Bieber’s latest sold more than 374,000 copies in its first week, edging Madonna’s MDNA to claim the title of year’s biggest bow.
By James Montgomery
<P>Most <a href="/news/articles/1687988/justin-bieber-believe-album-sales.jhtml">predicted it</a>, and now it's official: <b>Justin Bieber</b>'s <i>Believe</i> scored the year's biggest chart debut, selling more than 374,000 copies and blasting the competition on the <i>Billboard</i> Top 200.</P><P><i>Believe</i> — Bieber's fourth album to debut at #1 — slightly edged Madonna's <i>MDNA,</i> which sold 359,000 copies when it was released in late March, to claim the title of year's biggest bow, according to Nielsen SoundScan. It's also the best first-week number <i>any</i> album has posted since Adele's <i>21</i> rode a <a href="/news/articles/1679279/adele-grammy-awards-2012.jhtml">post-Grammy surge</a> to sales of more than 729,000 copies in February.</P><P></p><div class="player-placeholder right" title="'Bieber Live'" id="id:1687833" width="415" height="255"></div><p></P><P>Bieber's album also sold nearly twice the copies as its closest competition, <b>Kenny Chesney</b>'s <i>Welcome to the Fishbowl,</i> which opens at #2 on the chart with an impressive 193,000 copies in its first week of release. Usually that number is <i>more</i> than enough to take #1, but not this week. <b>Fiona Apple</b>'s first album in seven years, <a href="/news/articles/1686557/fiona-apple-idler-wheel-btts.jhtml"><i>The Idler Wheel,</i></a> debuts at #3, selling nearly 72,000 copies, followed by another returning alt icon, the <b>Smashing Pumpkins</b>, who sold more than 53,000 copies of their <a href="/news/articles/1687831/smashing-pumpkins-oceania-billy-corgan.jhtml"><i>Oceania</i></a> to take #4. The "Rock of Ages" soundtrack rounds out the top five, selling nearly 49,000 copies.</P><P><a href="/news/articles/1687847/usher-billboard-looking-4-myself.jhtml">Usher, last week's chart champ</a> (and Bieber's mentor), is in at #6 with his <i>Looking 4 Myself</i> album, which sold 48,000 copies in its second week. <b>Adele</b>'s aforementioned <i>21</i> lands at #7 (more than 47,000 copies sold), followed by <b>One Direction</b>'s <i>Up All Night</i> (more than 41,000 sold) and <b>Luke Bryan</b>'s <i>Tailgates & Tanlines</i> (nearly 28,000 sold). <b>Rush</b>'s <i>Clockwork Angels</i> closes out the top 10, selling nearly 27,000 copies.</P><P>Other debuts on the chart include the <b>Dirty Heads</b>' <i>Cabin by the Sea,</i> which opens at #18 with sales of nearly 18,000 copies, "Once" star <b>Glen Hansard</b>'s <i>Rhythm and Repose</i> (#21, more than 16,000 copies sold) and the soundtrack to Pixar's "Brave," which bows at #33, with sales of nearly 12,000 copies.</P><P>And while the story of this week's <i>Billboard</i> chart is unquestionably Bieber, next week could be a different story. He'll face challenges from both <b>Linkin Park</b>'s <a href="/news/articles/1688422/linkin-park-living-things.jhtml"><i>LIVING THINGS</i></a> and <b>Maroon 5</b>'s <a href="/news/articles/1688438/maroon-5-overexposed.jhtml"><i>Overexposed,</i></a> both of which could make his reign a short-lived one. Can Bieber make it two weeks in a row atop the charts? We'll just have to wait and see.</p>