Diva Mariah Carey is heading for her 17th top 10 album on the Billboard 200 chart — but the No. 1 slot will likely elude the singer.
Carey’s new effort, “Me. I Am Mariah… The Elusive Chanteuse,” could sell approximately 55,000 to 60,000 copies in the week ending June 1, according to industry forecasters, for a possible start at No. 3.
That would mark Carey’s lowest sales debut for a non-holiday studio album since Nielsen SoundScan began tracking sales in 1991. Her previous low came in 1991 when “Emotions” launched at No. 4, with 156,000 in sales, according to SoundScan. Carey has since tallied six No. 1 albums between 1991 and 2008.
“Chanteuse” was released on May 27 by Def Jam Records — nearly five years after her last non-holiday studio album in 2009, “Memoirs of An Imperfect Angel.” That was her longest break between studio projects.
“Chanteuse” was tentatively earmarked for a release in March 2013, but was then pushed to July 23, then to May 6, 2014, and finally May 27. The promotion for the new set arguably started in August 2012 with the release of the single “Triumphant (Get ‘Em),” a song that does not appear on “Chanteuse.”
The new album’s most recent charting single, “You’re Mine (Eternal),” spent one week on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at No. 88 on the March 1-dated chart. The set previously logged a No. 15 hit with “#Beautiful,” featuring Miguel, in June 2013. Comparably, the “Memoirs” album launched with the No. 7-peaking single “Obsessed.” Carey holds the mark for the most Hot 100 No. 1 hits, 18, among soloists. Among all acts, only the Beatles, with 20, have more.
Carey will likely be blocked from the No. 1 slot on next week’s Billboard 200 chart by two holdover titles in their second week: Coldplay’s “Ghost Stories” and Brantley Gilbert’s “Just As I Am.”
On SoundScan’s Building chart, Coldplay and Carey are Nos. 1 and 2, respectively. The Building tally is a precursor to the final Billboard 200 ranking — reflecting the first four days (Monday through Thursday) of SoundScan’s tracking week as reported by six major merchants.