Believe it or not, with all of the success and hit songs in Rihanna's career, the singer has never had a #1 album... until now. Her latest effort, Unapologetic, debuts at #1 on the sales chart this week by selling 238,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Unapologetic is Rihanna's seventh studio release in a little over seven years, and follows six earlier Top 10 albums. The debut also gives Rihanna her best sales week yet. Her previous best frame came with 2010's Loud, which launched at #3 with 207,000 units sold.
"We are so proud and happy to deliver Rihanna her first #1 album in the U.S.," stated Steve Bartels, President/COO of the Island Def Jam Music Group. "The team here really pulled together and gave this project their all. Along with our partners at Roc Nation, the IDJ family has always fought to solidify Rihanna’s place atop the pop landscape. Taking an unusually short runway and turning it to an advantage – like the unprecedented 777 Tour - is a testament to the teamwork, ingenuity, ethic, and belief in the legacy of this artist that showed in every single hand that touched this project."
Elsewhere on the chart, Taylor Swift's Red holds steady at #2 with 185,000, and last week's top-selling album, OneDirection's Take Me Home, falls to #3 with 176,000 sold. American Idol winner Phillip Phillips debuts at #4 with The World From the Side of the Moon, shifting 169,000 in his first week, and Kid Rock grabs his seventh Top 10 album as Rebel Soul bows at #5 with 146,000 copies. This is Rock's first major label album to be sold digitally, and the digital sales accounted for 57,000 units in the first week, according to Billboard.
Rod Stewart's Merry Christmas, Baby is at #6 with 117,000 while P!nk'sThe Truth About Love is #7 with 114,000. Jason Aldean'sNight Train is #8 this week with 103,000 sold, and a new arrival from Led Zeppelin, the live album Celebration Day, debuts at #9 with 101,000 sold. Celebration Day is Led Zeppelin's 13th Top 10 album. Closing out the Top 10 is Keyshia Cole's Woman to Woman, bowing in the #10 slot with 96,000. It's the singer's fifth straight Top 10 debut and it follows 2010's Calling All Hearts.