Usher, Justin Bieber lead pop album chart
By Keith Caulfield
LOS ANGELES (Billboard) - Usher scored his third consecutive No. 1 album on the U.S. pop chart Wednesday as the R&B singer ended the one-week reign of Canadian pop idol Justin Bieber.
Usher's "Raymond v Raymond" sold 329,000 copies during the week ended April 4, according to Nielsen SoundScan. It marks the third-best sales week of the year, following the debuts of Sade's "Soldier of Love" (502,000) and Lady Antebellum's "Need You Now" (481,000).
He previously led the tally with 2008's "Here I Stand" (443,000 copies in its first week) and 2004's "Confessions" (1.1 million).
He supported the new set's release last week with stops on "American Idol" and "The Ellen DeGeneres Show," and on both he performed his new single "OMG." The single is expected to make a handsome debut on the Billboard Hot 100 when the new chart is unveiled Thursday.
Bieber's "My World 2.0" slipped to No. 2 with 291,000 though it enjoyed a rare sales boost, up 3%, with help from the Easter holiday. Its two-week total stands at 574,000. Bieber remained No. 1 in Canada, where Usher debuted at No. 4.
The last time an artist's album, released on a Tuesday, enjoyed a second-week increase from a No. 1 debut was during Thanksgiving week of 2000. That's when the Beatles' hits set "1" claimed an 11% increase despite dipping to No. 2.
Hot on the heels of the release of her much-blogged-about music video for "Window Seat," in which she strolls naked through Dallas' Dealey Plaza, R&B singer Erykah Badu's "New Amerykah, Part Two: Return of the Ankh" entered the chart at No. 4 with 110,000. It's the follow up to 2008's "New Amerykah: Part One (4th World War)," which bowed at No. 2 with 124,000.
Alan Jackson rolled in at No. 7 with "Freight Train," which shifted 72,000 copies in its first week. The country singer's last album, 2008's "Good Time," debuted at No. 1 with 119,000 copies. Continued...