Entertainment behind the scenes
Miley Cyrus’ CD sales slide as she ditches her wholesome image
Miley Cyrus’ young fans are rebelling against her rebellion.
As the Disney starlet approaches her 18th birthday in November, she is not unwisely downplaying her wholesome image in favor of an edgier facade. The transition shouldn’t have been too hard given all the scantily clad photos that have surfaced in the past few years, not to mention a recently released videoclip that showed 16-year-old Cyrus giving a lap dance to a 44-year-old Hollywood director.
But her evolution into young adulthood is not getting any easier, if first-week sales of her defiantly titled new album, “Can’t Be Tamed” are anything to go by. The album, preceded by a sexy video, sold just 102,000 copies in the United States last week, landing at No. 3 on the Billboard 200 sales chart released Wednesday.
That’s a hefty drop from the 153,000 units that her Walmart-exclusive EP “Time of Our Lives” sold during its first full week last September. The EP’s numbers would have been higher if it had not gone on sale towards the end of the previous sales week, when it sold 62,000 units in just three days — enough for a No. 3 debut also.
Cyrus’ debut album under her own name, “Breakout,” launched at No. 1 in July 2008 with 371,000 units. She also hit No. 1 with a pair of albums released under her “Hannah Montana” alter ego: “Hannah Montana” kicked off with 281,000 units in 2006, and “Hannah Montana 2: Meet Miley Cyrus” with 326,000 the following year.
Those were the days when Cyrus/Montana concert tickets were the hottest commodity on the planet, and scalpers made a mint reselling them for huge markups to the chagrin of frustrated parents and outraged politicians. But times have changed, and youngsters are agog over Lady Gaga and Ke$ha and Drake and Justin Bieber. The latter’s debut album opened at No. 1 in March with 283,000 units and is one of the year’s biggest sellers with sales to date of 1.3 million. Drake’s debut album opened at No. 1 last week with 447,000 units.
Critics have given a guarded thumbs-up to the Cyrus metamorphosis. Entertainment Weekly’s respectful review gave “Can’t Be Tamed” a B-minus, while the New York Times said it was “the most unexpectedly thrilling” album of her career. Disney said it was heartened by market research showing that Cyrus’ fan base in the 16-22 age bracket stood at 47 percent this week from 16 percent last June.