Whitney Houston returns to top

Diva's 'I Look to You' nab No. 1 spot on charts

After years of personal turmoil and commercial eclipse, Whitney Houston etched her comeback this week with a No. 1 debut on the national album chart.

Renascent diva’s Arista album “I Look to You” bows with a first-week tally of 305,000 units, according to Nielsen SoundScan figures for the week ended Sunday. The album went on sale Aug. 31, the last day to qualify for next year’s Grammys.

It’s the first Houston set to reach No. 1 since 1987’s “Whitney.” (The Houston-dominated “The Bodyguard,” which topped the chart for 20 weeks in 1992 and sold nearly 12 million, also included other performers and is considered a film soundtrack by Nielsen SoundScan.) Her last studio release (excluding a 2003 Christmas album), 2002’s “Just Whitney,” peaked at No. 9 and sold 737,000 copies.

Houston’s sales should receive a healthy bump after she appears as the sole guest on Oprah Winfrey’s show Sept. 14-15.

Miley Cyrus’ EP “Time of Our Lives” climbed a notch to No. 2 in its second week with sales of 153,000. Collection by the “Hannah Montana” star is a Walmart exclusive.

In a week that saw six debuts in the top 10, R&B love man Trey Songz’s “Ready” (Atlantic) bowed at No. 3, with 131,000 scanned.

Aggro-rappers Insane Clown Posse smash onto the chart at No. 4 with “Bang! Pow! Boom!” (Psychopathic). Group’s latest sold 50,000 in its debut week.

Last week’s No. 1, pop thrush Colbie Caillat’s “Breakthrough,” slipped to No. 5 with sales of 47,000 units, down 56%.

Brotherly Chicago hard rock trio Chevelle blazed onto the chart at No. 6 with “Sci-Fi Crimes” (Epic). Band’s sixth album moved 46,000. Another familial rock act, Kings of Leon, dipped to No. 7 from No. 4 this week with “Only by the Night,” which sold 45,000 in its 50th week on the chart.

Rapper Pitbull’s “Rebelution” (Polo Grounds/J) leapt in at No. 8, scoring sales of 41,000.

Country-pop sweetheart Taylor Swift held at No. 9 with her “Fearless” (Big Machine), which saw a slim 4% sales increase and tallied 35,000 units.

Utah’s hard-nosed foursome the Used rounded out the top 10 with “Artwork” (Reprise), entering at No. 10 with 35,000 sold.

Looking ahead, the new Beatles mono and stereo boxed sets released yesterday will be eligible for next week’s album chart thanks to their status as new releases (the individual Fab Four albums are considered catalog titles).

Next week will also see the debut of rapper Jay-Z’s “The Blueprint 3,” which had its release date moved up from Sept. 11 to Sept. 8 after it was leaked online in August, and disbanding country duo Brooks & Dunn’s hits collection “#1’s … And Then Some.”

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