Alicia Keys’ ‘Girl On Fire’ Arrives At # 1 On Billboard 200!

And that’s how you slay!

Songstress supreme, serial chart-slayer and arguably one of the greatest vocalists of the past decade Mizz Alicia Keys just earned herself another Billboard # 1 album, HER 5TH NUMBER ALBUM Y’ALL, as ‘Girl On Fire‘, the soul diva’s 5th full-length studio release, launches atop the Billboard 200 Albums Chart with sales of over 159,000 units this week, bumping off Rihanna’s ‘Unapologetic‘ which crashes down to # 6 this week with 72,000 units sold.

Keys has previously topped the Billboard 200 with every album she’s released, except for her 4th studio effort, 2009’s ‘The Element Of Freedom‘ which, in spite of generating massive first-week sales of 417,000 units, was blocked from the # 1 spot by none other than Susan Boyle’s record-breaking début effort ‘I Dreamed A Dream‘, which sold an unprecedented 661,000 on its 4th week on the chart.

Definitely one of my fave albums of the year, ‘Girl On Fire‘ arrives with less-than-modest sales for an Alicia Keys album though. In what comes as a reflection to the pathetic state of sales in the industry, the 159,000 units moved by ‘Girl On Fire‘ is the lowest first-week sales ever by Alicia. Even her 2005 ‘Unplugged‘ album arrived at the summit of the Billboard 200 with sales of 196,000 units.

I firmly believe in the longevity of the album though. It has legs (especially cuz of songs like the sensual slow burning duet with Maxwell ‘Fire We Make‘, a baby-making extravaganza y’all – tried and tested), and I wouldn’t be surprised if ‘Girl On Fire‘ slowly but steadily sells over a million and hits the platinum mark over a period of time, especially with a host of award shows lined up (Alicia’s been a perennial Grammy favorite) where Mizz Keys would have many an opportunity to display her ample and globally acclaimed vocal prowess. This week, the lead single and title track from ‘Girl On Fire‘ roars up 10 spots to a new peak of # 11, narrowly missing the top 10, boosted by Alicia’s performance of the song on Fox’s X-Factor.

Over at the Billboard Hot 100 Singles Chart, Rihanna completes the diva domination of the main Billboard Charts as ‘Diamonds‘ holds on to the # 1 spot for a 3rd week in a row, while completing a 9th week atop the Hot R’n’B/Hip Hop Songs Chart. It’s easier now for artists like Rihanna, who are buoyed mainly by digital sales, to top the latter chart easily for prolonged periods, as digital downloads are being incorporated for the past 9 weeks in the past airplay-only chart.

R’n’B/Soul crooner Bruno Mars now seems to be Rihanna’s biggest threat as ‘Locked Out Of Heaven‘, previewing Mars’ sophomore album ‘Unorthodox Jukebox‘ releasing next week, soars to # 2 from # 4 last week, displacing Ke$ha’s ‘Die Young‘ which slips a notch to # 3 this week on the Hot 100.

The race for next week’s # 1 on the Hot 100 might shape up to be an intense one, with Ke$ha’s sophomore full-length album ‘Warrior‘ just hitting the stores this week.  ‘Die Young‘ is all set to get a major boost by the end of this week, with an increase in digital sales following the hoopla surrounding the album release, while Mars’ ‘Locked Out Of Heaven‘ is already going insanely strong on the airplay charts, and might just pip Rihanna’s ‘Diamonds‘ as the most played song in the US by next week. So it’s a three-way battle between Rihanna, Bruno Mars and Ke$ha all the way to the top!

At # 12 on the Hot 100, it’s chart titan Britney (bitch!) Spears and occasional hit-maker Will.I.Am making some major noise, screaming and shouting to be precise, as their new collaboration ‘Scream And Shout‘ arrives with impressive digital sales of over 196,000 units this week, easily bumping Psy’s ‘Gangnam Style‘ atop the Digital Songs Chart. The song gains in digital sales due to the premiere of the video on X-Factor.

The Billboard Top 10 Singles this week are :

1. Diamonds – Rihanna

2. Locked Out Of Heaven – Bruno Mars

3. Die Young – Ke$ha

4. One More Night – Maroon 5

5. Ho Hey – The Lumineers

6. Some Nights – Fun.

7. Home – Philip Phillips

8. I Cry – Flo Rida

9. Let Me Love You (Until You Learn To Love Yourself) – Ne-Yo

10. Gangnam Style – Psy

The Billboard Top 10 Albums this week are :

1. Girl On Fire – Alicia Keys

2. Red – Taylor Swift

3. Merry Christmas, Baby – Rod Stewart

4. Take Me Home – One Direction

5. The World From The Side Of The Moon – Phillip Phillips

6. Unapologetic – Rihanna

7. Christmas – Michael Buble

8. On This Winter’s Night – Lady Antebellum

9. Cheers, It’s Christmas – Blake Shelton

10. Rebel Soul – Kid Rock