August 15, 2007
Entertainment Weekly has an interesting take on the brewing feud between hip-hop mega-stars 50 Cent and Kanye West:
Whose new CD will sell more when they both drop on Sept. 11, 50 Cent or Kanye West? While those two rappers continue to busy themselves trading verbal jabs over that question, a third contender is now staking his claim to that week’s hotly contested sales crown: country superstar Kenny Chesney.
”It’s funny how with every record that comes out, we’re aware of the urban [competition], and none of those acts acknowledge that I exist,” Chesney tells EW via email. ”Until I have that No. 1 debut on the Top 200.”
Just Who I Am: Poets and Pirates, Chesney’s 11th studio album, goes on sale the same Tuesday morning as 50 Cent’s Curtis and Kanye West’s Graduation. Chesney’s last four studio efforts have opened atop Billboard‘s albums chart — including his most recent effort, The Road and the Radio, which beat the original soundtrack to 50 Cent’s film Get Rich or Die Tryin’ when both debuted in November 2005.
Personally, I’d be surprised if Chesney wins the first-week showdown. His latest studio album, The Road and the Radio, opened with 469,000 copies. Kanye West sold more than 860,000 of Graduation, his last album, in the first week. 50 Cent sold 1,140,000 of The Massacre, his last studio set, in only four days.
I would, however, wager that all three artists will sell less this time around, and that Chesney will easily have the top-selling album of the three after a few weeks. Chesney remains a core country radio act and is far less dependent on a big opening week to drive up his sales tally. One need only to look at Shania Twain’s Come On Over and more recently Carrie Underwood’s Some Hearts for proof that a #1 pop opening isn’t everything.