Others, though, have managed to find success in both lanes, even when early projections didn't show promise.
Lady Gaga's 4.4 million-selling 2008 debut, "The Fame," wasn't an instant smash, but she released back-to-back hits while connecting with a core fan base — her "monsters" — and showed off much of her personality with her outrageous fashion choices and award show performances. Even Bruno Mars saw his debut "Doo-Wops and Hooligans" move 55,000 in its first week, despite having three monster smashes ahead of the CD's release. But he continued to churn out even more hit singles for himself and others. Now, Mars' album has sold more than 1.6 million copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
LMFAO, too, has had a similar breakthrough: When their massive tune, the now six-times platinum "Party Rock Anthem," hit the No. 1 spot this summer, their sophomore album "Sorry for Party Rocking" only moved 27,100 in its first week. But they managed another multiplatinum No. 1 hit — and pop culture moment — with "Sexy and I Know It," and fans have connected more with the wild, party-boy vibe of the duo. Now the album has sold more than 800,000 units and peaked at No. 5.
"It's always the whole world for us, and it was always a long-term thing," said Redfoo of LMFAO.
Adds Sky Blu of their winning formula: "It's a lifestyle. We're inspiring people to party."
This summer, Flo Rida will release his fourth album, which features the triple platinum "Good Feeling" and "Wild Ones," another platinum top 10 hit. Despite weak album sales, Corson says the rapper has a formula that works.
"There's a reason why Flo Rida keeps putting out records, 'cause it's good business," he said.
Mesfin Fekadu covers entertainment for The Associated Press. Follow him at http://www.twitter.com/musicmesfin
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