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The album received critical acclaim, and became Streisand's record-breaking ninth #1 album on the Billboard 200. This resulted in making Streisand the only artist to have a number one album in America in five different decades. The album was certified Gold on November 13, by the RIAA, giving Streisand her 51st Gold record in the US.
The same day of the release of the album, Mariah Carey released her album Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel. Initially a favorite to be #1 on the Billboard 200 during its debut week, it was announced that Paramore's Brand New Eyes was ahead on sales and would likely reach the top spot of the Billboard 200 and surpass Mariah Carey. What began as a battle between those two albums ended with Streisand surpassing both and achieving the pole position of the charts.
Billboard then confirmed that the album debuted at #1. The news shocked the music industry, and found Streisand extending her previously held record of most consecutive decades with #1 albums achieved by any artist. Streisand has achieved at least one #1 album in five consecutive decades - the 1960s, the 1970s, the 1980s, the 1990s and the 2000s. Love Is the Answer is also the artist's ninth number-one album in the U.S., making Streisand the fourth artist with the most #1 albums in history, behind The Beatles (19), Jay-Z (11), and Elvis Presley (10). (Bruce Springsteen and The Rolling Stones have also achieved nine number-one albums each.)
Conscious of the good news (and the unparalleled record achieved), Streisand immediately posted a "letter" on her official website:
I was just told that Love Is the Answer came out at Number One, and I want to share that honor with all of you.. my fans, my friends.. who have made that possible. I want to share it as well with Diana Krall and Tommy LiPuma and everyone who worked on the album... with Jay Landers and especially my manager Marty Erlichman and my team at Columbia Records. You'd think that getting the news that you've been Number One in five consecutive decades would make you feel old, but this makes me feel young. Thank you all.
In the UK, the album initially landed at #4, with sales of 30,000 copies. The ensuing media coverage of Streisand's U.S. chart placement helped bolster UK sales, and during its second week of release, Love Is the Answer managed to climb to the #1 spot, even surpassing Madonna's Celebration album in sales. Immediately, Streisand sent another note to her fans through her website:
When the album went to #1 in the States I was surprised and thrilled. To have the same thing happen on "the other side of the pond" is just as exciting. I've always loved spending time in the UK and it's so gratifying to learn how this album has been embraced. With all my appreciation and thanks! Barbra.
Achieving the top position in both countries, Love Is the Answer is only the fourth Barbra Streisand record to be #1 in both the U.S. and the UK, and the first to do so since 1980's Guilty.
In Canada, the album debuted at #2 with sales of 13,000 copies (only 1,000 copies behind Madonna's album Celebration). In Spain, Streisand achieved her second top 10 album, landing at #1 with the 1980 multi-platinum Guilty album, and at #6 with Love Is the Answer.