When it was announced that Kanye West had beaten 50 Cent in that puffed-up sales contest they recently had, Kanye urged everyone to keep buying his album – but it seems that everyone decided they preferred country music instead.
Reba McEntire's Reba Duets album – featuring songs sung with everyone from Justin Timberlake to Kelly Clarkson – has barged past both Kanye West and 50 Cent to reach the top of the American album sales chart, ending Kanye West's number one tenure after just a week. Since the charts now seem to be operating on some sort of confusing 'loser retires' system, Reba McEntire now has to demand the resignation of all the other artists with new albums in the top 10. And, since that includes Barry Manilow, James Blunt and KT Tunstall, we'd say that just about outweighs the fact that a third of a million Americans now own a contract-fulfilling album of duets by a 52-year-old ginger cowgirl containing gratuitous amounts of LeAnn Rimes.
For all the boasting and bragging that went on during the recent Kanye West/ 50 Cent album sales face-off – the debates, the promises to retire, the lorryload of ridiculous excuses – it didn't really come to much, did it? Kanye West may have beaten 50 Cent to the number one slot, but he didn't have much time to celebrate his victory – one short week later and middle-aged country singer Reba McEntire, from the movie Tremors, has beaten him to the number one spot with an album of duets that had first-week sales a third the size of his.
Reba McEntire – performer of hits like Happy Birthday Jesus, (There's Nothing Like The Love) Between A Woman And A Man and Whose Heartache Is This Anyway – is unusual in the country music scene because the only heartbreak she's been through has been one divorce and a plane crash that killed her entire backing band, an easy ride by country music's ridiculous standards. But her comparative easy ride hasn't stopped 301,000 long-distance truck drivers stopping by their local backwater music shop last week to buy Reba McEntire's new album Reba Duets, containing duets with famous bollock-grabber abusers, famous mother-daters and famous tour-cancelling failures alike. E! Online reports:
A week after Kanye West's Graduation topped 50 Cent's Curtis in one of the biggest battles in chart history, Reba McEntire knocked both artists down a peg. For the week ended Sunday, Reba Duets rocketed to number one, selling nearly 301,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan numbers released today. "I am beyond thrilled to have my biggest sales week ever with my 31st album," McEntire said in a press release. "To get to share it with all my friends on this duets project is icing on the cake!"
But forget Reba McEntire – if she got to number one by selling just 301,000 albums, what happened to Kanye West and 50 Cent's sales? Last week Kanye West sold 957,000 and 50 Cent sold 691,000, but this week sales of their albums fell by 77% and 79% respectively. That's a pretty poor show, not just for Kanye West and 50 Cent but for all of hip-hop, to be beaten so thoroughly by country music. And it's not just in albums sales that hip-hop is falling behind, either – country music's beating it in the bad-ass stakes as well.
After all, while country music is awash with a blizzard of shootings and chokings and alcoholism and battery and denials of homosexuality and child-molesting, what's hip-hop got left to offer? Flaming bottoms and happily-served community service orders? That just makes us sick. More child-molesting please, hip-hop.
Wait, we're pretty sure that wasn't what we meant to say.