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Who Charted? Madonna Is Queen of Album Sales (Again)

Nicki Minaj and the Queen / Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

First! She did it! Perhaps thanks to a few winky references and online spats, the numbers for MDNA, Madonna’s first album since 2008, reached a healthy 359,000 copies sold its first week, according to Nielsen SoundScan. The No. 1 on the Billboard 200 is her fifth in a row and her eighth total. Why are people so much more excited about this album than Hard Candy, which sold nearly 100K less four years ago? Read our review and find out.

2 Through 10: Apparently Lionel Richie’s not who we were looking for. After speculation last week that Tuskegee might give Madge a run for her money, it turns out he sold a little more than half (55 percent) of what MDNA did (guess Home Shopping Network isn’t as magic as Ultra Music Fest, after all). Poor, poor Adele comes in at No. 3 (No. 3! Quelle horreur!) with a pitiful 121,000, but No. 4 belongs to alt-metal quartet Shinedown, whose Amaryllis sold 106,000, more than double the best week for their 2008 album, and proves that thou shalt not dismiss the fervor of hard rock fans. Last week’s No. 1, the Hunger Games soundtrack, lands at No. 5 with 64,000 (that’s a 64 percent drop from last week’s debut), while No. 6 belongs to One Direction’s Up All Night, which still raked in 46,000 after its two weeks on the market. Katy Perry’s deluxe reissue of Teenage Dream takes hold of the No. 7 spot with 33,000 (more on that below). No. 8 goes to emo stalwarts the Used, whose Vulnerable sold 32,000; Bruce Springsteen’s Wrecking Ball and the ever sales-gobbling Now 41 compilation come in at Nos. 9 and 10, respectively.

Feline Vengeance: For those wondering how the hell Katy Perry’s album rebounded from No. 31 to No. 7 — the album’s best sales week since the week of February 5, 2011— it’s no doubt thanks in part to the mildly upsetting debacle in which her Katy Kats (i.e., her more bloodthirsty fans) engaged via Twitter with Fucked Up frontman Damian Abraham last week. Nothing like revenge via expendable income! (Also, the deluxe edition includes a few new tracks.)

We Hardly Knew Ye: A solemn salute to the albums that fell off the Top 10 entirely this week: the Shins’ Port of Morrow, Odd Future’s OF Tapes Vol. 2, Melanie Fiona’s The MF Life, Whitney Houston’s Greatest Hits, and Esperanza Spalding’s Radio Music Society.