Pop superstar Rihanna failed to meet sales expectations since the release of her Rated R album on November 23. With more than 180,000 copies sold, Rihanna can brag about having her best debut sales week to date. Conversely, with expectations of over 300K units, the actual number is quite underwhelming when reported CD sales at $3.99 and $0.99 failed to propel sales even higher.
Rated R fell behind traditional pop newcomer Susan Boyle's record-breaking sales of more than 660,000 for I Dreamed A Dream. Her story about her humble beginnings and appearances on "Britian's Got Talent" and "America's Got Talent" propelled worldwide interest in Boyle. Thus, she earned 2009's highest album sales within the debut week in America, beating rapper Eminem's Relapse, and beat R&B singer Ashanti's self-titled debut as the new female artist with the highest first-week sales for a debut album.
Adam Lambert's For Your Entertainment sold more than 196,000 units, and Lady Gaga's Fame Monster EP sold approximately 181,00 units. Both artists received a lot of attention for their recent jaw-dropping performances on last week's American Music Awards.
Unfortunately, Latin-pop sensation Shakira's recent performances and promotion generated less than 100K in sales in her debut week of She Wolf as did British R&B singer Jay Sean with his U.S. debut despite earning a #1 single with "Down" featuring rapper Lil' Wayne.