Jay-Z’s much hyped Magna Carta Holy Grail is this week’s big sales story. The rapper/mogul moved 527k first-week units, landing as the year’s second biggest debut. These sales are in addition to the one million units given away through a marketing partnership with Samsung. Justin Timberlake’s The 20/20 Experience, which opened with 968k, is the year’s leading debut.
Year-to-date Country album sales slipped into negative territory this week. With a lack of new superstar product, the industry is down -1.8 percent compared to the same week last year. Total country album sales are at 20.740 million YTD. Overall album sales are down -6.3 percent with sales of 151.652 million YTD.
It’s doubtful the Nashville slump will turn around until next month when the release schedule picks up with new music from Luke Bryan (Aug. 13). The list continues in September with albums by Keith Urban (Sept. 10), followed a week later by Billy Currington, Chris Young and Justin Moore, all on Sept. 17.
Sheryl Crow’s first country label effort, Feels Like Home, will be released by Warner Bros. Sept. 10. Lead single “Easy” is already a hit, but it remains to be seen if country fans will be receptive of the crossover star when it comes time to open wallets at the register.
Florida Georgia Line hangs at No. 1 on the country albums chart, moving 31k this week, while the duo’s monster hit “Cruise” zooms past the 5 million downloads mark.
Country tracks are up 10 percent YTD with sales of 99 million. Overall tracks are down -2.6 percent.
With temps in the 90s, it’s hard to believe the first round of CMA Awards voting is already open for the November trophy fest. The deadline to submit nomination ballots is Mon., July 22 at 5:00 PM/CT. The second ballot will be emailed to CMA members Tues., Aug. 20.