King of Country dethrones King of Pop

The King of Country supplanted the King of Pop, as George Strait’s “Twang” bested Michael Jackson’s “Number Ones” on Billboard’s comprehensive chart while also opening atop the current album chart, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

It was only the second time since Jackson’s death that another artist’s disc outsold one of Jackson’s titles overall (Daughtry’s “Leave This Town” led the way in July). The late singer continues to dominate the charts, having driven sales of eight albums in the top 50 to the tune of 229,000.

Strait’s just-released disc sold slightly more than 155,000 units, while “Number Ones” sold just north of 80,000. The No. 2 seller of the current crop, Neil Diamond’s “Hot August Night NYC,” sold just 57,100.

Two other acts debuted in the current top 10: Cobra Starship, with “Hot Mess” and sales of about 42,100; and Justin Moore’s eponymous LP, at 34,000.

The Black Eyed Peas’ “E.N.D. (Energy Never Dies)” continued a strong perf at No. 3, having gained a position from last week. The Kings of Leon (“Only by the Light”), Maxwell (“Blacksummers’night”), Daughtry and Taylor Swift all held steady in the top 10 with sales in the 36,000-45,000 range. Compilation album “Now 31” rounds out the top current disc list.

All the hoopla over Woodstock’s 40th anniversary generated some slight chart reverberations, as Creedence Clearwater Revival and Jimi Hendrix experienced some modestly healthy sales. Creedence’s “Opus Collection,” a Starbuck’s exclusive that debuted at No. 25 on Billboard’s current chart last week, fell to No. 34 with sales of approximately 13,300 units, while its “Vol. 1: Chronicle” managed to land in the top 100 overall with sales of 5,600.

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