Chris Brown’s post-breakdown album hits number one

By Randy Lewis
Los Angeles Times

LOS ANGELES – Like the adage about bad publicity, R&B singer Chris Brown proves that there’s also no such thing as a bad meltdown on national TV as long as they spell your name correctly and plug your new album.

That album, “F.A.M.E.,” entered the Billboard Top 200 Albums chart at No. 1 with first-week sales of 270,000 copies, the second highest total of the year, despite _ or perhaps partly because of _ the singer’s tirade after ABC-TV’s “Good Morning America” host Robin Roberts asked him about his assault on former girlfriend Rihanna rather than limiting their discussion to the album.

It gives Brown his first No. 1 on the national album chart, although its initial-week sales total is slightly down from his 2007 high of 294,000 for “Exclusive,” which peaked at No. 4 in Billboard.

A day after his angry outburst, Brown told the BET Channel’s “106 & Park” show, “I felt like they told us this just so they could get us on the show to exploit me. That’s what I thought. So I kind of took it very, very hard. And I kept my composure throughout the interview, although you could see me upset, you know. I kept my composure and did my performances, and when I got back, I just let off, like, steam in the back … I just had to release the anger that I had inside me, because I felt like I worked so hard for this music.”

Brown’s appearance Tuesday on ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars” helped the show take the night’s TV rating contest, although some participants expressed disappointment that the show had invited him on in light of the 2009 domestic violence case.

Coming in well behind Brown in the No. 2 spot on this week’s chart is Jennifer Hudson’s latest, “I Remember Me,” which was overseen by veteran music mogul Clive Davis. It sold 165,000 copies.

Among four new titles in the top 5 this week are the Strokes’ “Angles,” which debuted at No. 4 on first week sales of 89,000 copies, close behind Adele’s “21,” which remained strong at No. 3 on sales of 96,000 copies. Adele’s album still holds the lead for 2011 in first-week sales, with an initial total of 352,000. Gospel artist Kirk Franklin’s “Hello Fear” entered at No. 5, with sales of 87,000, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

On the singles front, Katy Perry’s “E.T.” with Kanye West has climbed to the No. 1 spot, making it her fourth chart-topping single from her “Teenage Dream” album, which also hit No. 1 last summer upon its release. Billboard notes that it’s the first album to put four singles at No. 1 since Usher’s “Confessions” accomplished that feat in 2004, and it’s only the ninth album to do so in the chart’s 52-year history.