Madonna's 13th album worst selling in two decades

Rebel Heart failed to debut at No.1 when it was finally officially released on 10 March

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The Independent Culture

Madonna’s latest album is the singer's worst selling in two decades.

Rebel Heart, the iconic performer’s 13th studio album, debuted on 10 March, selling 116,000 copies in the first week and is the first album since her 1994 album Bedtime Stories not to debut at No.1.

The album, featuring collaborations with Kanye West, Avicii and Diplo, debuted at No.2 but swiftly lost its position, falling down to No.22 on the Billboard 200 in its second week.

This week’s sales failed to rescue the slump: only 22,800 copies of Rebel Heart were sold in the past seven days, according to music website the Consequence of Sound.

Disappointing album sales have haunted Madonna’s last two releases.

Her previous work, MDNA, released in 2012, sold 359,000 – but even in its third week was placed ahead on the Billboard chart than Rebel Heart’s current spot.

Between the release of the two albums, Billboard has adapted its methodology in an attempt to better reflect the changing music marketplace. The change aims to capture the success of an album through digital and streaming sales, as well as physical CDs.

Experts have suggested that the poor management of surrounding the release of her latest work – parts were leaked in December causing the singer to move the release dates forward – may have contributed to poor sales.

The album has not been as well-received as some of her previous work, with it receiving a score of 68 on metacritic, based on 29 reviews.

Still, poor sales have not affected the 35-city tour schedule. Live Nation, who produce the tour, announced that second dates in Miami, Toronto and New York’s Madison Square Garden have been added after popular demand.