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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

'We Are Young' band fun. leap to No. 3 on the Hot 100, Whitney Houston re-enters at No. 7

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In early December, EW’s own Tim Stack predicted that New York rock trio fun. was about to have a major moment, thanks to a special episode-ending performance on Glee of their relatively unknown song “We Are Young,” featuring Janelle Monae.

And our psychic friend was right! The song instantly topped the iTunes chart and bubbled around in the lower half of the Hot 100 for a few weeks. But few prognosticators could have predicted that the band would have a week like this.

In the first full frame since the Super Bowl, during which Chevrolet premiered a well-received Sonic commercial (watch it below) that prominently uses “We Are Young,” the song jumped from No. 41 all the way to No. 3 on Billboard‘s Hot 100. The youth anthem led the digital sales chart with 296,000 downloads (a 338 percent increase) — the best week-long tally of any song this year.

Between this and Kelly Clarkson’s Camry ad boost, it seems like car commercials are the new secret to Hot 100 domination: READ FULL STORY

Album sales: Adele gets a big Grammy boost, Whitney Houston's 'Greatest Hits' returns at No. 6

Thanks to an endless amount of Grammy buzz leading up Sunday night’s big award show, Adele’s smash album 21 topped the Billboard 200 once again this week, selling 237,000 copies.

That figure marks a 95 percent increase over last week — almost entirely as a result of buzz, not necessarily her six Grammy wins. (Soundscan tracks album sales through Sunday night, so the real effect of the Grammy boost will be seen next week.) All told, 21 has topped the chart for 20 weeks (coincidentally, the same amount of time that The Bodyguard soundtrack did) and has sold over 6.6 million copies. The set should blaze right past the 7 million mark over the next few days.

Van Halen’s A Different Kind of Truth started off in second place with 187,000 copies, just a touch behind the band’s last record 1998’s Van Halen III which started its run with 191,000 units. Now 41 debuted one slot lower, moving 141,000 discs — a consistent result for the veteran franchise.

In fourth, the Fray’s Scars and Stories sold 87,000 copies, less than half of what the band’s last album achieved in its first week. Their 2009 self-titled collection moved 179,000 in its first week, though that album’s lead single “You Found Me” caught on with listeners much more than Scars‘ first single “Heartbeat” has. Paul McCartney’s latest album Kisses on the Bottom opened in fifth place with 74,000.

Following her tragic death on Saturday night, Whitney Houston reentered the Top 10 at No. 6 with Whitney: The Greatest Hits, which sold 64,000 units, an increase of 5,994 percent. Consumers took to digital retailers to revisit Houston’s catalog.  Collectively, her albums sold 101,000 total copies — 91,000 of which were digital. Again, though, since Soundscan only counts sales through Sunday, Houston will likely receive a much bigger bump next week.

Dierks Bentley debuted in seventh place with his new album Home, which sold 55,000 units this week, a better result than his bluegrass effort Up on the Ridge, which moved 39,000 copies in its first frame.

The Civil Wars also received a notable Grammy bump. Their debut disc Barton Hollow jumped from No. 121 to No. 41 after their buzzy minute-long performance on Sunday night. It will be interesting to see how high they climb on next week’s chart.

Check out the full Top 10 below: READ FULL STORY

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