Talk about a late-career resurgence. After disappearing from the upper reaches of the Billboard 200 tally for more than 25 years, Lionel Richie is having a moment. His country covers album, Tuskegee, will hold onto the #1 slot on the albums charts for a second consecutive week, thanks to sales of 114,000, according to figures provided by Nielsen SoundScan. To date, Richie has sold more than 536,000 copies of the disc.
Nipping at his heels is goes-down-easy singer Jason Mraz, who will debut at #2 with Love Is a Four Letter Word (102,000), one of several new faces in the top 10. Train are back in the mix as well with California 37, in at #4 on sales of 75,000, while rapper Future makes his chart debut at #8 with Pluto (41,000).
The rest of the top 10: Adele, 21 (#3, 90,000), One Direction, Up All Night (#5, 55,000), Nicki Minaj, Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded (#6, 48,000), Gotye, Making Mirrors (#7, 44,000), Bonnie Raitt, Slipstream (#9, 35,000) and Luke Bryan, Tailgates & Tanlines (28,000).
Bluesy buzz band Alabama Shakes dipped almost 40 percent with their debut, Boys & Girls, but that translated into only a three-slot drop to #11 (27,000), which was just enough to keep flip-flop strummer Jack Johnson at #12 with the debut of his Jack Johnson & Friends compilation (26,000).
Monica’s New Life, however, slid almost 70 percent in its second week, falling 11 spots to #15 on sales of 22,000.
It was a big week for arena-rocking duo the Black Keys, who shot up 23 spots to #16, with sales of El Camino rising by 70 percent to 20,000 as the band steams toward the 800,000 mark. Fans didn’t appear to be pining for long-dormant girl group SWV as much as the girls thought, since their first album in 15 years, I Missed Us, debuted at #25 (15,000).
And while former chart buddy Richie continues to kill it, Madonna is fading in the distance, with MDNA shedding another 42 percent of business from the week before and tumbling another 16 spots to #34 (12,000).
The biggest gainer of the week was a greatest-hits album from late thug icon Tupac, whose holographic image at Coachella brought the MC back into the spotlight and returned him to the charts at #130, with sales up 571 percent to nearly 4,000.
Richie will probably have to take a backseat next week thanks to Blunderbuss, the solo chart debut from former White Stripes frontman Jack White , as well as the debut from British boy band sensation the Wanted.