rick ross mastermind
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Rick Ross easily led a field of high-profile new releases last week, as the rap titan’s “Mastermind” conquered the U.S. album chart.

Ross’ Maybach Music/Def Jam title captured No. 1, reaping first-week sales of 179,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan data for the week ending March 9. The set is Ross’ fifth chart-topping release since his 2006 debut “Port of Miami”; his 2010 release “Teflon Don,” which peaked at No. 2, was his lone release to fall short of the apex.

The seemingly ubiquitous Pharrell Williams had to satisfy himself with the No. 2 bow of “G I R L” (Columbia), which toted up 112,000 units. Williams, a major player in the success of Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky” and Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” last year, competed for a best song Oscar this year with “Happy” (from “Despicable Me 2”).

Disney’s “Frozen” soundtrack – which contains the 2014 Oscar winner “Let It Go” – slipped a slot to No. 3 last week despite a 9% post-Oscars sales gain, moving 100,000.

“Glee” star Lea Michele collected her first top-10 album in her own name, as “Louder” (Columbia) moved in at No. 4 with 60,000 sold. Michele is no stranger to the upper reaches of the chart: Fox’s “Glee” franchise has racked up 11 top-10 albums and four top-10 EPs since the series first aired in 2009.

The Eli Young Band’s “10,000 Town” (Republic Nashville) came aboard at No. 5 with a 36,000-unit total. The Texas unit fronted by Mike Eli and James Young previously reached the top 10 in 2011 with its fourth studio set “Life at Best,” which topped out at No. 6.

The week’s other major debut, Ashanti’s “Braveheart” (Written/E1), entered at No. 10, moving 28,000. All of the R&B singer’s albums dating back to her self-titled 2002 bow have been top-10 entries; her last release, 2008’s “The Declaration,” peaked at No. 6.

The frame’s holdovers included Beck’s “Morning Phase” (No. 6, 33,000 sold, down 62%), Lorde’s “Pure Heroine” (No. 7, 31,000, up 5%), ScHoolboy Q’s “Oxymoron” (No. 8, 30,000, off 78%) and Eric Church’s “The Outsiders” (No. 9, 30,000, down 29%). Just 18 units separated the ScHoolboy Q and Church titles.

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