NEW YORK/LOS ANGELES (Billboard) - Rapper Fabolous ruled the Billboard 200 album chart for the first time in his career on Wednesday, but a Michael Jackson's hits collection sold more copies and becomes the year's second-best selling album.
Since Jackson's "Number Ones" came out more than 18 months ago -- in 2003, to be exact -- it is ineligible for the Billboard 200, and instead leads the Comprehensive Albums chart, which combines catalog and current releases.
It sold 114,000 copies during the week ended August 2, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Its total for the year now adds up to 1,370,000 copies, moving it past the "Hannah Montana" movie soundtrack (1,338,000) and Eminem's "Relapse" (1,319,000). Only Taylor Swift's "Fearless" (with 1,499,000) stands in Jackson's way as 2009's top seller.
The King of Pop has now held the best-selling album in the U.S. for five out of the past six weeks. "Number Ones" stepped aside only when Daughtry's "Leave This Town" bowed with 269,000 two weeks ago.
Back on the Billboard 200, Fabolous' "Loso's Way" sold 99,000 copies. The New York rapper charted as high as No. 2 when 2007's "From Nothin' to Somethin'" shifted 159,000 in its first week.
The chart's second-highest debut came from "High School Musical" star Ashley Tisdale, who landed at No. 12 with 25,000 copies of her second album, "Guilty Pleasure." Tisdale's 2007 album, "Headstrong," debuted at No. 4 with 64,000.
Last week's No. 1 -- also from a Disney starlet -- Demi Lovato's "Here We Go Again," tumbled to No. 8 in its second week, selling 39,000 copies.
Daughtry's "Leave This Town" held at No. 2 with 62,000, while both Maxwell's "BLACKsummers'night" (No. 3 with 55,000) and the "Now 31" compilation (No. 4 with 53,000) also stayed put.
The Black Eyed Peas' "The E.N.D." moved up one spot to No. 5 with 49,000, while Kings of Leon's "Only By the Night" climbed two slots to No. 6 with 47,000. The band played NBC's "Today" show last Friday, likely sparking the gain.
The "Hannah Montana 3" TV soundtrack fell two to No. 7 with 41,000. Rounding out the top 10 were Swift's "Fearless" (No. 9 with 38,000) and Lady GaGa's "The Fame" (No. 10 with 27,000).
Overall album sales totaled 5.96 million units, down 4.6% compared to the sum last week (7.35 million) and down 19.4% compared to the same sales week of 2008 (7.36 million). Year-to-date album sales stand at 207.7 million, down 14.2% compared to the same total at this point last year (242.2 million).
(Editing by Dean Goodman at Reuters)
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