Next week's Billboard 200 chart could see Chris Tomlin earn his first No. 1 album. The singer/songwriter's new album, "Burning Lights," may sell upwards of 60,000 to 70,000 copies by week's end on Sunday, Jan. 13 -- so say industry forecasters.
If "Burning Lights" arrives atop the list, it would mark the second No. 1 debut from a Christian album in less than a year and only the fourth Christian set to ever be No. 1. Last September, tobyMac started at No. 1 with "Eye On It."
The new Billboard 200 chart's top 10 will be revealed on the morning of Wednesday, Jan. 16.
Tomlin's last studio album, "And If Our God Is For Us . . . " debuted and peaked at No. 17 in 2010 off a start of 45,000, according to Nielsen SoundScan. He's reached the top 10 once, when 2008's "Hello Love" bowed and peaked at No. 8. Tomlin's best sales week so far was registered when "Glory in the Highest: Christmas Songs of Worship," moved 63,000 over Thanksgiving week in 2010.
With few major new albums arriving to market in the first half of January, a fairly small sales figure can enable a high debut on the Billboard 200. For example, this past week's No. 1, the "Les Miserables" film soundtrack, topped the list with 92,000. It's too early to tell what "Les Miserables" will see this coming week, so don't rule out a possible second week at No. 1.
Aside from Tomlin's "Burning Lights," other new albums that are aiming for a top 10 debut next week include Hollywood Undead's "Notes From the Underground" and Black Veil Brides' "Wretched and Divine: The Story of the Wild Ones." The two rock band's respective titles are likely sell around 50,000 and 45,000.