(CelebrityAccess MediaWire) —
The incomparable and nine-time Grammy winner Alicia Keys debuts once again at #1 on the Billlboard 200 album chart with first week sales of Unplugged ringing in 195,681 units, according to Nielson SoundScan. Released October 11 on J Records, this charting makes Alicia the first female R&B artist to have three consecutive #1 debuts on the Billboard 200 album chart in as many releases and the first female artist to have an Unplugged debut at #1, beating past MTV Unplugged releases by Mariah Carey, Lauryn Hill, Alanis Morissette and Shakira. Alicia's Unplugged is also the second highest debut from the Unplugged series since Nirvana's 1994 release of MTV Unplugged. Additionally, Alicia Keys' Unplugged is #1 on the R&B Album chart.
Taped July 14 at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the acoustic performance features a full set of Alicia's most acclaimed music, along with several new songs exclusive to her Unplugged performance. Keys was joined on stage by musical counterparts Common, Mos Def, Damian Marley and Adam Levine (Maroon5) for several collaborations that are highlighted on Unplugged, including the lead single "Unbreakable."
"Unplugged debuting at number one is yet another amazing milestone achievement for Alicia," says Clive Davis, chairman/CEO, BMG U.S. "That makes it three in a row–three out of three. You just can't beat that! What makes it extra special is the live format of Unplugged for the true musician–the public really has to be passionate about the artist and the music to buy the album in these numbers."
"We are so fortunate to have partnered with Alicia Keys on this amazingly successful album," says Christina Norman, president, MTV. "She truly shares our vision of reaching music fans on multiple touch points. We pulled out all the stops for her Unplugged release, creating a fully rounded experience for today's music fan through her premiere on MTV 'Overdrive,' MTV.com's 'The Leak,' as well as her performance on the air. This was the perfect realization of our multiplatform strategy."
Unplugged scored big with the MTV audience both on-air and online prior to its release. MTV debuted the highly anticipated special "Unplugged: Alicia Keys" on September 15 with an exclusive first look on the network's broadband channel, MTV Overdrive for one week leading up to the on-air debut. The Unplugged performance was the most popular program on the broadband service for the week, recording an impressive 1 million streams prior to September 23. On that date, MTV premiered the show on-air, and since it has been seen by more than 4.4 million viewers (P2+) to date.
Keys was also quite visible with an additional TV blitz that included week of release appearances on MTV's "TRL," "Entertainment Tonight," "Access Hollywood," "Extra," "E! News Live" and performances of the album's first single "Unbreakable," on "Ellen," "Good Morning America," "Late Show with David Letterman" and "The View."
MTV's Unplugged concert series first debuted in 1989 showcasing popular musical artists playing acoustically in an intimate setting. The series is credited with starting an "acoustic revolution" among musicians, bringing acoustic instruments and arrangements back into the musical mainstream. Unplugged has received critical acclaim, spotlighting artists including Eric Clapton, who won six Grammys including Album of the Year for his performance, Nirvana who won Best Alternative Album Grammy for their Unplugged appearance, and Tony Bennett whose performance earned him Album of the Year honors. Other performers include Bob Dylan, Lauryn Hill, Neil Young, Alice in Chains, Alanis Morissette, LL Cool J, Mariah Carey, and now Alicia Keys. –Bob Grossweiner and Jane Cohen