Bareilles leads U.S. chart as overall sales slide

Wed Sep 15, 2010 3:05pm EDT
 
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By Keith Caulfield

LOS ANGELES (Billboard) - Pop singer Sara Bareilles scored her first No. 1 album on the U.S. pop chart Wednesday as overall sales hit a record low for the third time this year.

Meanwhile, English pop singer Florence + the Machine's "Lungs" soared 56 places to No. 44 on the Billboard 200 after selling 8,000 copies, buoyed by the act's performance during Sunday's MTV Video Music Awards. After 11 weeks, "Lungs" has sold 130,500 copies.

The song played by Florence Welch, "Dog Days Are Over," debuted at No. 52 on Billboard's Digital Songs chart after selling 27,000 downloads, a 276% boost from the prior week.

"The 2010 MTV Video Music Awards will now go down in music history as the moment Florence + The Machine broke in America," said Monte Lipman, president & CEO of the group's Universal Republic label.

Since tracking firm Nielsen SoundScan's sales period ends at the close of business on Sunday, look for an even bigger impact by event's performers on the sales charts next week.

Bareilles' second release, "Kaleidoscope Heart," sold 89,500 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Her first set, "Little Voice," peaked at No. 7 in 2008. It has so far sold 997,000 copies in the United States.

Although Bareilles was one of four new entries in the top 10, expect things to get a lot more exciting next week. That's when the biggest albums of the fall will start hitting the chart, including Linkin Park's "A Thousand Suns" and Trey Songz's "Passion, Pain & Pleasure."

And those albums can't arrive any faster, either. Overall album sales totaled 4.83 million units -- marking the lowest weekly sales figure since Nielsen SoundScan began tracking sales in 1991. Last week's sum falls below the record low of 4.95 million sold, which was set a month ago. The 5 million mark was first breached in May. Year-to-date album sales stand at 205.4 million, down 13% compared to the same total at this point last year.   Continued...