Robin Thicke’s new album is not selling in its first week.
Despite misguided claims he’s a “one hit wonder,” though, Robin has been a successful singer in the R&B charts for nearly 10 years before becoming widely known in the Billboard 100 for last year’s single, Blurred Lines. Then the blowback from that single’s lyrical content and music video. Then for Robin’s performance with Miley Cyrus at the VMAs. Then for being caught cheating on wife Paula Patton (it’s rumoured they have an open relationship, but Robin was photographed in compromising situations with at least one young woman).
Since then, Paula has left and Robin admits he hasn’t seen his wife in four months. So he dedicated his new album to her, Paula, and went on a PR offensive to win her back. But that backfired too, since it was interpreted as emotional blackmail to pressure her into taking him back. Moreover, it was interpreted by some as having “creepy”, possessive lyrics. He released music videos like Get Her Back with the hashtag #GetHerBack which prompted articles like “Call Robin Thicke’s #GetHerBack Campaign What It Is: Stalking.”
During the disastrous “#AskThicke” Q&A on Twitter, people asked “Why didn’t you write a whole album for her when you were WITH her? #AskThicke” and “Is the creepy stalking thing a sick publicity stunt at your ex’s expense, or just a thoughtless grab for attention and relevance? #AskThicke”.
Other questions included “have you any familiarity with emotional manipulation as a tool of intimate partner violence? @robinthicke #AskThicke”, “@VH1 @robinthicke #AskThicke do you really think it’s appropriate to try and publicly manipulate your wife into getting back with you?”, “Why hasn’t Paula gotten a restraining order against you yet? #AskThicke” and “Did you know pressuring your wife to stay with you by manipulating the public is not an act of love? It is creepy. #AskThicke”
People seemed to be sick of his schtick, grossed out at pressuring his wife to take him back, annoyed since at the possible faking a breakup for publicity, and not interested in listening to “Paula.”
In the US, the album sold 25,000 compared to 177,000 copies of Blurred Lines.
In the UK, it sold 530 copies compared to 25,981 sold of Blurred Lines its first week.
UPDATE 7/10/14: In addition to selling fewer than 25,000 copies of Paula in the US, and fewer than 530 in the UK, it sold fewer than 54 copies in Australia.