NEW YORK (Billboard) - Mariah Carey scored her sixth No. 1 album on the U.S. pop chart Wednesday, vaulting into rarefied territory in the record books.
"E=MC2" sold 462,971 copies during the week ended April 20, according to Nielsen SoundScan data, the best debut sales week of her career and the strongest week by any artist so far this year.
Carey, 38, is now tied with Madonna and Janet Jackson for the second most No. 1 albums among female artists. Barbra Streisand, with eight, leads the pack. There's a good chance Madonna will add another No. 1 to her tally though, as her "Hard Candy" album comes out next week.
Carey's last album, the Grammy-winning "The Emancipation of Mimi," also landed at No. 1 in its premiere week, moving 403,755 copies in April 2005.
Singer/songwriter Jack Johnson had the best start this year, with 374,619 copies for his February chart-topper "Sleep Through the Static."
British pop singer Leona Lewis' debut album "Spirit" slipped one to No. 2 on the current Billboard 200 with 95,000 units in its second week.
Miley Cyrus' "Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus: The Best of Both Worlds Concert" vaulted 28 places to a new high of No. 3 with 47,000 units. The set became available to all retailers last week after spending its first five weeks as a Wal-Mart exclusive.
Rookie country group Lady Antebellum charged in at No. 4 with its self-titled debut, shifting 43,000. The multi-artist "NOW 27" compilation slipped one to No. 5 with 39,000.
Rounding out the top 10 were George Strait's former chart-topper "Troubadour" at No. 6, down four places; the soundtrack to "Alvin and the Chipmunks," at No. 7, down one; the "Juno" soundtrack at No. 8, up 38 places in conjunction with the film's DVD release; R.E.M.'s "Accelerate" at No. 9, down four; and Taylor Swift's self-titled debut at No. 10, up three.
Other new releases included rock troupe Thrice's "The Alchemy Index, Vol. 3 & 4: Air & Earth" at No. 17, Canadian rock trio Rush's "Snakes & Arrows: Live" at No. 18, and Nickelodeon duo the Naked Brothers Band's "I Don't Want to Go to School" at No. 23.
Sales last week were up 1.9% from the previous week at 7.5 million units, but down 8.1% from the year-ago period.