Usher tops album chart

R&B vet's 'Looking for Myself' bests entries from Rush, Josh Turner

R&B star Usher scored his fourth consecutive No. 1 album this week, leading a parade of new titles into the U.S. top 10 with his RCA release “Looking For Myself.”

The singer born Usher Raymond ascended to the top with out-of-the-box sales of 128,000, according to Nielsen SoundScan data for the week ending June 17. His initial sales have cooled, however: His last chart-topper, “Raymond v. Raymond,” entered with a 329,000-unit week in 2010.

Proggy Canadian rockers Rush equaled their best chart position ever with the No. 2 debut of “Clockwork Angels” (Roadrunner), which shifted 103,000. The band’s first album in five years matched “Counterparts,” which arrived in the same slot in 1993. Despite seven chart-toppers up north, the act has never scored a U.S. No. 1.

After a re-ascent to No. 1 last week, Adele’s “21” (Columbia) fell from the apex but maintained its top-five pace, taking No. 3 with 63,000 shifted (off 16%) in its 69th chart week.

Country vocalist Josh Turner’s “Punching Bag” (MCA Nashville) bowed at No. 4, moving 45,000. It’s the best start for the singer since “Your Man” reached No. 2 in 2006.

Finally making a move onto the U.S. list after months at the top in England, folk-inflected singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran’s “+” (Elektra) debuted at No. 5 with a 42,000-unit score. The collection, which topped the U.K. chart upon its release, has been a top 10 fixture in Blighty since late 2011.

Holdovers filled the top 10’s mid-section: One Direction’s “Up All Night” (No. 6, 39,000 sold, down 1%), Neil Young & Crazy Horse’s “Americana” (No. 7, 37,000, off 15%) and Alan Jackson’s “Thirty Miles West” (No. 8, 37,000, down 50%).

Despite blah opening B.O., “Rock of Ages” resonated with listeners: The WaterTower soundtrack for the heavily promoted jukebox musical toplined by Tom Cruise climbed to No. 9 with a 36,000-copy frame, gaining 101%. The title, featuring songs originated by Bon Jovi, Def Leppard, Night Ranger and other hair metal acts, debuted at No. 15 last week with 18,000 sold.

Euphoniously monikered rapper Waka Flocka Flame’s “Triple F Life” (Warner Bros.) moved in at No. 10 with 33,000 shifted. Born Juaquin Malphura, the musician previously reached No. 6 with his 2010 debut “Flockaveli.”

Next week, Usher will have to stand down, as his protege Justin Bieber’s “Believe” should handily claim the chart’s pinnacle.