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Madonna’s ‘MDNA’ Tops Billboard Chart After First Week

April 4 (Bloomberg) -- Madonna’s “MDNA” sold 359,000 copies in its first week, giving the pop star her eighth No. 1 Billboard 200 debut album and best retail performance in 12 years, as some concert fans got the album with ticket purchases.

“MDNA” sold 28 percent more copies in its first week than Madonna’s last album, 2008’s “Hard Candy,” Nielsen SoundScan said yesterday in an e-mailed statement. Madonna is signed with Live Nation Entertainment Inc. and releases her music through Interscope Records, a unit of Vivendi SA’s Universal Music.

U.S. buyers of tickets to Madonna’s 66-date worldwide tour could choose to receive “MDNA” as part of their purchase, Nielsen SoundScan said. Billboard counts those as sales. Jon Bon Jovi and Tom Petty used similar promotions, leading to No. 1 and No. 2 debuts, respectively, on the Billboard 200 chart.

“Sales were aided by a successful album-sales promotion involving Madonna’s upcoming world tour,” said Nielsen SoundScan, which supplies Billboard’s data.

The tour starts May 29 in Tel Aviv.

Live Nation, based in Beverly Hills, California, had no immediate comment. The world’s biggest concert promoter, Live Nation acquired Ticketmaster, the world’s largest ticket retailer, in 2010.

Madonna signed an accord with Live Nation in 2007 that covers new releases, concerts and merchandise. In December, the artist and Live Nation reached an agreement with Interscope Records to release “MDNA” and two more albums.

Album sales have climbed 1 percent this year, according to Nielsen SoundScan. “MDNA” is the biggest debut of 2012, while Adele’s “21,” released in 2011, sold 730,000 copies the week after the Grammy awards show in February.

Live Nation fell 1.5 percent to $9.21 yesterday in New York. The shares have gained 11 percent this year.

To contact the reporter on this story: Andy Fixmer in Los Angeles at afixmer@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Palazzo at apalazzo@bloomberg.net

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