LOS ANGELES/NEW YORK (Billboard) - Jay-Z led the U.S. pop chart for a second week on Wednesday, while Whitney Houston's recent chart-topper rebounded one place to No. 2 after receiving a big sales boost from her "Oprah Winfrey Show" appearance.
Jay-Z's "The Blueprint 3" sold 298,000 copies during the week ended September 21, according to Nielsen SoundScan. It dropped just 37 percent in its second week, underpinned in part by the rapper's back-to-back appearances on the MTV Video Music Awards and on the premiere episode of NBC's "Jay Leno Show."
Houston's "I Look To You" sold 156,000 copies, a 77 percent leap. The pop singer made a much-publicized two-day stand on "Oprah." In three weeks, "I Look to You" has sold 548,000 copies.
She was followed by two new releases: Muse's "The Resistance" at No. 3 with 128,000 copies; and Kid Cudi's debut effort, "Man on the Moon: The End of Day" at No. 4 with 104,000 copies.
Muse's previous studio album, 2006's "Black Holes and Revelations," debuted and peaked at No. 9 on the Billboard 200 with 48,000. Kid Cudi's album was powered by two hit singles on the Billboard Hot 100: "Day 'N' Nite' (No. 3) and "Make Her Say" (No. 43).
The top 10 boasted three other debuts: Canadian rapper Drake's seven-song EP, "So Far Gone" at No. 6 with 73,000; rapper Lil Boosie's "Superbad" at No. 7 with 49,000; and rock band Megadeth's "Endgame" at No. 9 with 45,000.
Elsewhere, Miley Cyrus' Walmart-only EP "The Time Of Our Lives" fell three to No. 5 with 75,000, Taylor Swift's "Fearless" rose two to No. 8 with 46,000; and the Black Eyed Peas' "The E.N.D." fell three to No. 10 with 40,000.
Beatlemania was short-lived on the Billboard 200. The boxed set containing all the Fab Four's remastered albums in stereo tumbled to No. 199 from No. 15. The mono boxed set, which debuted at No. 40 last week, fell off the chart.
Overall album sales totaled 6.42 million units, down 4 percent from the previous week and down 7 percent from the year-ago week. Year- to-date album sales stand at 250.6 million, down 14 percent from this time in 2008.
Editing by DGoodman at Reuters