(USA Today) – After two decades, Tyrese Gibson has his first No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 chart. But for the R&B singer and Fast and Furious franchise star, the victory is bittersweet.
His sixth album, Black Rose, sold 83,000 copies its first week, according to Nielsen SoundScan. It’s a slightly better launch than his last effort, 2011’s Open Invitation (76,000), but still not as big as it could have been, says Gibson, who goes by stage name Tyrese.
“I feel like (Black Rose) was under-shipped, because most of the retailers didn’t want to buy a bunch of albums and not have them sell,” Gibson, 36, says. “People on my Instagram, Twitter and Facebook were saying, ‘Bro, I drove to four stores and they don’t even have a copy of your album.’ And I said, ‘Do you know what? This is exactly why I’m glad this album is winning, because hopefully, it’s going to re-spark this genre.’ ”
It’s not that R&B lacks popular appeal. Since last year, artists such as Mary J. Blige,Chris Brown, Miguel and August Alsina have all debuted in the Top 10 with their respective albums, while British newcomer Sam Smith picked up four Grammy Awardsin February, including record and song of the year for soulful hit Stay with Me. Even Gibson has had his share of hits on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart, cracking the top 20 with Sweet Lady in 1999 and How You Gonna Act Like That in 2003.