LOS ANGELES (Billboard) - Carrie Underwood is on track to achieve her second No. 1 album on the U.S. pop chart next week, although sales will be sharply lower than for the country star's previous effort.
Music industry prognosticators suggest Underwood's "Play On" could sell over 300,000 copies in the week ended Sunday. Data will be published on Wednesday.
The former "American Idol" champ's last album, 2007's "Carnival Ride," topped the Billboard 200 with first-week sales of 527,000 copies; it has gone on to sell 2.98 million copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
The new album's lead single, "Cowboy Casanova," peaked at No. 11 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
Inaugural "American Idol" champ Kelly Clarkson, the only other success story from the TV talent show, topped the Billboard 200 in March with "All I Ever Wanted," which sold 255,000 copies in its first week.
"Play On" will lead a cavalcade of new albums in the top 20 of the Billboard 200 next week, with the soundtrack to Fox TV's "Glee" likely as the next-best debut. The album may sell over 100,000 copies in its first week.
Weezer's "Raditude," the new "Now 32" compilation, Andrea Bocelli's "My Christmas" and Foo Fighters' "Greatest Hits" are all on course to make lofty chart entries as well.
The current Billboard 200 champ is Michael Jackson's "This Is It," which sold 373,000 copies during the week ended November 1, according to Nielsen SoundScan.