At this time next week, Chris Brown might be celebrating his first No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 chart, as his fourth set, "F.A.M.E.," is on course to bow with over 250,000 sold in its first week.
Industry prognosticators suggest the set, released yesterday (Mar. 22), could shift anywhere between 250,000 to 300,000 by week's end on Sunday, Mar. 27. Brown has charted three previous top 10 albums: his first, self-titled set debuted and peaked at No. 2 in 2005 and was followed by 2007's "Exclusive" (No. 4) and 2009's "Graffiti" (No. 7).
"Graffiti" began with 102,000, according to Nielsen SoundScan, in the thick of the Christmas shopping season and has thus far sold 341,000. His new set boasts four Billboard Hot 100 hit singles "Deuces" (No. 14), "Yeah 3X" (No. 15), "No BS" (No. 62) and "Look At Me Now" (No. 8).
Brown won't be the only high-bowing act next week, either. He'll be joined by Jennifer Hudson, who will see her second album, "I Remember Me," perhaps starting in the runner-up slot with around 160,000. The Strokes' newest, "Angles," may enter at No. 3 with maybe 90,000 while Kirk Franklin's "Hello Fear" could start at No. 4 with 80,000.
With this week's No. 1, Adele's "21" -- on Columbia Records -- looking at perhaps the No. 5 slot next week, it would give Sony Music a monopoly of the top five. (Brown is on Jive Records, Hudson is on J, the Strokes are an RCA act and Franklin is on Gospo Centric through Jive.)
The last time a distributor had that sort of lock on the top five was on the Jan. 15, 2011 chart, when Universal Music owned the region. Taylor Swift's "Speak Now" (Big Machine) was No. 1, followed by Eminem's "Recovery" (Web/Shady/Aftermath/Interscope), Rihanna's "Loud" (SRP/Def Jam), Nicki Minaj's "Pink Friday" (Young Money/Cash Money/Universal Motown) and Kanye West's "My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy" (Roc-a-Fella/Def Jam), respectively.