Chart Juice: Elle Varner Debuts at No. 2 on R&B/Hip-Hop Albums
Chart Juice: Elle Varner Debuts at No. 2 on R&B/Hip-Hop Albums

Singer/songwriter Elle Varner is on her way to a better-than-expected bow on next week's Billboard 200 albums chart. Her debut album "Perfectly Imperfect" should start in the top 10 of the tally as industry sources are projecting it may sell 25,000 to 30,000. That number is about twice as much as some forecasters had initially thought the 23-year old's set was going to sell.

The RCA album sports the hit singles "Only Wanna Give It To You" (featuring J. Cole), "Refill" and "I Don't Care," which reached Nos. 20, 10 and 69 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. The latter is Varner's current single, and rose 80-69 on this week's chart.

Also on track for a high entry is Colt Ford, as his "Declaration of Independence" may also start in the top 10. The country artist's latest set is on track to launch with over 20,000 and will easily become his highest charting album yet. He's notched two previous top 40 albums with "Chicken & Biscuits" (No. 29, 2010) and "Every Chance I Get" (No. 26, 2011).

Though Ford has never charted a single as an artist on the Billboard Hot 100 -- nor hit the top 40 on the Country Songs chart -- he's had major success as a songwriter. He co-wrote Jason Aldean's "Dirt Road Anthem" and Brantley Gilbert's "Country Must Be Country Wide" -- both No. 1 singles on the Country Songs chart. The former even went to No. 7 on the Hot 100.

As for No. 1 on the Billboard 200 next week look for the "Now 43" compilation to arrive in the top slot. The album might sell around 100,000 to 130,000 copies by the end of the tracking week on Sunday, Aug. 12.

On Nielsen SoundScan's Building chart (below), "Now 43" is No. 1 while Varner and Ford are Nos. 3 and 4, respectively. The Building tally is a precursor to the final Billboard 200 ranking -- reflecting the first four days (Monday through Thursday) of SoundScan's tracking week as reported by six major merchants.

As for the rest of the Building chart's top 10: Rick Ross's "God Forgives, I Don't" is in the runner-up slot while Zac Brown Band's "Uncaged" sit at No. 5. Justin Bieber's "Believe" (No. 6), One Direction's "Up All Night" (No. 7) and Adele's "21" (No. 8) are next, followed by the "Kidz Bop 22" album (No. 9) and John Mayer's new digital-exclusive "The Complete 2012 Performances" EP (No. 10).

Nielsen SoundScan Building Chart
Rank LW
BB 200
Artist Title
1 NEW Various Artists "Now 43"
2 1 Rick Ross "God Forgives, I Don't"
3 NEW Elle Varner "Perfectly Imperfect"
4 NEW Colt Ford "Declaration of Independence"
5 2 Zac Brown Band "Uncaged"
6 3 Justin Bieber "Believe"
7 4 One Direction "Up All Night"
8 8 Adele "21"
9 7 Kidz Bop Kidz "Kidz Bop 22"
10 NEW John Mayer "The Complete 2012 Performances"
The Building Chart reflects the first four days (Monday through Thursday) of SoundScan's tracking week (which ends Sunday) as reported by six major merchants: iTunes, Trans World Entertainment, Best Buy, Starbucks, Target and Anderson Merchandisers. Billboard estimates that they make up about 85% of all U.S. album sales.

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboard

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