Madame X marks the top spot on US charts

NEW YORK • Charting like it is 1985? Legends Madonna, 60, and Bruce Springsteen, 69, are taking fans on a trip down memory lane, respectively nabbing No. 1 and No. 2 of the American top-album tally.

Madonna's Madame X struck gold on the Billboard 200 chart, landing the icon her ninth No. 1 album atop the list, which the industry tracker published in full yesterday.

Springsteen's Western Stars raced in at second - marking the first time since 1985 that the Queen of Pop and The Boss are reigning over the album chart together.

For two weeks in January and February of that year, Springsteen's Born In The USA held the top spot as Madonna's Like A Virgin came in second, before the seminal albums traded places in the two weeks that followed.

The era saw the two superstars, along with Prince and Michael Jackson, usher in the brave new world of MTV, the music-video television network that gave albums longer staying power than before.

Madonna's latest effort - a mash-up of Latin beats, acoustic ballads and inward-looking reflections on marginalised communities - soared to the top of the charts in part thanks to her bundling strategy.

The sales method is rampant in the industry - with adherents including Taylor Swift and Katy Perry - and pairs albums with performance-ticket or merchandise sales in a bid to bolster sales.

Though Madonna held her own stateside, Springsteen's dreamy sonic portrait of the American West beat Madame X in Australia and Britain. His second-place finish in the United States marked his 20th top 10 effort there.

The debut success of the musical titans is expected to be short-lived, however, with industry-watchers predicting the future will return next week with genre-bending country rap star Lil Nas X.

The meme king - who catapulted to overnight fame thanks to his wildly successful track, Old Town Road - just released his debut project, 7, which includes the mega hit's original version and Billy Ray Cyrus' remix along with a song featuring rap star Cardi B.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 26, 2019, with the headline 'Madame X marks the top spot on US charts'. Print Edition | Subscribe