The highest debut on the Billboard 200 next week will likely come from country singer Blake Shelton, as industry observers suggest his new "Hillbilly Bone" may sell in the range of 60,000 to 75,000 by week's end on Sunday, March 7. That figure will probably place the album somewhere in the top five of next week's chart, depending on how the rest of the week shakes out.
Shelton's album is an experimental release of sorts, containing just six songs and offered for a very attractive low price. Wal-Mart, Target and Amazon are currently selling the album for a sale price of $4.99, while Best Buy has it for $6.99. Surprisingly, both the iTunes and Amazon MP3 stores are selling it for a higher price than their physical competitors, as the etailers have it listed for $5.99.
Shelton's plan is to release at least one or two more six-song sets before the end of the year.
The Billboard 200's top 20 is already playing host to a pair of shorter-than-usual albums: Justin Bieber's seven-song "My World" and Lady Gaga's eight-track "The Fame Monster." The latter titles, both economically priced, have sold 971,000 and 827,000, respectively.
As for the rest of the albums aiming for a high debut on next week's Billboard 200 -- "American Idol" fans, rejoice! Last year's third-place finisher, Danny Gokey, could be the tally's second-highest new entry, as his "My Best Days" should bow in the top 10. Also looking for a nice start: Jason Derulo's self-titled debut, the "Almost Alice" companion album/soundtrack to the film "Alice in Wonderland" and Raheem Devaughn's "The Love and War Masterpeace."