T.I.’s sixth album “Paper Trail” (Grand Hustle/Atlantic) came in at No. 1, selling 568,000 copies in its first week, according to Nielsen Soundscan data, as six rookies made it into the top 10.
It is the Atlanta rapper’s third No. 1 album and his biggest sales week ever, not to mention Atlantic Records’ biggest-ever one-week scan since Nielsen SoundScan began tracking data in 1991.
No. 1 opening comes as T.I.’s current singles “Whatever You Like” and “Live Your Life” have topped the nation’s singles chart in back-to-back weeks. “Live Your Life” sold 335,000 downloads, a record for first-week digital single sales.
The self-titled debut from Jennifer Hudson on Arista sold 217,000 units to open at No. 2 for the largest-selling debut album at RCA Music Group this year. Hudson won the supporting actress Oscar for her work in “Dreamgirls,” her film debut. She is the first “American Idol” finalist who finished below the top four to register six-digit sales on an album.
“Jennifer Hudson” saw the biggest first week for a debut R&B female since Fantasia’s November 2004 album “Free Yourself.” Hudson promoted the release by performing her single “Spotlight” on TV shows such as “Good Morning America,” “Oprah” and “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno.”
Robin Thicke’s “Something Else” (Interscope) moved 137,000 to hit No. 3, the highest chart position and sales week of his career.
James Taylor’s “Covers” (Hear) sold 95,000 to open at No. 4, the same position his 2002 release “October Road” reached. Album benefited from a QVC pitch as well as placement in Starbucks locations.
Jack’s Mannequin, the side project of Something Corporate’s Andrew McMahon, saw 49,000 copies of their second album “Glass Passenger” (Warner Bros.) travel to No. 8. It’s the act’s first trip inside the top 10.
The self-titled sophomore release from Kellie Pickler on BNA sold 43,000 to open at No. 9. She becomes the sixth artist to have her first two albums debut at No. 1 on the country chart.
Ben Folds’ third solo disc, “Way to Normal” (Epic), sold 40,000 to chime in at No. 11, a career best in chart position.
“New Surrender” (Universal Republic), the fifth album from Christian rockers Anberlin, sold 36,000 to land at No. 13.
Other debuts included Trivium’s “Shogun” (Roadrunner), which sold 24,000 (No. 23); the Disney soundtrack to “Nightmare Revisited,” 19,000 (No. 31); the Starbucks compilation “Golden Age of Song,” 14,000 (No. 39); and Murs’ “Murs for President” (Warner), 12,000 (No. 43).
Selling 11,000 each were James Morrison’s “Song for You, Truths for Me” (Interscope) at No. 47; Amon Arath’s “Twilight of the Thunder God” (Metal Blade) at No. 48; and the Atlantic soundtrack to “Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist” at No. 50.
Also in the 11,000 crowd is the one album that will continue to rise in the chart over the next three months, Faith Hill’s “Joy to the World” (Warner Bros.). It debuted at No. 49.
After three weeks at No. 1, Metallica’s “Death Magnetic” dropped to No. 5 on sales of 86,000.