The highest debut on the Billboard 200 next week will likely come from Johnny Cash's "American VI: Ain't No Grave," the late legend's final installment in his successful American Recordings series with producer Rick Rubin. Industry prognosticators suggest the effort could sell in the range of 30,000 to 35,000 by week's end on Sunday, Feb. 28. That first-week sum could earn it a top 10 bow next week.
Cash's previous American set, "American V: A Hundred Highways," debuted at No. 1 with 88,000 in its first week back in July of 2006. It was Cash's second topper and first since the iconic live set "Johnny Cash at San Quentin" spent four weeks at No. 1 in 1969.
The Feb. 23 release schedule was somewhat quiet aside from Cash, with only a handful of big guns hitting shelves (virtual and otherwise). The brightest of the rest: Alkaline Trio's "This Addiction" and Chayanne's "No Hay Imposibles." All three albums are due on next week's charts.
Next week's Billboard 200 competes with the same week in 2009 when: Taylor Swift's "Fearless" closed out its 11th and final frame at No. 1, selling 73,000 (up 18%). Nos. 2 and 3 were debuts, coming from Lamb of God's "Wrath" (68,000) and the Jonas Brothers' "3D Concert Experience" (50,000).