Early prognostications from industry gurus are pointing to a very handsome first week for Kanye West's new "My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy." Sources say the set could sell perhaps 550,000 by week's end on Sunday, Nov. 28, easily securing it a No. 1 bow on the Billboard 200 next week.
If it arrives atop the list, it will mark his fourth No. 1 set following "Late Registration" (2005), "Graduation" (2007) and "808s & Heartbreak" (2008). The latter began with 450,000 and was released over Thanksgiving week -- just like "My Beautiful..."
Also gunning for a big entrance next week is Nicki Minaj's debut effort, "Pink Friday," which is on target to begin with more than 400,000. It could mark the best sales week for a female hip-hop artist since Nielsen SoundScan began tracking sales in 1991. Currently, that record is held by rapper/singer Lauryn Hill's "The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill," which launched with 423,000 in 1998. (The best week for a straight-ahead female emcee was earned by Missy Elliott's "Under Construction," when it bowed with 259,000 in 2002.)