Sign O’ The Times? Alicia Keys’ “Girl On Fire” Knocks Rihanna From #1 Spot, But Is Singer’s Lowest Opening Sales Week

December 5, 2012  |  

This girl really is on fire. Any time you can say that you have the number one album in the country, it’s cause to celebrate. I would recommend doing it in Rihanna fashion and picking up a new Rolex.

Yep, Alicia Keys’ fifth studio album (and her sixth album including her successful Unplugged joint, which reached number one) is another winner for her and marks her fifth number one album. According to the New York Daily News via Nielsen SoundScan, the album sold 159,000 albums in its first week, knocking Rihanna from the number one spot with her album, Unapologetic. And while that would usually be okay for most cookie-cutter artists during this lagging period of record sales we’re living in, it’s actually the uber-gifted singer’s lowest opening week sales in her career. While her last album, Element of Freedom, didn’t enter the Billboard charts at number one in 2009 (it peaked at number 2, which isn’t bad, especially when you’re going head to head with international phenom Susan Boyle), it managed to sell over 400,000 copies and went on to have over a million copies picked up, going platinum. Not to take away from her number one, but this is a slow start for Keys, whose husband, Swizz Beatz, was seen on Instagram buying up a boatload of her albums to give to fans on the album’s release date. However, this is what everybody’s dealing with right now thanks to illegal downloading, services like Spotify, and honestly, a lot of the so-so music everybody is putting out that they expect people to pay for. I just can’t with these albums only having 11 or 12 songs on them. That’s on some EP stuff!

Anyway, I think with the right second single and video, Keys can help do an extra push for sales, as was the case with “Unthinkable” off of The Element of Freedom. Can I recommend “Listen To Your Heart” or “Fire We Make” with Maxwell? I think those have the right tempo or groove for people to appreciate and jam to while in their cars and in their cribs. But no matter what the sales do end up coming out to, keep that music coming, girl! Alicia is still one of my favorites.

Did you pick up the album? Why or why not?

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  • Ljjchat

    No, I do not support homewreckers

  • Yamina

    u can supoort her or not it dont matter, shes still rich and you tryna make it, get over it….her sins are between her and the lord….you cant send her to heaven or hell only she can do that by her actions and unrepentance….that is her choice. regardless, weve all done our dirt, and no sin is bigger than any other, normal folks have had affairs with married people, so why trip on her…folks do it all the time,it has nothing to do with you, so go get a life, and check your own relationship with your man and the Lord….. AKEYS FAN FOR LIFE!!!

  • Baddvixentype


  • A

    Yeah ummm Spotify is sort of legal.

  • Fresh45

    I think its a sign of the times and a whack single. I love Alicia but that girl on fire song is beyond annoying. I don’t know who’s idea it was to go with that record as her 1st single but they failed miserably. Another reason why her album didn’t sell like she normally does is because people aren’t buying R&B music anymore. A lot of the veteran R&B artist sold around the same thing she did in their first week. Usher,Chris Brown,and Trey Songz all sold around the 150K mark their first week. I think a lot of fans of R&B no longer support it as much because so many of the R&B artist are doing dance music now or their songs sound way to much like hiphop records.

  • Guest360

    Considering most people illegally download most of their music now, its really awesome that she managed to get the #1 spot, knocking out Rihanna of all people. It might be her lowest debut but times have changed. You’re lucking to sell 100,000 units the first week. Besides, this isn’t going to be where she makes her money. Her concerts and whether or not she can get people to buy those tickets are what’s going to make or break this album and her relevancy. She’s getting a lot of exposure right now. I’m rooting for her 🙂

  • Cleo

    I didn’t even know she had an album coming out

  • I have to disagree with you i only want 11 or 12 songs eff that 20 song madness with only 5 good songs!

  • bluekissess

    Nope, not really a fan

  • Ay

    YAAAAS for “Listen to your heart”, “Fire We Make” or “When it’s all over” for potential singles. These numbers would be great for a basic artist but not for Alicia. Girl on Fire is the worst single ever plus she’s not really liked so this is what you get……

    • Listen To Your Heart … is my fav

    • NONEYA

      “Not really liked”…by angry black women!! She is a cross over artist and only black media try to make her out to be some home wrecker..wheather she is or not is not for me to say, I wasnt there!!

      • Cleo

        What do ” angry black women” have to do with anything??

  • Im suprised that Rih got knocked off the high horse, but that song is whack!


    Sign of the times and a whole lot of great singers who dont sell would love to move 159,000 copies in the first week at number one….ie Toni Braxton!!

  • Yea let’s go with its a sign of the times