Kelly Clarkson Tops Billboard 200
Kelly Clarkson Tops Billboard 200

Kelly Clarkson nets her second No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 as her fourth effort, "All I Ever Wanted" (19/RCA), climbs in to the penthouse with 255,000. Her first chart-topper came with her debut set, "Thankful," which began with 297,000 in 2003. She followed it up with "Breakaway" in 2004 (a No. 3 debut with 250,000) and 2007's "My December" (No. 2 with 291,000).

Clarkson's return to the top of the chart has got to be a welcome relief after the relatively poor performance of "My December." The latter set started off well with 291,000, but fell off the chart after just 18 weeks and has only sold 788,000 in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan. That pales in comparison with "Breakaway," which has moved 6.1 million.

During release week, Clarkson played ABC's "Good Morning America," "Live With Regis and Kelly," Fox's "American Idol" and NBC's "Saturday Night Live." No doubt that TV played a huge factor in pumping up the big week for "Wanted."

Clarkson leads a debut-heavy Billboard 200 chart this week, as five more albums bow in the top 20 of the tally. The-Dream floats in with "Love Vs. Money" (Radio Killa/Def Jam) at No. 2 with 151,000, J. Holiday's "Round 2" (Music Line/Capitol) rings the bell at No. 4 with 55,000, Chris Cornell's "Scream" (Mosley/Interscope) enters at No. 10 with 26,000, New Found Glory's "Not Without a Fight" (Epitaph) bows at No. 12 with 23,000, and the "Punk Goes Pop Vol. 2" compilation (Fearless) starts at No. 15 with 21,000.

Last week's No. 1, U2's "No Line on the Horizon" (Island/Interscope/IGA), drops to the No. 3 slot with 132,000 -- down nearly 73% in its second week. Taylor Swift's "Fearless" (Big Machine) slips to No. 5 with 52,000 (down just 1%), while Lady GaGa's "The Fame" (Streamline/KonLive/Cherrytree/Interscope) falls two spaces to No. 6 with 47,000 but posts a hearty 10% increase in sales. Nickelback's "Dark Horse" (Roadrunner) declines from No. 5 to No. 7 with 36,000 (down less than 1%), Beyonce's "I Am... Sasha Fierce" (Music World/Columbia) holds at No. 8 (28,000; down 9%), Jamie Foxx's "Intuition" (J) slips from No. 6 to No. 9 with 27,000 (down 17%).

Overall album sales in this past chart week (ending March 15) totaled 6.62 million units, down 6.2% compared to the sum last week and down 16.6% compared to the same sales week of 2008. Year to date album sales stand at 77.5 million, down 12% compared to the same total at this point last year.