Born in Trinidad but a resident of New York since she was five, 29 year old Minaj is primarily a rap artist, and the first female of that genre to secure a number one album. After reaching a 13 week high last frame, Pink Friday slips 30-40, as attention shifts to Minaj's new album. It sold 4,439 copies last week, raising its career (72 week) tally to 281,346.
Leading the chasing pack, Labrinth's debut album, Electronic Earth, enters at number two (32,281 sales), following the top five success of three of its songs: Let The Sun Shine (number three), Earthquake (number two, feat. Tinie Tempah) and Last Time (number four).
On a more surreal note, Dustbin Beaver, Broccoli Spears and Lady GooGoo are among the characters on The Moshi Monsters' debut album Music Rox! which debuts strongly at number four (24,954 sales). Although charting without radio or TV play, The Moshi Monsters are an exceptional online phenomenon, with their own networking website for kids, and a string of popular music videos to their credit.
Welsh rockers Lostprophets third album, Liberation Transmission earned the band its maiden number one on first week sales of 66,425 in 2006. Follow-up The Betrayed made a lesser impression, entering at number three on sales of 31,873 copies in 2010, and the downward spiral continues with fifth album Weapons selling 15,886 copies to debut at number nine this week. The band's biggest seller remains their second album, Start Something, a 2006 release which peaked at number four, and has thus far sold 415,828 copies.
More than 20 years after they first charted, Orbital remain one of UK dance music's more durable acts, debuting at number 22 (8,001 sales) with Wonky. Their 11th charted album since 1991, it is brothers Phil and Paul Hartnoll's first album since 2004, when Blue Album secured a more modest number 44 placing on sales of 5,949. Wonky's good start is partly due to the digipack edition, which includes a second CD of Orbital classics - including Chime, Belfast and Satan - recorded live in Australia. It accounted for 59.57% of sales last week.
Recording sequels to classics albums can be a lucrative business as Mike Oldfield and Meat Loaf can attest. Oldfield waited 19 years after the release of Tubular Bells to issue Tubular Bells II, and Meat Loaf put out Bat Out Of Hell II - Back Into Hell in 1993, some 15 years after Bat Out Of Hell was released. Both were rewarded with number ones. Now, 40 years after Jethro Tull's iconic prog. rock concept album Thick As A Brick - which contained one track running 44 minutes! - band leader Ian Anderson has released Thick As A Brick 2. Although it can't manage the original album's number five chart placing, it is the first solo album by the 64 year old Scot to chart, and debuts this week at number 35 (5,205 sales).
Blur guitarist Graham Coxon's eighth album A+E debuts at number 39 (4,671 sales), securing the fifth highest chart placing for his solo canon. It arrives five weeks before Blur colleague Damon Albarn's new solo album, Dr Dee.
Critical Mass, Prank, Trevon Allworthy, Gary Gramolini and Andrew Dugan have all issued albums called simply MMXII - 2012 in Roman numerals - already this year but none has charted. But post-punk survivors Killing Joke, all of whom are now in their 50s, rack up their 13th chart album and extend their chart tenure to 32 years with an album of that name debuting at number 44 (3,843 sales).
Three other veteran acts also return to chart duty this week: family favourites The Osmonds chart a new studio album for the first time in 37 years with Can't Get There Without You (number 56, 3,055 sales); 71 year old New Orleans jazz/blues/R&B legend Dr. John makes only his second visit to the chart, with Locked Down (number 51, 3,409 sales); and 62 year old blues/rock singer Bonnie Raitt's seventh chart album - and first since a 2003 Best Of - Slipstream debuts at number 64 (2,672 sales).
There are also debuts this week for Stoke band All The Young's first album Welcome Home (number 41, 3,972 sales); Jamaican dancehall star Sean Paul's fourth chart album, Tomahawk Technique, which debuts at a surprisingly low number 34 (5,418 sales), despite current single She Don't Mind spending a third straight week at number two; Disney star Demi Lovato's first charted album at the third attempt with Unbroken (number 45, 3,833 sales); and UK folk artist Seth Lakeman's fourth charted album, Tales From The Barrel House (number 63, 2,708 sales).
After debuting last week at number one, Madonna's MDNA slumps to number seven (17,574 sales).
Katy Perry's Teenage Dream dives 6-18 (8,558 sales) after jumping 28 places last week following the release of the Complete Confection edition - but the 8,558 copies it sold last week see it safely through the million sales barrier, with a to date tally of 1,005,728.
A repeat showing of the edited version of Adele's Live At The Royal Albert Hall DVD on BBC1 on Friday night (6th April) resulted in a 44.46% spike in sales of the commercially released version of the concert, although it failed to return to the video chart. It also helped 21, which enjoyed an almost identical 44.63% leap in sales week-on-week to 28,156, and climbs 4-3 as a result. Adele's first album, 19, enjoys an even bigger 58.46% sales bounce, and jumps 24-15 (9,156 sales),
With nine number ones and 37 Top 10 hits among its 42 tracks, Now That's What I Call Music! 81 debuts atop the compilation chart with sales of 255,337 copies. That's more than 10 times as many as the number two title, 46.74% of the overall compilation market for last week, and more than the rest of the Top 200 combined. It is 16.92% higher than 2011 equivalent, Now! 78's first week sales.
Overall album sales are up 28.92% week-on-week at 1,998,176 - 18.93% above same week 2011 sales of 1,680,176 and 20.39% above the comparative and, frankly, dire immediate pre-Easter trading week of 2011, when 1,659,775 albums were sold.
SINGLES: As predicted last week, Canadian singer Carly Rae Jepsen's debut single Call Me Maybe debuts at number one, with sales of 106,657. That's the highest tally for a number one single for seven weeks, and the third highest in 14 chart weeks so far in 2012. Originally scheduled for release on 22 April, Call Me Maybe was brought forward after a rash of soundalike covers, four of which were in the Top 200 last week.
In a similar scenario, Fun's We Are Young - which is number one in the USA for the fifth straight week - enters the chart in two cover versions, with Rainbow Mix at number 64 (5,225 sales) and We Are Young Singers at number 78 (4,305 sales). The latter version was ahead, and would have charted higher but was mysteriously deleted on Thursday. 16 other versions of the song sold last week without making the Top 200, including the Glee Cast's version, which reached number 56 in December and has sold 18,983 copies to date, including 1,083 last week. More mysteriously, the Fun version actually IS available in the UK, and has sold 6,111 copies in the UK since last Autumn, including 842 last week - but most potential buyers seem to be looking for it on iTunes, where it is not yet available, instead of Amazon, where it has been available on mp3 for 99p since 20 September 2011.
Jepsen's early release is tough on Sean Paul, whose She Doesn't Mind would otherwise have ascended to number one but instead spends its third week at number two, each behind a different song. She Doesn't Mind sold 58,700 copies last week.
Gotye's former number one, Somebody That I Used To Know sold more than 50,000 copies for the 10th week in a row, and climbs 5-3, with sales up 4.50% at 53,884. Its career sales now stand at 802,544.
In midweek sales flashes, Nicki Minaj's Starships was showing a substantial increase week-on-week and was set to sell more copies than in any of its previous six weeks in the Top 10 - but it ended up slipping to number four, with sales off 1.5% at 53,009. It seems to have been the victim of another iTunes quirk - the single version was deleted midweek, and the song disappeared from the iTunes Top 20 for some time, before punters discovered they could still buy it as a track on her new Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded album.
Number one last week, Chris Brown's Turn Up The Music slides to five (40,941 sales).
Alex Day - former Sons Of Admirals singer, ongoing YouTube sensation and protege of Jonathan King - debuts at number 15 (20,414 sales) with Lady Godiva. A cover of a song that Peter & Gordon took to number 16 in 1966, it is Day's second solo single, following Forever Yours, which debuted at number four (52,881 sales) last Christmas, only to plunge to number 112 the following week.
With Danny O'Donoghue as one of the hit show's resident coaches, and former supermarket worker David Julien performing an excellent version of the band's The Man Who Can't Be Moved, The Script are enjoying increased record sales. The aforementioned song - a number two hit for the group in 2008 - re-enters the Top 75 this week at number 18 (18,903 sales boosting its career tally to 533,630), while the band's eponymous debut album, from which it was taken, catapults 53-31 (5,879 sales). The Script's second album, Science & Faith, is also resurgent, jumping 82-52 (3,397 sales).
Climbing for the sixth week in a row, Azealia Banks' debut hit 212 (feat. Lazy Jay) has moved 116-67-46-24-20-14-12. It sold 25,381 copies last week, raising its career sales to 104,376.
Oh My Goodness - the third single from Olly Murs' second album In Case You Didn't Know - continues to grow. After leaping 48-28 last week, it is on the verge of becoming the album's third Top 10 single, jumping to number 13 (23,772 sales).
EDF Energy's use of Together In Electric Dreams in their new TV campaign has resulted in the 1984 number three smash re-entering the chart at number 90 (3,195 sales) for Phil Oakey & Giorgio Moroder. It is also at number 118 (2,338 sales) for Oakey's band, The Human League - which is odd, since they never recorded it. It would appear that the sales thus credited are from the Human League compilation The Greatest Hits, on which the Oakey/Moroder track appears in its original version. That being the case, the two should have been combined, with a number 61 chart placing being earned by the resultant total of 5,533 sales.
Overall singles sales are up 8.75% week-on-week at 3,494,591 - 20.83% above same week 2011 sales of 2,892,083.