Teen-popper's 'Believe' notches biggest debut week of the year

Handily shoving aside new releases by Kenny Chesney and Fiona Apple, Justin Bieber’s “Believe” claimed No. 1 on the U.S. album chart with the biggest debut week of the year so far.

The Canadian teen-pop vocalist, who celebrates his fourth U.S. No. 1, arrived at the top with a 374,000-unit bow, according to Nielsen SoundScan data for the week ending June 24. Madonna’s “MDNA,” which entered in early April with a 359,000-copy stanza, previously boasted 2012′s biggest debut number.

Ironically, the arrival of “Believe” displaces “Looking 4 Myself” (RCA), the latest from Bieber’s mentor Usher; after moving in at No. 1 last week, the R&B star’s collection drifted down to No. 6 with 48,000 sold (off 62%).

Country star Chesney’s “Welcome to the Fishbowl” (Blue Chair) took the No. 2 slot with 193,000 shifted. His last release, 2010′s “Hemingway’s Whiskey,” claimed No. 1 with a 183,000-unit debut week. “Fishbowl” is only the second Chesney collection to bow below No. 1 since 2002.

The eccentric singer-songwriter Apple settled in at No. 3 with her windily titled new release, economically referred to as “The Idler Wheel” (Epic), with a 72,000-copy frame. Her last set was the much-delayed “Extraordinary Machine,” which scored a previous personal best of No. 7 in 2005.

Another long-absent act, Chicago’s Smashing Pumpkins, completed the top five with “Oceania” (EMI/Caroline), which took No. 5 with 54,000 sold out of the box. It’s the band’s first appearance on the chart since “Zeitgeist” reached No. 2 in 2007; its 2009 set “Teargarden by Kaleidyscope” – part of a larger conceptual work with “Oceania” — was a web-only release, and failed to chart.

Finally flagging a bit in the face of stiff new competition, Adele’s “21″ (Columbia) dropped out of the top five for the first time since late 2011. In its 70th chart week, the English vocalist’s mega-hit collection lost four positions, drifting to No. 7 with a 47,000-unit week (down 24%).

Completing the top 10 were Brit boy band One Direction’s “Up All Night” (No. 8, 41,000 sold, up 5%), country singer Luke Bryan’s “Tailgates & Tanlines” (No. 9, 28,000, up 4%) and Canadian rock unit Rush’s “Clockwork Angels” (No. 10, 27,000, off 74%).

There should be significant moving and shaking at the apex of the chart next week, as highly anticipated releases by Linkin Park, R. Kelly and Maroon 5 will all vie for real estate.

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