Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Usher to score big first week sales with "Raymond vs Raymond"

LaFace/JLG Superstar Will Top Charts with 330-350k, Erykah Badu to Hit 110-120k

Usher proves you can’t have too many hits.

With three smash singles at Urban radio, “There Goes My Baby,” “Lil’ Freak” and “Hey Daddy (Daddy’s Home),” the LaFace/JLG R&B star’s Raymond v Raymond album will debut at #1 on next week’s HITS sales chart, sporting a total now pegged at 330-350k, which may even climb higher on anticipation of a busy Easter weekend at retail.

That’s based on one-day sales reports from those retailers who haven’t either joined the Tea Party or been cast in Sarah Palin’s Alaska reality series.

Usher scored a combined, weekly audience of 44.6 million at Urban radio for all three singles, along with more than 1.5 million downloads and ringtones even before the album's release yesterday.

Universal Motown’s Erykah Badu will be the next-highest newcomer, with 110-120k in sales for her new album, New Amerykah Part Two (Return of the Ankh), fueled by the controversial “nude” video for the first single, “Window Seat.” The clip, inspired by Matt and Kim’s Times Square disrobing, “Lessons Learned,” takes place by the grassy knoll in her hometown Dallas’ Dealey Plaza at the site of the JFK assassination.

Arista Nashville’s Alan Jackson is back with Freight Train, on track for 60-70k in first-week sales.

Former Wu members Meth + Ghost + Rae return with Wu-Massacre for Def Jam/IDJ, which appears to be in the 40-50k range. The album features Method Man, Ghostface Killah and Raekwon teaming up for the first time since Wu-Tang Clan.

The market was up 7% vs. last week, down 11% vs. same week last year and still down 8% year to date. You may now return, like us, to contemplating how we ever lived without our BlackBerries.