‘Rebel Heart’ Is Madonna’s Worst-Selling Album in 20 Yearsby Maggie Malach | PopCrush
Bad news for Madonna. The singer’s 13th studio album Rebel Heart is her worst debut in two decades.
Billboard reports that the album sold 116,000 copies in its first week, landing it in the No. 2 spot. (Hit TV show Empire‘s soundtrack landed the coveted top position.) For comparison, Madonna’s previous album 2012’s MDNA sold 359,000 copies its first week, though Billboard estimates approximately 180,000 of those units were sold as part of a concert ticket/album bundle she offered.
Even worse for Madonna is that Rebel Heart‘s sales declined during the second week. ShowBiz411 claims that the number of units sold dropped to 22,800, which is an 80 percent decrease from the debut week.
Madonna’s Rebel Heart promo run is an unconventional one, to say the least. Back in December, the album leaked before it was even announced. In January, Madonna faced criticism for posting images of Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandela and Bob Marley that were altered to look like her album artwork on her Instagram. Furthermore, she responded to the tragic shootings at the satirical French newspaper Charlie Hebdo by posting a photo to her Instagram with the hashtag “rebelhearts.”
In a less controversial move, she premiered her music video for “Living for Love” on Snapchat. Madonna unintentionally stepped into the spotlight after she accidentally fell at the 2015 Brit Awards in February.
However, when Rebel Heart was officially released in March, it received mostly favorable reviews, with many outlets commending Madonna for the reminder that she is one of pop music’s greatest influences.
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