There's no stopping the Sade party as the group's "Soldier of Love" retains the top slot on the Billboard 200 for a third straight week. The album sold 127,000 (down 34%), according to Nielsen SoundScan. In the runner-up slot, Lady Antebellum's "Need You Now" holds down No. 2 position for a third week as well, shifting 118,000 (down 18%).
Unlike last week, where the chart was so sleepy you had to scroll all the way down to No. 42 to find the highest debut, this week there are a pair of new entries in the top 15. Johnny Cash's "American VI: Ain't No Grave," bows at No. 3 with 54,000. It's the late legend's final installment in his American Recordings series with producer Rick Rubin. The last one, "American V: A Hundred Highways," debuted at No. 1 with 88,000 in July of 2006.
Just outside the top 10 is the tally's second-best debut, where Alkaline Trio's "This Addiction" debuts at No. 11 with 26,000. It's the second top 20 album for the band -- and its highest charting set. The act's previous high-water mark came with "Agony and Irony" in 2008, which debuted and peaked at No. 13 off a 36,000 start.
Ke$ha's "Animal" roars back into the top 10 this week, climbing seven rungs to No. 7 with 32,000 (up 7%), likely partially owed to a $7.99 sale tag it carried at Best Buy last week. Meanwhile, the Black Eyed Peas' "The E.N.D." slips one spot to No. 4 (50,000; down 23%), Lady Gaga's "The Fame" is also down one to No. 5 (48,000; down 23%) and Lil Wayne's "Rebirth" falls one position to No. 6 (37,000; down 36%). Susan Boyle's "I Dreamed a Dream" descends two spot to No. 8 (30,000; down 41%), Taylor Swift's "Fearless" climbs one to No. 9 (28,000; down 13%) and Justin Bieber's "My World" returns to the top 10 for the first time since January, as it rises two slots to No. 10 (just under 26,000; down 20%).
Overall album sales in this past chart week (ending Feb. 28) totaled 5.99 million units, down 8% compared to the sum last week (6.53 million) and down 13% compared to the comparable sales week of 2009 (6.91 million).