All eyes are on Britney Spears, as the pop diva is poised to debut at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart next week with her new album, "Femme Fatale." Her seventh studio effort, released on Tuesday (Mar. 29), is on course to top the tally with around 280,000 copies sold by week's end on April 3.
Industry prognosticators suggest the album could approach 300,000 if all of the stars align. Presently, it's looking like "Femme Fatale" will earn the second-largest sales week of the year after Adele's "21" bow with 352,000.
If "Femme Fatale" finds its away to No. 1, it will give Spears her sixth chart-topper. Five out of her earlier six studio sets crowned the tally -- only her fifth, "Blackout," missed the top slot, starting at No. 2.
A sixth No. 1 album would place Spears in rare air, tying her for the third-most No. 1s among women with Mariah Carey and Janet Jackson. Only Barbra Streisand (nine No. 1s) and Madonna (seven) have earned more No. 1s.
Spears' last studio release, 2008's "Circus," blasted in at No. 1 with 506,000 according to Nielsen SoundScan, led by the Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 single "Womanizer." "Femme Fatale" was preceded by the Hot 100 No. 1 "Hold It Against Me" while its second single, "Till the World Ends," rebounds 23-22 on the tally this week, after having already (so far) peaked at No. 9.
Spears won't be the only big news on the Billboard 200 next week. Wiz Khalifa is looking to enter at No. 2 with his first major label album, "Rolling Papers," with perhaps 200,000 to 225,000. We can also expect debuts from the mainstream release of Radiohead's "The King of Limbs," Snoop Dogg's "Doggumentary" and Mary Mary's "Something Big."