In the end, it wasn't even close.
The initially neck-and-neck battle for the No. 1 spot on the Billboard 200 album chart between "Weird Al" Yankovic and Jason Mraz, both of whom were seeking their first-ever chart-topper, turned out to be a landslide in favor of the funnyman.
Yankovic's Mandatory Fun, which featured a relentless marketing campaign and the release of eight music videos in eight days, officially earns the top position on the chart after sales of more than 104,000 physical and digital copies. Mraz landed a distant second with Yes!, which tallied around 83,000 units sold.
Not only did Weird Al hit No. 1, he obliterated the rest of the competition. Hard rockers Rise Against debuted at No. 3 with just over 50,000 copies sold, meaning that aside from Mraz, Yankovic's sales for the last seven days were more than double those of every other artist in the music industry.
“A No. 1 album is something I never ... in my wildest dreams ever thought would be a reality,” Yankovic told Bloomberg Businessweek, noting that his previous peak position was the No. 9 debut of 2011's Alpocalypse, which sold 44,000 copies in its first week. “I was just hoping I’d get to No. 8.”
Yankovic added via Twitter this morning, "If you’d told me 30 years ago this would happen, I never would’ve believed it. If you’d told me 2 WEEKS ago, I never would’ve believed it."
Early in the week, Billboard had reported that Mandatory Fun and Yes! were both on pace to sell roughly 80,000 copies. But the viral nature of Weird Al's daily music video releases, a non-stop blitz of newspaper and website interviews, and some shrewd marketing decisions - Yankovic got Amazon to drop the cost of his album to $5.99 late in the week - put him over the top.
Mandatory Fun features "Tacky," a send-up of Pharrell's "Happy," as well as parodies of Iggy Azalea, Lorde, Imagine Dragons, and Robin Thicke. Yankovic's rewrite of "Blurred Lines" as "Word Crimes" was arguably the most popular of the clips, at least in some Internet circles, where commenters lauded the song's love of proper grammar.
"Word Crimes" earned so much attention that the formal grammar website grammarly.com even contacted the singer for an interview about his biggest grammar-related pet peeves.
Weird Al isn't expected to stay at No. 1 for long - Australian pop-punk band 5 Seconds of Summer will likely vault to the top position next week when their self-titled debut is eligible. But that won't take away from what Al calls one of the greatest weeks of his life.
"I’m so pleased everybody is enjoying the album, and I’m enormously grateful for everyone’s support. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU," he wrote on Twitter.
Yankovic has always created an entertaining live show, and he'll be embarking on the Mandatory Tour next year, with dates and venues to be announced at a later date. Read about the tour as soon as it's announced on AXS.com.