Country duo Sugarland tops U.S. pop chart

Wed Oct 27, 2010 3:19pm EDT
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By Keith Caulfield

LOS ANGELES (Billboard) - Country duo Sugarland claimed the No. 1 spot on the U.S. pop album chart Wednesday, beating rockers Kings of Leon for the honors.

Elton John, meanwhile, achieved his highest charting set since 1976, but Rod Stewart's "Great American Songbook" series is running out of steam.

Sugarland sold 203,000 copies of "The Incredible Machine," its third chart-topper, during the week ended October 24, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

The duo, Jennifer Nettles and Kristian Bush, previously topped the Billboard 200 with 2008's "Love On the Inside," which debuted at No. 2 with 313,000 copies and claimed the top spot the following week with 171,000. The Walmart-exclusive CD/DVD package "Live on the Inside" debuted at No. 1 in August 2009 after selling 76,000 copies.

Kings of Leon's "Come Around Sundown" started at No. 2 with 184,000, earning the band both its highest charting album and best sales week.

Its last set, 2008's "Only By the Night," bowed at No. 5 with their best sales week (74,000 copies), but peaked at No. 4 nearly a year later, in September 2009. Each of the band's albums have posted successively higher peaks: its 2003 debut, "Youth & Young Manhood," topped out at No. 113, 2005's "Aha Shake Heartbreak" hit No. 55, and 2007's "Because of the Times" halted at No. 25.

Five other new entries made the top 10: Elton John and Leon Russell's collaboration album, "The Union" (No. 3, 80,000), Rod Stewart's "Fly Me To The Moon" (No. 4, 79,000), "Glee: the Rocky Horror Glee Show" (No. 6, 48,000), Shakira's "Sale El Sol" (No. 7, 46,000), and Third Day's "Move" (No. 9, 37,000).

For John, "Union" is his highest charting set since 1976's "Blue Moves" peaked at No. 3. John last reached the top 10 with the greatest hits set "Rocket Man: Number Ones" in 2007, when it debuted and peaked at No. 9. And, with "The Union's" 80,000 start, it marks John's best sales week since December 2002, when "Greatest Hits 1970-2002" shifted 108,000 units.   Continued...