Usher Survives; Shifts 433,000 Albums First Week

Despite a serious leak, Usher scored first-week sales of 433,000 units on his latest, Here I Stand.

That easily translated into a number one, though it represents a fraction of the first-week on Usher’s previous release, Confessions.  That 2004 album, which contained hits like “Yeah,” “My Boo” and “Burn,” scored first-week sales of nearly 1.1 million according to Nielsen Soundscan.

Here I Stand almost set a debut record for 2008, though Mariah Carey edged Usher with first-week sales of 463,000 units on E=MC2.  In an earlier period, even just a few years prior, both artists could have pushed past the one million mark.

Against the backdrop of a softening recording market, the Usher performance is respectable, though the exact impact of the pre-release leak remains unclear.   The leak contained a pristine copy of the album, video content and associated artwork, and first started appearing on BitTorrent tracker mininova.org on May 20th.