David Bowie Finally Gets His #1 Album in America

Believe it or not, none of David Bowie’s albums reached the #1 spot on Billboard’s Top 200 chart in America. Not Station to Station (#3), not Diamond Dogs (#5) not Young Americans (#9), not even Let’s Dance (#4)Not until now. The best he’d done until now was #2 for 2013’s The Next Day.

With the close of the chart week at 11:59pm Thursday–four days after we heard about Bowie’s death–an album of his finally reached the top. If only the circumstances had been different.

Blackstar, released on January 8–two days before Bowie died–has official US sales of 181,000 copies in its first week, making it the period’s best-selling album. Of that number 174,000 were pure album sales (as opposed to the awkward track-equivalent weighting when it comes to streams). Blackstar broke Adele’s seven-week stranglehold on #1 as 25 sales dropped to 143,000 units.

And there’s more. Two other albums, Best of Bowie, a greatest hits collection  from 2002, clocked in at #4 (94,000 units) while Ziggy Stardust moved all the way into the #21 position.

Meanwhile over in the UK, Blackstar sold 150,000 units for a #1 finish. Of all the records listed in the Top 40, Bowie albums were responsible for 25% of the total sales.

Here in Canada, the album debuted at #2 with 16,000 copies sold.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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