Bruno Mars tops Billboard 200 chart with help from Amazon MP3

R&B singer Bruno Mars grabbed the top spot on the Billboard 200 album chart on Wednesday for the first time after discounted online prices boosted sales of “Unorthodox Jukebox” some four months after its release.

Mars’ album, which includes the hit “Locked Out of Heaven,” sold 95,000 copies last week, according to figures from Nielsen SoundScan.

Industry magazine Billboard said 64,000 units of the album were digital downloads following a one-day sale of $1.99 on Amazon.com’s MP3 site.

Atoms for Peace, the rock group fronted by Radiohead singer Thom Yorke, claimed the second spot with their debut album “Amok” entering the chart at No. 2, selling 50,000 units.

Mumford & Sons’ Grammy-winning album “Babel” fell from the top spot last week into third, while the same Amazon MP3 online sale that helped Mars also vaulted hip-hop duo Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ album “The Heist” from No. 16 to No. 4.

Hillsong United, the band from Australian megachurch Hillsong, rounded out the top five with the album “Zion,” selling 34,000 units in its first week.

Scottish singer Susan Boyle to make film debut

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Scottish singer Susan Boyle will get her first turn on the big screen in the British holiday period film “The Christmas Candle,” the movie’s producers said on Thursday.

Boyle, 51, will back up Samantha Barks, Hans Matheson and Lesley Manville in the Christmas film that began production this week on location in the United Kingdom and the Isle of Man.

The film, based on the novella by Max Lucado, tells the tale of an enchanted Christmas candle in Gladbury, a dull village that must confront the dawning of the 20th century and a new, skeptical minister.

There was no information on what role the singer will play.

“Everyone on set is a delight to work with and it’s a fantastic experience to be part of the team,” Boyle said in a statement.

“I’m really enjoying getting dressed in the period costumes and stepping back in time and although it’s very cold filming on location, I’m wearing long johns under my bustle,” she added. Read more

Mumford & Sons hold top spot on Billboard 200 in slow music week

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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – British folk band Mumford & Sons held their reign at the top of the Billboard 200 album chart with their Grammy-winning album “Babel” in a slow week that saw no new debuts in the top 10.

Mumford & Sons, who won Album of the Year at the Grammy awards earlier this month and performed twice on stage, saw a second week of Grammy-related boosts as “Babel” sold 62,000 copies, according to figures from Nielsen SoundScan.

It is the fifth non-consecutive week at the top spot for the album, which was released in September 2012 and became one of last year’s biggest-selling records.

The Grammy awards boost also helped Bruno Mars’ “Unorthodox Jukebox” reach No. 2 with 48,000 copies, The Lumineers self-titled album at No. 5, and Alabama Shakes’ “Boys & Girls” at No. 6.

The official “2013 Grammy Nominees” compilation dropped from to No.7 from No. 2, FUN.’s “Some Nights” dropped one spot to No. 8, Rihanna’s “Unapologetic” climbed six places to No. 9 and Taylor Swift’s “Red” dropped to No. 10 from No.4.

Josh Groban’s “All That Echoes” at No. 3 and the “Now Music 45” compilation at No. 4 were the only two entries not related to the Grammys this week.

On the Digital Songs chart, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ “Thrift Shop” single held at No. 1 for the seventh consecutive week, with 363,000 downloads.