With nearly 386,000 copies of his latest LP, Double Up, being snapped up, R. Kelly has earned himself the sixth chart-topping debut of his 15-plus-year career (counting 2004's Unfinished Business, the second collaborative LP between himself and Jay-Z).
This latest triumph extends something of an astonishing pattern in R. Kelly's past releases. Of the 11 albums he's headlined (we won't even get into the many artists he's given songs to), all but one has opened at either #1 or #2 — his 1992 debut, Born Into the '90s, is the sole exception, debuting at #42. R. Kelly opened at #1 with 248,000 scans in 1995, while 1998's R. debuted at #2 with sales of nearly 216,000. TP-2.com opened with more than 543,000 copies in 2000 for a #1, and 2003's Chocolate Factory followed suit with 532,000 units. In 2004, Happy People/ U Saved Me took #2 on 403,000 copies sold, while 2005's TP-3: Reloaded racked up sales of 490,000-plus to grab another #1.
Similarly, 2002's The Best of Both Worlds, the first match-up between Kelly and Jay-Z, debuted at #2 with 223,400 scans.
Kelly's latest victory lap aside, it was a wishy-washy week in terms of new releases, with just four other newcomers cracking the top 200. According to the latest SoundScan tallies, country artist Jason Aldean's Relentless was the only other fresh one to breach the top 10, finishing at #4 with 98,000 copies grabbed up. Elsewhere, Circa Survive's On Letting Go opens at #24 with 23,700 scans, followed at #91 by Ultra Payloaded, the inaugural outing from ex-Jane's Addiction frontman Perry Farrell's latest project, the Satellite Party, which achieved week-one sales of 7,600. Meanwhile, Richard Thompson's latest, Sweet Warrior, closes out the week at #111, with 6,500 sold.
As for the rest of next week's top 10, there hasn't been much change from the previous week's chart. Last week's #1, Maroon 5's It Won't Be Soon Before Long, slips a spot to #2 on 172,000 units, followed at #3 by Linkin Park's Minutes to Midnight having sold more than 126,000 copies. The eponymous debut from "American Idol" season five finalist Chris Daughtry's band of rockers climbs one spot to #5 with 69,000 scans, followed at #6 by Amy Winehouse's Back to Black, which returns to the top 10, surging ahead five spots with sales of 50,000.
The debut offering from Young Jeezy's latest project, U.S.D.A., a collective that features associates Slick Pulla and Blood Raw, falls three places to #7; Young Jeezy Presents U.S.D.A.: Cold Summer ended the week with close to 50,000 scans. Avril Lavigne's Best Damn Thing sits at #8 on the chart, with 49,700 sold, while Michael Bublé's Call Me Irresponsible pops up at #9, scanning 48,300. Closing out the top 10 with 46,900 in sales is Ozzy Osbourne's latest, Black Rain, which falls seven chart positions.
One of this week's biggest movers has Oprah Winfrey to thank for his 137 percent sales boost: Jumping 18 spots this week, with 45,300 scans, is The Evolution of Robin Thicke — the R&B smoothie appeared on Winfrey's program last week and, like Joss Stone last year, struck a chord with the audience.