Justin Bieber rules pop chart as sales slump

Wed May 19, 2010 8:34pm EDT
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By Keith Caulfield

LOS ANGELES (Billboard) - Canadian teen idol Justin Bieber returned to the top of the U.S. pop chart Wednesday with the second-lowest sales tally for a No. 1 album since tracking firm Nielsen SoundScan started keeping data in May 1991.

Bieber's "My World 2.0" sold 60,300 copies during the week ended May 16, jumping four places to mark a fourth non-consecutive week at the top. The album originally debuted at No. 1 on March 31. Sales to date stand at 1.04 million.

The record low at No. 1 came in January 2007, when the "Dreamgirls" soundtrack spent its second of two weeks at No. 1 with a shade more than 60,000 sold.

Overall album sales hit a record low in the Nielsen SoundScan era. Sales totaled 5.32 million units, down 12% compared to the previous week, and down 9% compared to the comparable sales week of 2009. Year-to-date album sales are off 10 percent.

Last week's No. 1 album, Godsmack's "The Oracle," slid to No. 9 with just under 43,000, taking its two-week total to 117,500.

The top 10 contained four new releases.

New York rock band the National arrived at No. 3 with its fifth full-length album "High Violet," selling 51,000 -- its best week ever. Its last set, "Boxer," debuted and peaked at No. 68 in 2007.

The Dead Weather debuted at No. 5 with "Sea of Cowards," selling 45,000. It's the second album in less than a year for the Jack White side project, whose "Horehound" debuted at No. 6 last July with 51,000 copies.   Continued...