New Music: Lionel Richie’s ‘Tuskegee’ Debuts at No. 2 behind Madonna

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It’s the 80s all over again atop the Billboard 200 chart this week.

Madonna’s new album “MDNA” sold 359,000 copies in its first week to earn her fifth straight No. 1, while another 50-something 80s icon, Lionel Richie, saw his latest set “Tuskegee” place No. 2 with his best sales week since 1986. Source

The album – which features country versions of Richie’s classics via duets with such artists as Tim McGraw, Jason Aldean, and Shania Twain – sold 199,000 copies in its first seven days. To put that in perspective, consider this: Richie’s last album, 2009′s “Just Go,” sold 95,000 copies total to date.

According to Entertainment Weekly, the country community backed Richie 100 percent in the months leading up to “Tuskegee‘s” release. Back in November, the CMAs put together a Lionel Richie medley, in which the star joined fellow African-American country star Darius Rucker on stage. This past weekend, Richie sang with Blake Shelton at the ACM Awards.

In between those two shows, he’s been on a nonstop publicity tour: Richie has appeared on Today, on The Voice alongside Christina Aguilera, on his own CMT special, and he has performed on both “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” and “The Late Show with Dave Letterman.”

He has also been announced as a mentor on ABC’s upcoming singing competition “Duets” alongside Jennifer Nettles, with whom he also duets on Tuskegee. As Richie says in this week’s edition of EW, on stands Friday, “When I walked in the door [to make a country album], Nashville showed up.”

View the full Top 10 below:

1. Madonna, MDNA – 359,000

2. Lionel Richie, Tuskegee – 199,000

3. Adele, 21 – 121,000

4. Shinedown, Amaryllis – 106,000

5. Various Artists, The Hunger Games: Songs From District 12 And Beyond – 64,000

6. One Direction, Up All Night – 46,000

7. Katy Perry, Teenage Dream – 33,000

8. The Used, Vulnerable – 32,000

9. Bruce Springsteen, Wrecking Ball – 28,000

10. Various Artists, Now 41 – 25,000

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