Streisand makes music history with six decades of No. 1 albums

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Barbra Streisand made music history on Wednesday by becoming the only performer to have a No. 1 album in each of the past six decades, as her latest release “Partners” topped the U.S. Billboard 200 chart.

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The album sold 196,000 copies in its first week, according to sales figures compiled by Nielsen SoundScan.

With her latest hit, Streisand also became the only female artist to grab the No. 1 spot on the Billboard album chart on 10 different occasions.

She now holds fourth place on the list of acts with the most No. 1 albums, tailing The Beatles’ 19 chart-toppers, Jay Z’s 13 records and Bruce Springsteen’s 11.

Streisand’s first No. 1 album came almost exactly 50 years ago when “People” hit No. 1 on the chart dated Oct. 31, 1964, Billboard said.

“Partners” features Streisand singing classic songs with male artists, such as “New York State of Mind” with Billy Joel, “Somewhere” with Josh Groban and “People” with Stevie Wonder.

Streisand, 72, led a slew of new entries on the weekly Billboard 200 chart, which measures both physical and digital album sales.

Rapper Chris Brown saw his latest album “X” enter the chart at No. 2 with sales of 145,000 copies. The album is the first since Brown was released from a Los Angeles jail in June after serving a one-year sentence for violating probation from his 2009 assault of pop singer Rihanna.

Country singer Tim McGraw debuted at No. 3 with “Sundown Heaven Town,” while veteran country artist George Strait clocked No. 4 with his live record “The Cowboy Rides Away.”

Other new entries include alt-rockers Train at No. 5 with “Bulletproof Picasso,” pop-rockers One Republic at No. 6 with “Native,” metal-rockers Motionless in White’s “Reincarnate” at No. 9 and former Guns N’ Roses guitarist Slash featuring Myles Kennedy at No. 10 with “World On Fire.”

Last week’s chart-topper, Christian music rapper Lecrae’s “Anomaly,” dropped to No. 8 this week.

For the week ending Sept. 21, overall album sales tallied at 4.36 million albums, down 4 percent from the comparable sales week in 2013, while year-to-date sales totaled 171.3 million, down 14 percent from last year, Billboard said.

Reporting by Piya Sinha-Roy; editing by Patricia Reaney and Tom Brown