Album Sales: Usher dances to No. 1; Rush, Ed Sheeran start off strong

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Image Credit: Vallery Jean/FilmMagic

Here’s some news sure to make Usher “Scream.”

The R&B/pop crooner’s 7th studio album Looking 4 Myself topped the Billboard 200 in its debut week, shifting 128,000 copies. While that start can’t compare to the first-week sales of his last effort, 2010′s Raymond vs. Raymond, which sold 329,000 copies in its first week, that’s not exactly a surprise. Usher hasn’t produced a “DJ Got Us Falling In Love”-sized smash from Looking 4 Myself yet — the album’s lead single “Climax” only reached number 17, while its follow-up “Scream” has peaked at 13.

In second, Canadian prog-rockers Rush demonstrated remarkable resilience with their latest, Clockwork Angels, which moved 103,000 copies — up from the 93,000 their last album, 2007′s Snakes and Arrows, sold in its first week. In 2002, their Vapor Trails debuted with 110,000 units sold; the fact that their numbers haven’t eroded in the last decade is impressive.

Poor Adele got pushed all the way into third place with 21, which still hasn’t left the Top 10 after 69 weeks on the chart. The album dipped 16 percent to 63,000 this week and has sold 9.4 million copies total.

Deep-voiced country star Josh Turner opened in fourth place with 45,000 copies shifted of his fifth album Punching Bag. The singer has seen diminishing returns since his double platinum 2006 album Your Man, which featured singles “Would You Go With Me” and “Your Man.” His 2007 set Everything Is Fine was certified gold, but his 2010 effort Haywire couldn’t reach the same heights despite its sturdy 84,000-unit start. Punching Bag‘s lead single “Time Is Love” wasn’t Turner’s strongest, but he’s a country radio staple, and with the right single, the album could tick up in the future.

British import Ed Sheeran rounded out the Top 5 with his first album + (yes, the title of the album is a plus sign), which has already been a smash in Sheeran’s homeland, selling over 1 million copies. In its first week in the States, + sold 42,000 copies — as Billboard notes,  a whopping 79 percent of those were digital downloads. The songwriter recently played a show in New York City — check out the EW review HERE.

The rest of the Top 10 included One Direction’s Up All Night at No. 6 (39,000), Neil Young and Crazy Horse’s Americana at No. 7 (37,000), Alan Jackson’s Thirty Miles West at No. 8 (37,000). the Rock of Ages soundtrack at No. 9 (36,000), and Waka Flocka Flame’s Triple F Life at No. 10 (33,000).

More on EW.com:
On the scene: U.K. breakout Ed Sheeran and Anna Krantz play Brooklyn
Album Sales: Adele spends a 24th week at No. 1

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