Elusive songwriter Sia Furler has reached the top of the Billboard 200 under her own name for the first time with her new record 1000 Forms of Fear after spending the majority of her career writing hits for others. The record sold 52,000 copies during its first week on sale, according to data from Nielsen SoundScan, per Billboard. That’s the lowest sales figure for a No. 1 album in two years, but it was Sia’s best sales week ever.
Sia is best known for the songs she’s written for others. The Australian’s early career in pop music made her realize that she abhors the limelight and has no desire to be famous. Songwriting was a way for her to still use her talent for weaving catchy pop melodies without having to put her face on anything she made. Some of her most famous songs include Rihanna’s “Diamonds” and Beyonce’s “Pretty Hurts.” In an interview with Australian paper The Sydney Morning Herald for a lengthy profile on Sia, fellow Aussie Kylie Minogue said when asked why Sia is such a hot songwriter for the world’s biggest pop stars: “Because we’re all looking for the hit. That’s it. And she delivers.”
1000 Forms of Fear is a personal record about Sia’s struggles with addiction and manic depression. In order to promote the album, Sia has used a wig of her signature blonde bob as a stand-in for herself and refused to show her face during appearances. The video for the first single, “Chandelier,” has racked up more than 65 million views on YouTube as the 11-year-old dancer Maddie Ziegler performs an incredibly complicated dance in a depressing apartment while wearing that wig.
Lena Dunham wore it while performing her own, less skilled interpretive dance during Sia’s appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live! while Sia sang lying face down on a bed. Ziegler and the wig joined Sia on The Ellen DeGeneres Show while Sia sang with her back to the audience. The album cover is a picture of just the wig.