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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