Celine debuts at No. 1
A five-year absence from making albums, a diversion into motherhood, and even scandalous accusations against her husband and manager couldn’t keep Celine Dion from her date with the top of the charts.
Dion’s return, “A New Day Has Come,” powered to the top of SoundScan Canada’s retail album chart, selling 151,600 copies in this country — more than 10 times her nearest competition, Shakira’s “Laundry Service” (12,200).
Dion’s return to the recording business has been heralded by a round of high-profile interviews, a hyped TV special, and an unexpected diversion into controversy, with husband/manager Rene Angelil accused in a Las Vegas civil court of sexually assaulting a California woman. (He has denied the charge and is fighting the suit).
To give an indication of how big a change Dion’s sales represent from recent months, last week “Laundry Service” landed at No. 1 on sales of just over 10,000 copies. The biggest chart entry in recent weeks, prior to Dion, was Alanis Morissette’s “Under Rug Swept,” which debuted at No. 1 on sales of 35,000. In its first five weeks of release, Morissette’s album has managed to sell about half of what Dion moved in a single week. Morissette finished this week at No. 12.
Dion’s chart triumph was repeated in the U.S., where “A New Day Has Come” sold 527,000 copies during its debut week. Proportionately, that means U.S. sales were well behind Canada’s. Sales are normally measured using a one-tenth comparison between the smaller Canadian market and record sales south of the border. So comparably, the U.S. would have had to sell over 1.5 million albums to keep pace with Dion’s popularity in Canada.
Having said that, the opening sales for “A New Day Has Come” represents a watershed for Dion in the U.S. Last week, the U.S. publication Hits reported that Dion’s 1997 album “Let’s Talk About Love” debuted on sales of 334,000, while the compilation “All The Way: A Decade Of Song” moved 302,000 copies during its first week.
Dion’s high-water mark for Canadian sales remains “Let’s Talk About Love’s” opening week sales of 230,000.
Elsewhere in the Canadian top 10, the wrestling themed collection “WWF Forceable Entry” debuted in third place on sales of 10,800, followed by “YTV Big Fun Party Mix 3” (10,700), Diana Krall’s “The Look Of Love” (9,000) and Remy Shand’s “The Way I Feel (8,950).
Nickelback’s “Silver Side Up” (8,900) fell from third to seventh, the “O Brother, Where Art Thou” soundtrack (8,300) slid from fourth to eighth. Enrique Iglesias’s “Escape” (7,800) moved down one place to ninth, while the “Girls Night Out” collection (7,600) moved up one place to 10th.
Aside from Dion and the WWF collection, the only other new entry in the top 20 was “Best Of Both Worlds,” the collaboration between Jay-Z and R. Kelly, which entered at No. 19.
JAM! readers correctly called the winner of this week’s Chart Battle. A full 91% correctly predicted that Dion’s “A New Day Has Come” would chart higher than the Jay-Z/R. Kelly collaboration.
1. CELINE DION — “A NEW DAY HAS COME” (151,600)
2. SHAKIRA — “LAUNDRY SERVICE” (12,200)
3. VARIOUS ARTISTS — “W.W.F. FORCEABLE ENTRY” (10,800)
4. VARIOUS ARTISTS — “YTV BIG FUN PARTY MIX 3” (10,700)
5. DIANA KRALL — “THE LOOK OF LOVE” (9,000)
6. REMY SHAND — “THE WAY I FEEL” (8,950)
7. NICKELBACK — “SILVER SIDE UP” (8,900)
8. “O BROTHER WHERE ART THOU?” SOUNDTRACK (8,300)
9. ENRIQUE IGLESIAS — “ESCAPE” (7,800)
10. VARIOUS ARTISTS — “GIRLS NIGHT OUT” (7,600)