Drake's "Thank Me Later" bows, as expected, with an eye-popping 447,000 copies at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart according to Nielsen SoundScan. It's the third-best sales week of the year for a single album.
The top two sales weeks of 2010 are owned by Sade's "Soldier of Love" (502,000 off its debut week in February) and Lady Antebellum's "Need You Now" (481,000 in its first frame in January). And since both Lady Antebellum and Sade are technically groups, "Thank Me Later's" start is also the biggest debut week for a solo act's album since Susan Boyle's "I Dreamed a Dream" entered at No. 1 with 701,000 upon its release last November.
Drake also has the highest new entry on the Digital Songs chart, where his "Up All Night" enters at No. 22 with 57,000 downloads sold. Katy Perry's "California Gurls" retains the No. 1 slot with 337,000 (down 6%) while three songs in the top 10 make big gains. Mike Posner's "Cooler Than Me" rises three spots to No. 6 (142,000; up 42%), Drake's "Find Your Love" climbs eight rungs to No. 8 (112,000; up 46%) and 3Oh!3's "My First Kiss" jumps two spots to No. 9 (112,000; up 24%).
Back on the Billboard 200 albums list, the entire top four slots house new entries for the first time since last December. The second-highest debut belongs to Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers' "Mojo" starting at No. 2 with 125,000. It marks Petty's best debut sales week since SoundScan started tracking sales in 1991 and his highest charting album since 1980. "Mojo's" handsome bow was aided by a successful concert ticket/album download offer, which accounted for a fair amount of the set's first week.
Next up, Sarah McLachlan's new studio set "Laws of Illusion" opens at No. 3 with 94,000. The latter's last proper studio album, "Afterglow," was released way back in 2003 and started at No. 2 with 361,000. (In the interim, she's charted with two remix sets, a live effort, a rarities collection, a greatest hits package and a holiday album.)
The final top 10 debut comes in at No. 4 from the new "Now 34" compilation with 88,000. Not to be the bearer of bad news, but with 88,000 this marks the first album in the main "Now" series -- not counting its various genre-specific offshoots -- to debut with less than 100,000 since the first "Now" compilation started with 48,000 in 1998.
As for the rest of the top 10 this week, Jack Johnson's "To The Sea" falls one spot to No. 5 (68,000; down 24%) and the "Eclipse" soundtrack slips four rungs to No. 6 (55,000; down 63%). Justin Bieber's "My World 2.0" drops one slot to No. 7 (47,000; down 4%), Lady Antebellum's "Need You Now" holds at No. 8 (40,000; up 4%) and Christina Aguilera's "Bionic" dips six positions to No. 9 (40,000; down 64%). Closing out the top 10 is last week's No. 1, "Glee: The Music, Journey to Regionals" (39,000; down 64%).
Overall album sales in this past chart week (ending June 20) totaled 6.14 million units, up 9% compared to the sum last week (5.61 million) and down 9% compared to the comparable sales week of 2009 (6.76 million). Year to date album sales stand at 142.4 million, down 11% compared to the same total at this point last year (159.7 million).
Digital track sales this past week totaled 21.4 million downloads, down 4% compared to last week (22.3 million) and down 1% compared to the comparable week of 2009 (21.6 million). Year to date track sales are at 554.4 million, up less than 1% compared to the same total at this point last year (552.3 million).