MySpace-spawned singer nabs No. 1 slot

Pop thrushes supplanted country twang to dominate the top of the U.S. album chart this week, as MySpace-spawned singer Colbie Caillat’s sophomore album “Breakthrough” leapt into the No. 1 slot. Miley Cyrus signed on at No. 3 with her latest release.

Malibu-bred Caillat’s Universal title snagged the chart apex with first-week sales of 106,000, according to Nielsen SoundScan figures for the week ended Sunday.

Memphis contemporary Christian act Skillet bowed at No. 2 with “Awake” (Atlantic), with 68,000 first-week units. “Hannah Montana” star Cyrus’ sales of 62,000 for the debut of her EP “The Time of Our Lives” (Hollywood), released exclusively through Walmart, were good enough for the No. 3 spot.

Singer Imogen Heap logged the week’s other top 10 debut with “Ellipse” (RCA), entering at No. 5 with 48,000 sold.

In the top five, rockers Kings of Leon held steady at No. 4 with “Only by the Night” (RCA), notching a 15% uptick on sales of 52,000.

Last week’s No. 1 entry, Reba McEntire’s “Keep on Loving You” (Valory), fell to No. 6 with sales of 42,000, down 56%. The top 10 is rounded out by George Strait’s “Twang” from MCA Nashville (No. 7 on 41,000 sold), Black Eyed Peas’ “E.N.D.” (No. 8, 36,000, Interscope), Taylor Swift’s “Fearless” (No. 9, 34,000, Big Machine) and the new Sony-distributed multilabel compilation “Now That’s What I Call Country Vol. 2” (No. 10, 33,000).

Expected to easily capture No. 1 next week is Whitney Houston’s comeback album “I Look to You.” Heavily hyped and so far charitably reviewed Arista package will benefit from an extra day in stores: It hit store shelves Monday to beat the eligibility cutoff for the 2009 Grammy Award nominations.

Boffo online pre-sales for boxed sets of the Beatles’ remastered albums foreshadow big numbers for the Fab Four’s Sept. 9 retail bow. Demand has outstripped supply, and Web merchants like Amazon and brick-and-mortar chains such as Best Buy and Amoeba Music have already reported they have burned through allocations of the Apple/EMI limited edition Beatles mono box. Amazon is also sold out of the Beatles stereo set.

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