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Grande to perform at MTV Video Music Awards Ed Sheeran scores first No. 1 album

LOS ANGELES, July 3, (Agencies): British singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran’s scored his first top album on the weekly US Billboard 200 chart on Wednesday as “x” easily lapped the competition selling 210,000 copies, according to figures from Nielsen SoundScan.
“x” is the 23-year-old’s second album and sales have been helped by the success of the single “Sing,” which was produced by Pharrell Williams and features the “Happy” singer as well.
The No. 2 album this week, “In the Lonely Hour” from fellow British singer-songwriter Sam Smith, sold 67,000 copies.

The last time two British solo artists were No. 1 and 2 on the US album chart was in 1993, when albums by Eric Clapton and Sting were in the top spots, Billboard said.
Rapper G-Eazy’s “These Things Happen” sold 46,000 copies to debut at No. 3 on the chart. Last week’s top album, pop singer Lana Del Rey’s “Ultraviolence,” fell to fourth, while the soundtrack to the animated Disney film “Frozen” was fifth — its 28th consecutive week in the top five.
Two other new releases in the top 10 this week were rockers Mastodon’s “Once More ‘Round the Sun” at No. 6 and veteran jam-rock band Phish’s “Fuego” at No. 7.
Sam Smith’s song “Stay with Me” topped the digital songs chart with 211,000 downloads, beating out last week’s top song “Rude” from Canadian reggae fusion band Magic! by 1,000 downloads.
Total album sales for the week ended June 29 were 4.3 million, a 14 percent decline compared with the same week last year, Billboard said. Overall year-to-date album sales are 120.9 million, a 15 percent decrease from the same period last year.

Robin Thicke says estranged wife Paula Patton hasn’t listened to his full album, “Paula,” which he dedicated to her.
“She hasn’t heard it,” the R&B singer told Hot 97’s “Ebro In The Morning” show. “She’s only heard a few songs. And I don’t think she wants to hear it right now. I can’t speak for her, but I think space is an important part of any healing process.”
Thicke’s lyrics on the album include “Come back to me... Pretty please darling.” He said the album was was about “what happens when you lose the love of your life and you try to figure out in your head like, ‘How am I gonna move on?’”
He also said he hadn’t seen Patton in four months.
“I try to keep most of that private, but I haven’t seen her for four months,” Thicke said. “And you know, we cool, she’s the best girl in the world, a great mother and still a good friend... but I also want to wish her well and let her know that she’s a great person and she deserves to have a good life.”

Ariana Grande will perform at the MTV Video Music Awards on Aug. 24.
MTV announced Wednesday the pop singer is the first performer for the awards show, which will air live from California.
Grande’s current single, “Problem,” has reached double platinum status and peaked at No. 2 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart. It features white-hot rapper Iggy Azalea.
MTV reprised its popular countdown show “Total Request Live” for one day for Grande on Wednesday. It was dubbed “Total Ariana Live.”
The 20-year-old Grande will release her sophomore album, “My Everything,” a day after the VMAs.
Grande was the star of the Nickelodeon sitcoms “Victorious” and “Sam & Cat.” Her 2013 debut single was the Top 10 hit “The Way.”

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