Barbra Streisand tops U.S. pop chart for ninth time

Wed Oct 7, 2009 6:17pm EDT
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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Barbra Streisand scored her ninth No. 1 album on the U.S. pop chart on Wednesday with a jazz release that overshadowed high-profile releases by some much-younger artists.

Streisand's "Love Is the Answer," her first studio recording in four years, sold 180,000 copies during the week ending October 4, according to her Columbia Records label, a unit of Sony Corp.

Industry observers said the surprisingly strong figure was bolstered by sales in non-traditional outlets like coffee retailer Starbucks Corp, Liberty Media Corp's QVC home-shopping network and Streisand's own website.

The crown had been expected to go to pop-rock band Paramore, which settled for a close No. 2 with sales of 175,000 for "Brand New Eyes."

Pop singer's Mariah Carey's new album "Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel" was considered a disappointment, starting at No. 3 with 168,000 copies.

Streisand extended her lead as the female act with the most No. 1 releases on the Billboard 200. She also became the first artist to top the chart in five consecutive decades.

"You'd think that getting the news that you've been Number One in five consecutive decades would make you feel old, but this makes me feel young," Streisand said in a statement.

At 67, she also is the second-oldest living artist to top the U.S. chart. The record was set earlier this year by her labelmate Bob Dylan, who is 11 months her senior.

Streisand last topped the chart in 1997, when "Higher Ground" started off with 207,000 copies. The music industry has plummeted in the ensuing decade, making Streisand's latest sales tally all the more noteworthy.   Continued...

<p>Singer Barbra Streisand poses after performing at the Village Vanguard in New York, September 26, 2009. REUTERS/Chip East</p>