Looks like all that promotion worked. Despite early leaks and disappointing ratings for his TV special, Justin Bieber’s Believe will debut at No. 1 on the Bilboard 200, selling 374,000 copies in its first full week in release. Just shy of 400,000 copies, the debut is a personal high for the 18-year-old, following 2010′s My World 2.0, which sold 291,000 copies in its second week. Believe has also become Bieber’s fourth No. 1 album in his short career: My World 2.0, Never Say Never: The Remixes and last year’s Under the Mistletoe all reached the top spot. Rising to No. 1 on the heels of Carly Rae Jepsen hitting (and staying) at No. 1 on the Hot 100 fulfills Master Scooter’s birthday wish. And now all of Canada may officially begin celebrating.
But he’s not only recording personal bests and making dreams come true for his team. Not only does Bieber’s 374,000 surpass last week’s top-selling performance by big brother Usher, whose Looking 4 Myself rose to #1 on 128,000 copies sold, but it makes Believe the highest-selling album of 2012 thus far (Madonna’s MDNA previously debuted with 359,000 copies), with the largest week in sales since Drake’s Take Care sold 631,000 copies last December. The Bieb’s 374,000 copies were less than projections of 400-500,000, but enough to give him the highest-selling album of the year and of his career, to date. We think he’ll take it. Plus, with “As Long As You Love Me” officially confirmed as his second official single, with an expected video on the way and at least a few more chances for Big Sean to publicly declare his devotion to The Bieb, and an epic stadium tour kicking off this fall, there are still many opportunities for latecomers to join the Belieber ranks. The crying, fainting and album purchasing has only just begun.