In less than a week, Get Rich or Die Tryin’ has turned 50 Cent into a cash cow for his record label.
Get Rich or Die Tryin’ will be the top-selling album on next week’s Billboard albums chart, moving in excess of 872,000 copies, according to SoundScan figures released Wednesday (February 12). With the tremendous total, the LP is the best-selling debut album since SoundScan started its tracking system in May 1991. Only Snoop Dogg’s 1993 debut, Doggystyle, comes close, with more than 802,000 copies sold in its first week.
The Queens MC sold more copies of his debut LP last week than all the other top 10 albums combined; and 50’s one-week tally is the largest since Shania Twain moved more than 874,000 copies of Up! in November.
Even more remarkable is the fact the volume was attained in a shortened sales cycle. Although 50’s album was released five days early to combat bootlegging (see “Industry Insiders Say Bootlegging Won’t Dent 50 Cent” ), it’s questionable whether having the extra two days would have increased his total, since many retail outlets reported the album sold out after the first couple of days on the shelves.
While Get Rich … couldn’t climb any higher, 50’s last release, Guess Who’s Back? lost chart ground for the first time in weeks, down to #45 from its previous #25 spot. The 18-track “mixtape” compiles songs previously available on older street records, as well as some live, freestyle tracks recorded from radio shows.
Eminem’s The Eminem Show, which made its chart debut with just 284,000 copies sold, was also given an early release to combat bootleggers. Following that weekly total, achieved after officially being on sale only one day, Em’s third album moved more than 1.3 million after its first full week in stores.
50 Cent’s admission will push previous #1 album, the Dixie Chicks’ Home, down to #2 (114,000). Close behind will be Kid Rock’s Cocky, which, after more than 14 months, achieved its highest chart position at #3, with more than 103,000 copies sold last week due to the crossover success of its latest single, “Picture.”
Country singer Blake Shelton will have the next-highest charting debut with his second album, The Dreamer, which will land at #8 with more than 76,000 copies sold.
LL Cool J returns to the top 10 with authority as his 10 will rocket up 75 spots to #9 (66,000). Thanks to his new film “Deliver Us From Eva,” which opened in theaters last week, and the subsequent attention derived from working the late-night talk-show circuit, the muscle-bound MC’s 10th album enjoyed a weekly sales increase of more than 55,000 copies.
The remainder of the top 10 will find Norah Jones’ Come Away With Me dropping two spots to #4 (100,000); Avril Lavigne’s Let Go taking a step back to #5 (82,000); the soundtrack to Oscar favorite “Chicago” holding onto its #6 position (81,000); Jennifer Lopez’s This Is Me … Then taking a two-step drop to #7 (79,000); and Missy Elliott’s Under Construction slipping a spot to #10 (65,000).
The soundtrack to the superhero blockbuster “Daredevil,” which features contributions from Nickelback and Saliva, and a collaboration between Rob Zombie and Drowning Pool, will come in at #11; while the debut album from the All-American Rejects, swimming in the buzz surrounding its first single, “Swing Swing,” will drop in at #25, with more than 40,000 copies sold.
Other notable chart debuts include country rockers Alabama’s Valentine’s Day accouterment In the Mood — Love Songs at #15; Lionel Richie’s best-of set Definitive Collection at #21; Christian rockers Jars of Clay’s live-studio hybrid Furthermore — From the Studio, From the Stage at #64; Juliana Theory’s third album, and first for a major label, Love, at #71; soul seducer Keith Sweat’s Keith Sweat Live at #86; and the soundtrack to “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days at #158; and the ’80s vets the Pet Shop Boys’ compilation Disco 3 at #188.
Be sure to check out our full-length feature on 50 Cent, “50 Cent: Money To Burn” .
Watch the MTV News Now special “All Eyes On: 50 Cent.” Click for schedule.