NICKI OF TIME: Nicki Minaj's "Pink Friday" ascends to the Billboard 200 summit in its 11th week, marking the steadiest climb to No. 1 since Ray Charles' "Genius Loves Company" reached the top spot in its 25th week dated March 5, 2005.

Billboard associate director of charts/retail Keith Caulfield notes the rarity of such a rise, as the majority of chart-topping albums begin their chart lives at No. 1.

In 2010, 30 albums occupied the Billboard 200's penthouse for the first time, but just one - Lil Wayne's "I Am Not a Human Being" - rose to the top from a lower rank the previous week. (That set debuted at No. 2 the week of Oct. 16 as a digital exclusive, fell to No. 16 and vaulted to No. 1 in its third frame, following its physical release).

Of the 505 albums that first topped the Billboard 200 since it began employing Nielsen SoundScan data the week of May 25, 1991, only 71 did not debut at No. 1. And, "Pink Friday" is just the 18th title in that span to have reached the apex after more than 10 weeks:

Weeks To No. 1, Artist, Title, Year Reached No. 1

63, Soundtrack, "O Brother, Where Art Thou?," 2002
52, Live, "Throwing Copper," 1995
49, No Doubt, "Tragic Kingdom," 1996
46, Norah Jones, "Come Away With Me," 2003
44, Hootie & The Blowfish, "Cracked Rear View," 1995
31, Toni Braxton, "Toni Braxton," 1994
28, Celine Dion, "Falling Into You," 1996
27, Eric Clapton, "Unplugged," 1993
26, Shaggy, "Hotshot," 2001
25, Ray Charles, "Genius Loves Company," 2005
18, Santana, "Supernatural," 1999
17, Ace Of Base, "The Sign," 1994
15, Alanis Morissette, "Jagged Little Pill," 1995
15, Mariah Carey, "Music Box," 1993
14, Spice Girls, "Spice," 1997
14, Nirvana, "Nevermind," 1992
13, Fugees, "The Score," 1996
11, Nicki Minaj, "Pink Friday," 2011

Notably, patience pays. The albums above represent some of the longest-reigning and top-selling sets of the last two decades.

Among the elite efforts, "Jagged Little Pill" spent 12 weeks atop the Billboard 200 and has sold 14.7 million copies, according to SoundScan. "Supernatural" also led for 12 weeks and has shifted 11.7 million units.

The sets rank as the third- and seventh-best-selling albums in SoundScan's archives.