First! Adele held on to the No. 1 spot on Billboard's Top 200 albums chart for a 19th non-consecutive week. The British singer's 21 sold 122,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan. That means Adele's sophomore LP has now spent more weeks atop the chart than any album other than The Bodyguard soundtrack, whose 20-week mark she can match if she holds off this week's releases by Van Halen and the Fray to keep the top spot next week. But remember, this isn't consecutive, so Adele could still keep setting records even if 21 falters for one week.
2 Through 10: And the winner of this week's Best-Selling Non-Adele Album honors is... Lana Del Rey. The "Video Games" singer's Born to Die debuted at No. 2 with 77,000 copies sold. That's the highest first-week chart placement for a female artist's major-label debut since America's Got Talent contestant Jackie Evancho's Dream With Me entered at No. 2 last July. (Hey, Saturday Night Live bookers: Jackie wuz ROBBED.) Behind Del Rey was Leonard Cohen, who scored his highest chart placement ever as his Old Ideas bowed at No. 3 (41,000). Gospel artist Fred Hammond's God, Love & Romance debuted at No. 8 (26,000), but otherwise the charts were filled with returning albums. The 2012 Grammy Nominees compilation sat tight at No. 4 (34,000), followed by Kidz Bop 21 (30,000), Drake's Take Care (slightly less than 30,000), and Tim McGraw's Emotional Traffic (29,000). Rounding out the Top 10 were Super Bowl performers LMFAO's WalMart- and iTunes-discounted Sorry for Party Rocking (22,000) along with Rihanna's Target-discounted Talk That Talk (22,000). Let's hear it for commoditization, people.
'Stronger,' After All: Kelly Clarkson's "What Doesn't Kill You (Stronger)" continued its surge up Billboard's Hot 100 songs chart, bumping Adele's "Set Fire to the Rain" to claim the No. 1 spot. The former American Idol contestant's third chart-topping hit follows her Super Bowl rendition of the national anthem. "Stronger" also features in a new Toyota TV commercial. Both Clarkson and Adele are slated to perform at Sunday's Grammy Awards ceremony, thus putting them in direct competition. See, pop music can be like sports!
What About Madonna? Don't worry, the Material Girl got plenty of attention last week. "Give Me All Your Luvin'," which Madonna performed at the Super Bowl halftime show with Nicki Minaj and (fake scandal alert!) M.I.A., entered the Hot 100 at No. 13. The song is the first single from Madonna's upcoming 12th album, MDNA, but does anybody else think "Gimme All Your Luvin'" would've been a catchier title? I mean, we've already got "luvin," so Madge ain't exactly using W.E.'s English here. Anyway, the pop queen's Celebration greatest hits album also re-entered the Top 200 albums chart, at No. 24 (16,000).