Chartbreaker: Competition is Blown Away on the charts this week by Carrie Underwood
Carrie Underwood debuted at the top of the Billboard 200 albums chart this week with her fourth album, Blown Away, selling 267,000 copies. Underwood's latest trails only Madonna's MDNA, which sold 358,000, as the biggest-selling debut of 2012.
Another noteworthy feat for Underwood this week: She follows in the footsteps of Linda Ronstadt and Faith Hill as being only the third female who can stake claim to the distinction of having issued three country albums that have each gone to number one.
Elsewhere on the Billboard 200, Norah Jones' new album, ...Little Broken Hearts, checked in at number two and Now 42 at number three. Adele's 21 fell to number four for the first time since December 2011.B.o.B's Strange Clouds claimed the fifth spot, while Lionel Richie's underdog of an album, Tuskegee, dropped three spots to number six.
Last week's chart-topper, Blunderbuss by Jack White, also fell down to number seven this week. One Direction landed at number eight with Up All Night, dropping four spots. NBC's Smash soundtrack sits at number nine, and Marilyn Manson's Born Villain debuted at number ten.
On the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart, Gotye's "Somebody That I Used To Know" featuring Kimbra landed on top again for the fourth week -- it also makes history as the first song to top the Alternative Songs airplay chart, the Dance/Club Play Songs chart and the Dance/Mix Show Airplay chart, in addition to topping the Digital Songs chart.
The remaining Hot 100 chart is not nearly as exciting, since it has remained fairly similar to last week's placings -- fun.'s "We Are Young" featuring Janelle Monae holds at number two and Maroon 5's "Payphone" featuring Wiz Khalifa at number three. Carly Rae Jepsen continues her sights for number one, as "Call Me Maybe" moves up one, to number four. Flo Rida's "Wild Ones" featuring Sia also moves up one spot, to number five this week.
The top ten is rounded out by familiar hits: The Wanted's "Glad You Came" at number six, Nicki Minaj's "Starships" at number seven, Justin Bieber's "Boyfriend" at number eight -- actually dropping one spot this week, despite the release of the song's music video -- One Direction's "What Makes You Beauitful" at number nine and Kelly Clarkson's "Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)" at number ten.
Abroad, Adele's 21 now sits at number five in the top 10 best-selling albums of all-time, overtaking Michael Jackson's Thriller as of last week. 21 has now sold 4.27 million in the U.K. -- which is approximately half of what it's sold in the United States. 21 only has four more albums to beat before becoming the biggest U.K. album ever: Oasis' What's The Story Morning Glory, ABBA's Gold - Greatest Hits, The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band and, the current champ, Queen's Greatest Hits.
Follow Backbeat on Twitter: @westword_music
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene with music features, additional online music listings and show picks. We'll also send special ticket offers and music promotions available only to our Music Newsletter subscribers.