Billboard 200 Decoder: Adele, Jennifer Hudson and Ray LaMontagne


Hot Right Now: ADELE

Her debut album 19 — which is all about a boy who dumped her and broke her heart — has been on the charts for 20 weeks now. It peaked this week at number 11, possibly buoyed by the British songbird’s recent appearance on SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE.

We like her because she’s not LILY ALLEN.

Even if you think you haven’t heard of her before, you’ve definitely heard her before. Her single “CHASING PAVEMENTS” has appeared on the soundtracks of a handful of TV shows and movies, and is a favorite among drunken former sorority girls who think they can actually sing at karaoke.

Adele is back for in the U.S. for a tour starting in January.

So Five Minutes Ago:JENNIFER HUDSON Before you get mad at us for kicking the girl when she’s going through a major tragedy, let it be known that we love everything about Jennifer Hudson except for her cheesy role as Louise in SEX AND THE CITY: THE MOVIE.

Nevertheless, her self-titled debut album dropped four places to number nine after spending four weeks on the chart. Maybe she should stick with the acting stuff.

Totally Over:RAY MONTAGNE We’ve always appreciated this bearded singer/songwriter’s work because it’s the perfect background music when you’re entertaining — and no, that’s not a backhanded compliment. His latest album GOSSIP IN THE GRAIN dropped 14 places to the number 17 slot in only its second week on the chart. Not a great sign.