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Usher tops the charts

R&B singer's 'Raymond' sells 329,000 units

“Raymond V. Raymond,” R&B star Usher’s oft-delayed new album, leapfrogged teen sensation Justin Bieber’s hot release to take No. 1 of the national album chart last week.

Encouragingly, four 10 titles topped the 100,000-unit mark for the week, with most major releases showing percentage increases.

Usher’s latest LaFace set tracked 329,000 units its first week in stores, according to Nielsen SoundScan figures for the week ending April 4. The collection — which was first scheduled for release in late 2009 — is the follow-up to the vocalist’s 2008 No. 1 entry “Here I Stand,” which bowed with a 433,000-unit frame.

Tween fave Bieber’s “My World 2.0” (Island) dipped a notch to No. 2 with sales of 291,000; week’s score actually indicates a percentage gain of 3%. His ’09 bow “My World” toppled three posts to No. 8, despite a 26% gain and sales of 63,000.

Capitol-distributed hits compilation “Now 33” held at No. 3, with 123,000 units sold (off 9%).

Avant R&B vocalist Erykah Badu’s “New Amerykah Part Two” (Motown) debuted at No. 4 with a first-week score of 110,000. Sequel to like-titled 2008 collection no doubt benefited from Badu’s controversial nude video for “Window Seat” shot clandestinely in Dallas’ Dealey Plaza.

Lady Antebellum’s “Need You Now” (Capitol Nashville) drifted down one chart position to No. 5, selling 87,000 and gaining 11%. Title has moved 1.6 million copies in just 10 weeks.

In other country action, Alan Jackson, debuted at No. 7 with “Freight Train” (Arista Nashville). The longtime Music City star pulled in first-week sales of 72,000 units.

Interscope’s dynamic duo held down the last two top 10 slots: Lady Gaga’s “The Fame” slipped one post to No. 9, selling 49,000 and gaining 21%, while the Black Eyed Peas’ “The E.N.D.” stood at No. 10, shifting 43,000 and gaining 25%.

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