That’s it. The US figures are in for Robin Thicke’s “Paula”a album. He sold roughly 23,000 copies– less than Jennifer Lopez’s 33,000 debut or Mariah Carey’s in May. That’s the lowest debut week for any major pop star this year or in recent memory. The only other complete dud I can think of is will.i.am’s last album, which topped out 55,000 copies. Basically no one in the United States bought Thicke’s album or his shtick about estranged wife Paula Patton.
This is a truly extraordinary situation. Thicke debuted on the charts a year ago with 177,000 copies of his “Blurred Lines.” Something like 14 million downloads were sold of the single “Blurred Lines” which featured Pharrell, who wrote the non Marvin Gaye part of the song.
Karma is a bitch. And Thicke engendered a lot of bad karma for ripping off Marvin Gaye’s essence, if not his song. He pre-emptively sued Gaye’s family, making Thicke look worse than thought possible. Then came all the Miley Cyrus stuff, dancing suggestively with her on an awards show. And then there were stories that he was fooling, accompanied by photos.
On top of that, it turned out Pharrell had something up his sleeve: “Happy,” a song that ripped off no one, and eclipsed “Blurred Lines.”
Meantime, the UK Guardian newspaper is claiming that “Paula” has sold only 530 copies in Britain. That’s right– five hundred and thirty.
The good news: There’s only one place to go from here and that’s up.