Justin Timberlake’s ‘The 20/20 Experience’ leads 2013 album sales

Justin Timberlake
“The 20/20 Experience” by Justin Timberlake, pictured performing at the BET Awards, is the biggest-selling album of the year so far.
(Jason Merritt / Getty Images for BET)

In Saturday’s Calendar section, Times pop music critic Randall Roberts runs down his picks for the best albums of the year so far, a list that includes Chance the Rapper’s “Acid Rap,” Kacey Musgraves’ “Same Trailer Different Park” and “The Next Day” by David Bowie.

But which artists topped sales tallies for the first half of 2013?

Justin Timberlake’s “The 20/20 Experience” is the year’s biggest-selling album to date, with 2 million copies sold, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’s “Thrift Shop” takes digital song honors with 5.6 million downloads.

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Billboard reported the findings in a detailed report that also broke some unhappy news for music retailers: This year is the second in a row in which only one album had sold more than 1 million copies by the six-month mark; in 2012 that album was Adele’s “21,” which had moved 3.7 million copies by this point last year.

The year’s second-biggest seller so far is Bruno Mars’ “Unorthodox Jukebox,” which has sold 985,000 copies -- just a few thousand more than Timberlake’s album moved during its first week in stores. Behind the two pop-soul stars on the album list are the latest from Mumford & Sons, Blake Shelton and Imagine Dragons.

Singles-wise, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis are followed by Pink’s “Just Give Me a Reason,” Mars’ “When I Was Your Man,” Rihanna’s “Stay” and Imagine Dragons’ “Radioactive.”

Overall, both album and single sales are down as compared with this point in 2012. But perhaps store owners have reason to feel optimistic about the second half of the year: Timberlake’s sequel to “The 20/20 Experience” is due out Sept. 30.



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