Lady Antebellum set to crush Lil Wayne on U.S. chart

Thu Feb 4, 2010 1:31am EST
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By Keith Caulfield

LOS ANGELES (Billboard) - Look for Lady Antebellum to retain its No. 1 spot on the U.S. pop album chart when data are released next Wednesday.

The Grammy-winning country trio's second album "Need You Now" could sell between 190,000 to 220,000 copies sold by week's end on February 9.

That sales forecast is based on how, in the past year, most big-selling country albums generally dropped by 55-60% in sales in their second week. However, throwing a wrench into predicting Lady Antebellum's second week is this past Sunday's Grammy awards, where the group performed. It's likely that a full-week's worth of impact from the show will help soften "Need You Now's" second-week decline.

The highest debut will likely be Lil Wayne's almost-mythical rap/rock "Rebirth" album, which industry sources are suggesting may sell 125,000 to 150,000 copies, a sharp drop from the million-unit start for "Tha Carter III" in June 2008. The repeatedly delayed -- and widely pirated -- "Rebirth" finally arrived in stores this week, nine months after its initial announced release date.

The album was originally slated for an April 7, 2009 release, but that changed a number of times last year until the album was finally set to drop on December 15, 2009. At the last minute, its release was postponed -- but not before a number of copies of the CD were accidentally shipped by to some customers who pre-ordered the album.

Other albums headed for notable debuts on next week's Billboard 200 include Nick Jonas and the Administration's "Who I Am" and Rob Zombie's "Hellbilly Deluxe 2."

<p>Members of Lady Antebellum, Charles Kelley (R), Hillary Scott, (C) and Dave Haywood, hold their award at the 52nd annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles January 31, 2010. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson</p>