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Mumford & Sons Likely For Fifth #1 Week For Babel

February 23, 2013 | Posted by Joseph Lee

After the Grammy Awards impacted this week’s Billboard 200, next week’s chart is expected to be slower. Mumford & Sons’ Babel is expected to stick around at #1 for a fifth non-consecutive week with 60,000 copies sold. This will be the longest run at #1 for a duo or group since Outkast spent seven weeks on top in 2003-2004 with Speakerboxxx/The Love Below.

This would also be the lowest sales week for the top-selling album since August, when Zac Brown Band’s Uncaged was #1 with 48,000. There have been two weeks below 100,000 at #1 on the Billboard 200 this year: the Les Miserables soundtrack (January 19, 92,000) and Chris Tomlin’s Burning Lights (January 26, 73,000). Babel sold 185,000 copies last week, a 242% increase.

Nearly every other album in the top ten will fall in sales after the Grammys-heavy chart. There will likely be large sales drops all around except for Alabama Shakes’ Boys & Girls album. That will sell around 30,000 copies (up 130%) thanks to both being nominated for Best New Artist at the Grammys and performing on Saturday Night Live.

Here are the predicted top ten for next week, with last week’s rank in parenthesis.

1. Mumford & Sons – Babel (#1)
2. Bruno Mars – Unorthodox Jukebox (#3)
3. Josh Groban – All That Echoes (#5)
4. Now 45 (#8)
5. 2013 Grammy Nominees (#2)
6. Alabama Shakes – Boys & Girls (#20)
7. The Lumineers – The Lumineers (#6)
8. Rihanna – Unapologetic (#15)
9. Pitch Perfect soundtrack (#16)
10. Tim McGraw – Two Lands of Freedom (#12)

It should be noted that the Building Chart reflects the first four days (Monday through Thursday) of SoundScan’s tracking week (which ends Sunday) as reported by six major merchants: iTunes, Trans World Entertainment, Best Buy, Starbucks, Target and Anderson Merchandisers. Billboard estimates that they make up about 85% of all U.S. album sales.

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Joseph Lee

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