Black Eyed Peas' "The E.N.D." bows at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, selling 304,000 -- the hip-pop act's best sales week ever. It's also the first No. 1 album for the group, which had previously gone as high as No. 2. Its last set, 2005's "Monkey Business," bowed in the runner-up slot with a then-best 291,000. It had the unfortunate luck to come out the same week as Coldplay's "X&Y," which kept the Peas' at bay when it started at No. 1 with 737,000.
Believe it or not, "The E.N.D." is only the second top 10 album for the Peas. While "Monkey" peaked at No. 2, its first two releases -- 1998's "Behind the Front" and 2000's "Bridging the Gap" -- both missed the top 50. It wasn't until the group recruited Fergie for "Elephunk" in 2003 did the group break through big time. That album, powered by three top 40 Hot 100 singles (including "Where Is The Love?"), peaked at No. 14 and spent 106 weeks on the chart.
It was hard not to know that the Black Eyed Peas had a new album last week, thanks to heavy promotion from Target. The retailer carried an exclusive version of the album that featured additional tracks and flooded the airwaves with a commercial touting the new set.
Over on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, the Peas debut at No. 2 with its new single "I Gotta Feeling" while holding at No. 1 for an 11th week with "Boom Boom Pow." It's the first time any act has occupied the top two slots on the Hot 100 with songs from the No. 1 album of the week since OutKast did it on Feb. 7, 2004. They were Nos. 1 and 2 on the Hot 100 with "Hey Ya" and "The Way You Move," respectively, while "Speakerboxxx/The Love Below" spent its seventh (and final week) atop the Billboard 200.
In non-Peas news this week, Latin quartet Aventura enters the Billboard 200 at No. 5 with its "Last" album, shifting 47,000 -- the act's best sales week ever. The effort arrives at No. 1 on the Top Latin Albums chart, its first chart-topper. The group had charted three previous top five sets. Mos Def's newest, "Ecstatic," starts at No. 9 with 39,000 -- his second top 10 set. Former Pretty Ricky member Pleasure P strikes out on his own with his solo debut, "The Introduction of Marcus Cooper," entering at No. 10 with just under 39,000. Over on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart, the album bows at No. 2 behind Black Eyed Peas.
Last week's No. 1, Dave Matthews Band's "Big Whiskey and the GrooGrux King," slips to No. 2 in its second week with 128,000 (down 70%). Eminem's "Relapse" falls one position to No. 3 with 87,000 (down 38%) while super group Chickenfoot posts a 53% gain at No. 4, shifting 79,000 copies. The album debuted last week with 52,000 with just three days of sales, as it was released early on Friday, June 5. Lady GaGa's "The Fame" climbs two slots to No. 6 with 47,000 (up less than 1%) while the "Hannah Montana" movie soundtrack slips from No. 6 to No. 7 with 46,000 (down 8%). Finally, Green Day's "21st Century Breakdown" drops three rungs to No. 8 with 41,000 (down 21%).
Overall album sales in this past chart week (ending June 14) totaled 6.34 million units, down 0.6% compared to the sum last week (6.39 million) and down 31.7% compared to the same sales week of 2008 (9.29 million). (Why down so much? It's partly because Lil Wayne notched the biggest sales week of 2008 for an album when his "Tha Carter III" bowed with 1,006,000.)
Year to date album sales stand at 161.4 million, down 14% compared to the same total at this point last year (188.6 million).