Lady Antebellum's 'Own the Night' Now Aiming for 300,000-Plus Debut
Lady Antebellum Announces Christmas Album, 'On This Winter's Night'

After two full days on sale, Lady Antebellum's third album, "Own the Night," is shaping up to have a bigger debut than expected. Initial first week projections for the set, reported yesterday (Sept. 14), estimated the Capitol Nashville/EMI set would between 260,000 to 290,000 by week's end on Sunday, Sept. 18. Now, that forecast has grown to around 320,000. Those sales should easily earn the band its second No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart.

Lady Antebellum Talk Album's Huge Expectations, 'SNL' and Tour

Could "Own's" number get bigger over the weekend? Don't rule it out. It's not unusual for country albums to see growth as the end of the week approaches, as consumers plan out their weekend shopping schedules. This won't come as a shock to Lady A's label execs, who talked up that very phenomenon with Billboard at "Own the Night's" release party at New York's Irving Plaza on Tuesday, Sept. 13.

"Own the Night" follows the trio's breakthrough second album, "Need You Now," which arrived atop the Billboard 200 dated Feb. 13, 2010 with a whopping 481,000 sold in its first week according to Nielsen SoundScan. "Need's" debut was charged by its smash title track, which, by the time the album arrived, had made the top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 and spent five weeks at No. 1 on the Country Songs chart. The album also got off to a grand start thanks a release-week performance of the single on the Grammy Awards (Jan. 31).

Lady Antebellum: The Billboard Cover Story

Lady Antebellum's new album's lead-off track, "Just a Kiss," racked up two weeks at No. 1 on the Country Songs chart and earned the band a career-high bow at No. 7 on the Billboard Hot 100.