Artist posts second biggest sales week of year

Usher posted the second-biggest sales week of the year, selling 443,000 copies of “Here I Stand” in its first week of release.

The LaFace/Zomba album trails only Mariah Carey’s “E=MC2,” which sold 20,000 more copies in its opening session, according to Nielsen SoundScan data.

Usher’s last album, “Confessions,” sold more than 1 million copies in its first week four years ago and was the bestselling album of 2004.

New disc’s first single, “Love in This Club,” featuring Young Jeezy, was No. 1 for three weeks.

New Line’s soundtrack for the “Sex in the City” movie sold 66,000 copies to land at No. 2. Album features tracks by Fergie, Jennifer Hudson and the Bird and the Bee.

Al Green, who has never had a No. 1 pop album, saw 34,000 copies of “Lay It Down” (Blue Note) sold in its first week to hit No. 9. That pop-chart position is the third highest in the reverend’s career, trailing only “I’m Still in Love With You” (No. 4) and “Let’s Stay Together (No. 8). Both albums were released in 1972. New disc marks the first time he has cracked the top 50 since his return to secular music in 2004. Green will perform tonight on “The Late Show With David Letterman.”

Only two other albums debuted in the top 50: Cyndi Lauper’s “Bring Ya to the Brink” (Epic), selling 12,000 (No. 41), and Fergie’s “The Dutchess: The Deluxe EP,” selling 11 grand (No. 46). “The Dutchess,” meanwhile, sold 15,000 and rose 76 slots to No. 28.

The new Broadway cast album for “South Pacific” (Sony Classical), featuring Kelli O’Hara, sold 10,000 copies to open at No. 59.

Last week’s chart-topper, 3 Doors Down’s self-titled disc, dipped 59%, selling 63,000 and dropping to No. 3.

The DG Concerts iTunes exclusive of Gustavo Dudamel conducting the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s performance of Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique topped the classical chart for the week ended Sunday. Exact sales figures were not available.

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