes were probably bought by her label,just like so many of her singles look to be! Born this way was NOT requested at all according to many a DJ yet they were ORDERED to play it! What does that mean except Payola? Just like Just Dance was “suddenly” discovered by Dj’s after a year of release…yeah right! Whatever,Gaga is a fraud and no one in the PUBLIC is buying that crap album. The public IS buying Adele and Beyonce,who both have fine albums. It is what it is…

      • MultiPass

        in years?? You’re like what, 12? Shut your piehole you idiot. go buy what you like and stop making stupid remarks about someone else’s choice in music.

      • killy

        Lol, the public isn’t buying beyonce’s music! All her singles have flopped, and her album will see at least a 40% drop in sales, so yes Gaga’s album will outsell hers not to mention the singles.

      • @killy

        The public is buying Beyonce’s music. Can you not read?

    • Michael

      Gaga sold over one million copies, she is not a fraud. PS, you’re not doing Bey or Adele any favors by dissing another artist. Bey’s CD is amazing, and it doesn’t require trashing another artist to hype it up. By the way, if Madonna can publicly endorse BTW you need to give the whole rip off thing a rest.

    • MultiPass

      WHY DO YOU CARE???? It is so bizarre that kids like you give a sh!t about this minutia. If you don’t like Lady Gaga, fine. I mean great. I mean… who cares? Spending so much of your time hating and pondering and calculating whether someone fails (which I would hardly call it, but that’s a different matter), is a sign of mental illness. You don’t even know this person, she does absolutely nothing to you or for you, you have never met her, you will never have a personal relationship with her… You can’t claim to know anything about her except you don’t like her music and you have decided that her marketing strategy was somehow… below your standards (is that what this is about? your marketing strategy standards?) yet, you spend all this energy on writing a venomous essay about her. It’s really really weird and sad and… just pathetic. All you people who do this geeky artist versus artist thing like they are some sports team or coke and pepsi or ford and chevy…. you are complete idiots. truly.

      • Frank

        Wow…having a difference of opinion (that is NOT your of course) is now considered ‘mental illness’. Lady Gaga expects the world to fall at her absurdly high heels…she’s everywhere…says outlandish things…wears silly costumes….has questionable marketing ploys (Japanese bracelet fiasco, Target, Amazon)….99% of the world hears Express Yourself in her self proclaimed ‘anthem’ BTW…Uses the gay population at will (which prompted gay magazine The Advocate to even ask her about that charge!)….and WE’RE the ones that have mental illness???!!! I just had to laugh. You’ll defend her to ends of the Earth. Sorry, but not everyone is so enamored by her and can see right through her stupid persona. I’m surprised you all care so much what others think since having a thick skin is one of Gaga’s endless sermons. Now please go back to following her like the pied piper and hopefully she’ll lead YOU right to Dr. Phil.

      • MultiPass

        I am not defending Lady Gaga, idiot. Read my post again. I’m making a comment about people like you who are obsessively trashing her (or anyone else for that matter). I don’t actually care what anyone thinks about her, nor do I even care all that much about her. What vexes me is this culture of hate. If you don’t like her, why do you even pay attention? Why do you compare her to other artists like it matters? Why make such a fuss? Why bother at all? focus on what you like, buy that, enjoy it. Don’t spend your precious time on this weird negativity about a pop star. It’s sick.

    • Agustin

      Jen, your comment was right on! I was thinking the same thing! Not in the top 10? The “album of the decade”? Pleaseeeee

    • Drew

      The public is buying Adele’s music because she is newer to a lot of people, because she is good, and because she has broader appeal. Lady Gaga has reached such an insane height of popularity that she is bound to lose and upset some people. Born This Way and 21 are both great, but Lady Gaga’s music is weirder and much less pleasant than Adele’s which certainly majorly contributes to the difference in sales. I don’t even care about all of Gaga’s bizarre extracurricular activities as long as her music continues to be awesome and interesting.

  • fancypants

    Beyonce’s album did decently at 310,00 in its first week. Britney’s album sold less (276,000 copies) and EW acted like that was a huge success. Beyonce should have released “End of Time” as the first single. It has all the making of a Billboard Hot 100 #1 song.

    • Jase

      No, EW did not act like Britney’s album was a huge success (although its done just fine). The only female pop star EW is consistently nice about is GaGa.

      • liz

        Maybe because she’s the most powerful woman in the world?

      • fancypants

        Hillary Clinton is the most powerful woman in the world. You must be delusional if you think it’s some pop singer.

  • RihannaLover

    Yeah, Queen Bee is suffering from being overexposed. The cd is boring and without a real single, she’s finally getting what she deserves..And her demented stans are feeling it as well. Karma is a B1TCH.

    • fancypants

      No one is more overexposed than Rihanna. She’s released an album every year for the past 6 years, except for 2008. You sound like a demented stan yourself.

      • RihannaLover

        And you will stay mad at my post B1TCH! And why did you bring up Rihanna? Because you are threatened by her..this had nothing to do with her..it’s about Beyonce and her soon to be flop album..Deal Bey stain!

      • fancypants

        I brought up Rihanna because of your biased and overzealous name. You sound like you have mental issues. There is no reason to be “threatened” by Rihanna so you have no point there.

    • Beyoncé Fan

      @RihannaLover Oh please Rihanna is no match for Beyoncé,she is the Queen she is a hell lot more talented than Rihanna take that B.I.C.T.H

  • Rob

    I love how EW is starting the ball rolling that this will be a flop for Beyonce but doesn’t even mention that Gaga’s CD fell out of the top ten altogether…which to me is the bigger story.

    • RihannaLover

      Well considering that Lady GooGoo gets as much coverage as any of the pop chick, I’m surprised they haven’t said anything either about her falling out the top ten. But her selling a million copies is HUGE and will be the big story of this year. Beyonce will be in the shadows! YES!

      • divalicious

        And 600 thousand of those albums were sold under the Amazon 99 cent deal…I don’t think Gaga should be relishing in that so called “achievement.” And you are honestly making Rihanna fans look bad with your comments. I like both Rihanna AND Beyonce, but when Rihanna has sold over 70 million albums, has charted seven number one albums and won sixteen Grammy Awards, then you can talk about who’s the better Diva. You should know better.

      • MultiPass

        You are both idiots. If you like the music, fine. Who cares how much it sells? the point is to buy what YOU like because YOU like it, not spend your geek time trying to argue to a fan of a different artist that you are somehow right or your team… err, I mean your cola… ooops I mean your artist is somehow better or more deserving of sales. There is no right or wrong here. Believe it or not, children, it is ACTUALLY POSSIBLE TO LIKE MORE THAN ONE ARTIST AT A TIME!!! it’s true!! You don’t need a favorite one. this isn’t kindergarten and your favorite color in the whole wide world being blue.

        Christ. This species is so doomed.

      • Daniel

        Multipass…Your comments are delusional. The species is doomed just because some people are not loving Gaga and question her motives??? Gaga’s self-proclaimed CD of the decade is NOT even in the top 10 after a month of release and that’s NOT news?? I mean obviously she’s still making her revolutionary music and still wearing those attention getting costumes right? What went wrong? Why did Amazon release BTW for 99cents? Gaga didn’t OK THAT you say….well she did have the power to veto her BTW association with Target…so why can’t she have the power with Amazon? She doesn’t need the money (even though she whined that her tour didn’t make money) so much as the crowing ability to say her sales matches her tweeting ability to name a CD…5 months from release no less…to such ACCLAIM. I think the species is doomed from you all fawning over her…not the people who see through her silly outfits. I’d rather be a ‘geek’ than a FOOL. You all deserve each other. I hope this comment made you even more frazzled about society. Not about Casey Anthony, our economy, the environment, etc….just some posters having the guts to call out Gaga.

      • MultiPass

        Note, sweetie: a comment, unto itself, cannot be “delusional”. Only a person can be delusional, smarta$$. You’re unsuccessful in making me frazzled, I was simply venting. Actually what you did, little Danny, is merely galvanize my whole point. Which was that you are sick. You and the other people spending all this time writing these tirade essays against Lady Gaga’s marketing tactics are CRAZY!! why do you care? I have no skin in the game, I don’t care about Lady Gaga one way or the other. And you clearly aren’t a fan, so…. why spend all this time obsessively tracking her and attempting to call out her sales strategies and trying to make some case that NO ONE CARES ABOUT that she was somehow cheating? There is no cheating, you idiot. This is just a business. this is not some sports game where there are rules, there are no winners. It’s just sales, pure and simple.

        In fact, your sad, obsessive devotion to crowing about her supposed failures like anyone actually cares what you think or it makes any difference at all to anyone except you ACTUALLY makes you quite delusional.

        Ironic, isn’t it?

  • Frank

    I feel bad (if the rumors are true) that Adele is being hounded by her record company to lose weight. How ironic that Gaga is praised left & right (and already branded ICONIC by the fashion crowd) for wearing meat, kermits, and hay…but poor Adele is crucified for daring to not have a zero waist.

    • Michael

      I’m a bit disturbed that you compare Gaga and Adele; musically they’re nothing alike. It would not surprise me if Adele’s record label is pressuring her to lose weight; it happened to Heart’s Ann Wilson and Wilson Phillips’ Carnie Wilson. As for fashion, I think Adele dresses well but she’s not outrageous enough to be called a fashion icon, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. Her voice is astounding.

    • whatevs

      She’s never going to be a zero, or even close to it, but I get what you mean.

    • MultiPass

      She should at least stop smoking. I don’t care if she is fat but I would hate to see that amazing voice go to waste

  • xavier

    I think b did really good seeing she can’t get one good single to hit the top 10….anyway my Grl drops that new single in 2weeks…and I bet it goes #1….ASHANTI IS BACK AND WILL BE TAKING OVER ……THE hateRS PLS BEGAN HATEING

    • pretty in pink

      Ashanti died way back in 2002 with Ja Rule’s music career.

    • webnutt

      Ashanti is back and will be taking over???…Please tell me you are sarcastically joking! I like Ashanti personally but no one has to be a hater to know that simply can not, will not and simply is not happening.

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