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Album sales: Madonna's 'MDNA' debuts at No. 1, Lionel Richie's 'Tuskegee' lands in second

You gave her all your luvin’, gave her your luv – and now Madonna is sitting pretty atop the Billboard 200, for the eighth time!

Madge’s latest album, MDNA, sold 359,000 copies in its first week, which was well ahead of her last effort (2008′s Hard Candy started with 280,000), and the pop star’s best sales week since her successful 2000 set Music bowed with 420,000.

MDNA marks Madonna’s fifth straight No. 1 debut; if she can keep up the momentum and manage one more, she will tie Barbra Streisand as the female artist with the most chart-topping albums. (Streisand, who turns 70 this month, has had nine.)

Interestingly, Madonna achieved these MDNA numbers without a hit single currently making waves. The first track released from MDNA, “Give Me All Your Luvin’,” a cheer-pop dance tune featuring Nicki Minaj and M.I.A., debuted at No. 10 on the Hot 100 but quickly faded. Her followup, “Girl Gone Wild,” is just now beginning its run. So what’s behind her big sales uptick? First off, her performance during the Super Bowl halftime show put Madonna in front of 113 million(!) viewers. On top of that, U.S. ticket buyers for Madonna’s upcoming world tour had the option of receiving a copy of MDNA with their purchase; a similar strategy helped propel both Bon Jovi’s Lost Highway and Tom Petty’s Mojo to No. 1. READ FULL STORY

Album sales: One Direction makes history with No. 1 debut of 'Up All Night'

A few months ago, we asked you, “Are boy bands officially back?” According to this week’s Billboard 200, the answer is a resounding “Yes.”

British boy band One Direction debuted atop the chart with their first album, Up All Night, which sold an impressive 176,000 copies in its first week. In doing so, Simon Cowell’s fivesome, who are signed to SYCO/Columbia, became the first-ever British act to debut atop the Billboard 200 with its debut disc. The former highest Brit debut was the Spice Girls’ Spice, which started at No. 6 in 1997, although it did climb to No. 1 three months later.

One Direction turned industry heads a few weeks ago when their American television debut on The Today Show drew over 10,000 screaming fans into Rockefeller Center, but before this week, the group hadn’t demonstrated much sales power Stateside.

Remarkably, their debut single “What Makes You Beautiful,” which currently sits at No. 33 on the Hot 100 (and was predicted as the spring’s biggest song by EW readers), has only been available in America for five weeks. But in a YouTube-driven industry, international artists are available to fans at the click of a mouse (the music video has garnered over 75 million views since its debut in August) — tweens had more than enough time to fall for their new obsession via the Internet. READ FULL STORY

Album sales: Bruce Springsteen's 'Wrecking Ball' finally knocks Adele's '21' out of the top spot

The Boss scored his tenth No. 1 debut on the Billboard 200 this week with his latest album, Wrecking Ball, selling an impressive 196,000 copies.

In doing so, Springsteen matched Elvis’ record of ten number ones, making them the only two male solo rock artists to ever achieve the feat. (Jay-Z, meanwhile, has had twelve No. 1 debuts, including collaboration albums.)

Chart queen Adele just barely missed the top spot for a 24th week. Her album 21 had to settle for a second-place finish, selling 195,000 and blazing past the 8 million mark in total sales. 21 is the first album to sell 8 million copies since Usher’s Confessions passed that plateau in January 2005.

Lady Antebellum’s Own the Night (+437 percent), Coldplay’s Mylo Xyloto (+567 percent),  Drake’s Take Care (+97 percent), Lil Wayne’s Tha Carter IV (+173 percent), and Now 41 (+235 percent) all received major boosts thanks to special one-day 25 cent sales on Google Play last week, which were matched by AmazonMP3.

According to Billboard, none of these titles are affected by the rule change that went into effect in November after Lady Gaga’s Born This Way was sold for 99 cents in its first week. The magazine says that “only albums priced below $3.49 during their first four weeks of release will not be eligible for inclusion on the Billboard album charts,” and these have all been out for at least five frames.

Country star Luke Bryan’s annual springtime EP, Spring Break 4: Suntan City, sold 30,000 copies. His most recent album Tailgates and Tanlines, which debuted in August, sits at No. 18 and has sold 831,000 copies so far. In tenth, Andrew Bird’s Break It Yourself also moved 30,000 copies, his best sales week ever.

Check out the Top 10 below: READ FULL STORY

TV Jukebox: 'Portlandia,' 'The Walking Dead,' 'Awake' and more music-on-TV moments

Canoe dancing, cocaine overdoses, and car crashes were just some of TV’s strange scenarios made momentous by music these past two weeks. As some shows concluded their seasons, and others just got started, we found “show tunes” from past Jukebox favorites A Gifted Man, Parenthood, Cougar Town, Hawaii Five-0, The Lying Game, and New Girl, plus new entries from Eastbound and DownJustified, Portlandia, Jane By Design, The Walking DeadAwake, and the British version of Being Human. Check out our picks below. (Warning for those still catching up on DVR: SPOILERS ahead!) READ FULL STORY

Album Sales: Adele, Whitney make up half the Top 10; 'We Are Young' rockers fun. debut at No. 3

Nine straight weeks. That’s how long Adele’s 21 has sat atop the Billboard 200 in 2012.

(The disc has been at No. 1 for 22 weeks total — the most since Prince’s 1984 album Purple Rain.) This week, the Grammy-winning, Brit Award bird-flipping, generally beloved diva, whose song “Set Fire to the Rain” was positively butchered last night on American Idol, moved yet another 297,000 copies of 21 this week. Its total now stands above 7.6 million. READ FULL STORY

Lily Allen calls out Adele's Brit Awards interruption, says it's industry sexism

The Brit Awards have already sent their “deepest apologies” to a bird-flipping Adele for cutting off her big moment to make time for a reunited Blur performance, but some people still aren’t having it. Lily Allen is one of them.

The English pop singer came to her countrywoman’s defense on Twitter, writing “I’d rather hear adeles acceptance speech.”

Fair enough — after all, not everybody has to like Blur. But Allen then went on to suggest that the move represented larger issues of sexism at play:

“I can’t say I’m surprised. It was like the music industry’s attitude to women played out as a metaphor.”

An interesting allegation! But does it hold water? The Brit Awards organizer, for their part, pointed out in their statement that “the live show overrunning,” adding: “We don’t want this to undermine her incredible achievement in winning our night’s biggest award. It tops off what’s been an incredible year for her.”

A representative from ITV, which aired the ceremony, backed them up in a separate statement: “Unfortunately the programme was overrunning and we had to move on.”

Which sounds legitimate. We’ve certainly seen stars of all genders get played off the stage early, here and abroad. And when you watch the incident in question, the guy tasked with interrupting Adele looks far more terrified than he does anti-woman.

What do you guys think of Allen’s interpretation? Is Adele the victim of industry-wide chauvinism, or just poor planning? Take another look at the video below and let us know.

READ FULL STORY

Katy Perry's 'Part of Me' debuts atop the Billboard Hot 100, Adele sends three songs to top 10

Adele isn’t the only one racking up big numbers this week.

In the wake of Katy Perry’s performance at the Grammy Awards, “Part of Me” made its debut on the Billboard Hot 100 at number one.

That makes seven chart-toppers for Perry, joining “I Kissed a Girl,” “California Gurls,” “Teenage Dream,” “Firework,” “E.T.,” and “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.).”

“Part of Me” is also now only the 20th tune in the chart’s 53-year history to make its debut on top. For the latter feat, Perry now joins some rare company. Michael Jackson was the first to pull it off when he sent “You Are Not Alone” (from the HIStory album) to the top of the Hot 100 in 1995.

Huge names followed, including Mariah Carey (who has actually done it three times), Whitney Houston, Britney Spears, Eminem, Celine Dion, and a bunch of American Idol winners. The last artist to pull it off was Lady Gaga, who released “Born This Way” at the top of the Billboard heap.

With the benefit of a record Grammys audience at her back, Perry moved an estimated 411,000 downloads of “Part of Me,” her best sales week yet. With radio play expected to increase and single sales figuring to stay robust through the release of Teenage Dream: The Complete Confection on March 27, “Part of Me” could end up having a long reign at number one.

But of course, the rest of the chart belongs to Adele. READ FULL STORY

Album Sales: Adele tops the chart for a 21st week; Bruno Mars, The Civil Wars get big Grammy bumps

In the first full sales week since the Grammys, Adele’s 21, which won six awards including the Album of the Year prize, topped the Billboard 200 in a big way.

The British diva, whose middle finger made headlines last night at the Brit Awards, sold an astounding 730,000 copies (a 207% increase) of her blockbuster album, bringing its total to over 7.3 million in the States. According to iTunes, it also became the first album to ever sell over 2 million digital copies. Remarkably, 21 achieved these feats in its 52nd(!) week of release.

That’s right, the critically beloved disc has been available to consumers for a full year now, and it has maintained exemplary sales levels during each and every frame. Altogether, 21 has topped the chart for 21 weeks — the same amount of time as MC Hammer’s 1990 disc Please Hammer Don’t Hurt ‘Em, and the longest tally for any solo female artist ever.

Only seven albums have ever spent more time at number one:

West Side Story Soundtrack (54 weeks)
Thriller, Michael Jackson (37 weeks)
Calypso, Harry Belafonte (31 weeks)
South Pacific, Soundtrack (31 weeks)
Rumours, Fleetwood Mac (31 weeks)
Saturday Night Fever, Bee Gees/Soundtrack (24 weeks)
Purple Rain, Prince and the Revolution (24 weeks)

Adele’s debut album 19 also got a substantial boost after her Grammy sweep, with sales rising a whopping 144 percent to 87,000 — enough to put it in fourth place. Don’t be surprised if both 21 and 19 end up outselling many high-profile new releases in 2012. Adele’s success and enduring appeal are, quite simply, phenomenal.

Whitney Houston’s Whitney: The Greatest Hits rose into second place in the wake of the star’s death. The late singer’s collection sold 175,000 copies, up 174 percent from the previous week. Houston’s most iconic track, “I Will Always Love You,” which currently sits at no. 7 on the Hot 100, will likely see high placement on tomorrow’s singles chart as well. READ FULL STORY

Adele raises middle finger at the Brit Awards

You’re gonna wish you never had cut her off! In an act of defiance against “the suits” who interrupted her acceptance speech for British Album of the Year — and perhaps to show solidarity with Super Bowl pharaoh bitch goddess M.I.A. — Adele flipped the bird to the crowd at tonight’s Brit Awards. The 23-year-old, who won six Grammys last week, had also picked up the Brit for Best Female Artist of the Year earlier in the evening.

Adele explained after the awards that the gesture wasn’t intended for her fans and that she wished nothing but the best forrrrr youuuuu (as long as you weren’t the one responsible for telling host James Corden to cut her off). “I was about to thank the British public for their support and they cut me off, and I’m sorry if I offended anyone,” she said. “But the suits offended me, so thank you very much for all of your support.”

Watch this international tragedy below. It actually seems like bloody good fun to me (this isn’t America; there aren’t rules) but I’m sure some people are about to freak the eff out!

Judge for yourself, then vote in our poll…. READ FULL STORY

Adele and Ed Sheeran win at U.K. music's Brit Awards

Soulful songstress Adele capped a momentous year of Grammy Awards triumph and medical woes with a double win at the U.K.’s Brit music awards Tuesday, taking prizes for album of the year and best British female solo artist before making an obscene gesture after the show’s host cut her acceptance speech short.

Teen-friendly English troubadour Ed Sheeran won two trophies, including British male solo artist, at an energetic ceremony in London. READ FULL STORY

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