Confirming that there really is no such thing as bad publicity, walking, vamping thinkpiece Lana Del Rey has scored her first No. 1 album, with Ultraviolence moving 182,000 copies amid a week colored by regrettable statements. Del Rey—who couldn’t have been more of a hotly debated Internet topic if she’d named her first single “Let’s Not Give Our Kids Vaccinations While Watching The Sopranos Finale”—made headlines yet again this week, after she told an interviewer with The Guardian, “I wish I was dead already,” in longing for the legacy-cementing exit of an Amy Winehouse or Kurt Cobain. The controversy only intensified after Frances Bean Cobain reminded Lana Del Rey that dying young isn’t glamorous, Lana Del Rey replied by placing most of the blame on the reporter, the reporter responded by posting the audio of their exchange (a strategy that never works as well as you’d expect), and so on and so on, until finally, you have a No. 1 album.
As Billboard notes, Del Rey claimed the top spot without doing any sort of promotional TV appearances, while her only live dates of late have been at Coachella. Still, the way her fans behaved there confirms that, perhaps by the very virtue of her elusiveness, Del Rey has built up a sizable and incredibly faithful following—mostly on the back of her incredibly popular music videos. By contrast, the week’s second-place finisher, British soul singer Sam Smith, has been working his ass off on his own, similarly swift rise to prominence, turning in performances on Good Morning America and Late Show With David Letterman this week, in addition to playing concerts where he called in a favor from Mary J. Blige. Still, maybe for his next album, Smith should consider telling people he wishes his dad would shoot him like Marvin Gaye.