According to Billboard magazine projections, when the totals for album sales ending the week of June 2, 2012 (actual sales week May 14-20) are finalized, Adam Lambert just might enjoy his first No. 1 album. Trespassing, the sophomore set from the "American Idol" Season 8 runner-up, is currently on track to either debut in the top position or within the top three. And if the album does happen to reach the pinnacle of the Billboard 200, it will also make chart history.
No openly gay artist has ever placed an album in the No. 1 position on the Billboard 200 albums chart. That is not to say that gay artists have never accomplished the feat, something easily disproved by pointing out that Elton John put several albums in the top spot during the 1970s, but an artist admittedly gay has never seen an album go No. 1 after they were open about being so. If Trespassing holds out against sales juggernaut Adele and 21, not to mention fellow "American Idol" alumnus Carrie Underwood, whose Blown Away has been the No. 1 album for the past two weeks, Adam Lambert will be the first openly gay artist in history to have held the No. 1 position on the albums chart.
No small feat, that.
At the same time, Lambert debuting at No. 1 would be the first time an "American Idol" alum succeeded another finalist from the show at the top spot. The closest that came to happening was when Season 2 runner-up Clay Aiken's Measure of a Man spent two weeks at No. 1 for two weeks in October 2003 and winner Ruben Studdard's debut, Soulful, debuted at the top in mid-December. It would also be the eleventh No. 1 by an "Idol" finalist, the second by a runner-up, and the fourth by an alum that didn't win the competition.
According to Billboard, all the news concerning Trespassing, which was released on May 15, isn't necessarily cause for celebration. It is projected to only sell between 70,000 and 80,000 copies, making it the lowest-selling No. 1 in nearly a year (Adele's 21 spent its twelfth nonconsecutive week at the top with a sales total of 76,000 units in August). And even though it would be a personal best for Lambert as to chart placement (2009's For Your Entertainment debuted at No. 3), it still would fall well short of the 198,000 copies his first album sold its first week in circulation.
To give the new album a bump, Adam Lambert appeared on ABC's "Good Morning America" the day the album dropped. He also returned to the "American Idol" stage to perform the album's latest single, "Never Close Our Eyes," on the Top 3 results show.
Still, the operative term in the sales forecast is "projection." Carrie Underwood's performance Sunday at the Billboard Music Awards may have given her album a boost. Of course, the fact that Adele walked away with 15 of the Billboard trophies that same evening could very well put her 21 back on top for a 24th nonconsecutive week.
(photo credit: Greg Hernandez, Creative Commons)