Lady Antebellum Lands Second No. 1 Album on Billboard 200 Chart
Lady Antebellum Lands Second No. 1 Album on Billboard 200 Chart

As expected, country trio Lady Antebellum nets its second No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 as "Own the Night" debuts in the top slot, selling 347,000, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

The launch marks the biggest sales week for an album by a group since Sade's "Soldier of Love" bowed at No. 1 with 502,000, well over a year ago on the Feb. 27, 2010, chart. (Indeed, Sade is a group: Vocalist Sade Adu leads the quartet, filled out by Paul Denman, Stuart Matthewman and Andrew Hale.) The start for "Night" is also the largest for any country release since Taylor Swift's "Speak Now" blew in at No. 1 with 1.05 million on Nov. 13, 2010.

"Own the Night" follows Lady A's breakthrough second album, "Need You Now," which started atop the Billboard 200 in February 2010 with 481,000. The band's self-titled first album debuted and peaked at No. 4 off a 43,000 start in 2008.

Lady A remains only the third country group to have notched No. 1 sets on the Billboard 200 following the Dixie Chicks and Rascal Flatts. The Chicks have three leaders, and Rascal has four.

Last week's No. 1 album, Lil Wayne's "Tha Carter IV," falls to No. 3 with 117,000 (down 47%) while Adele's "21" holds at No. 2 with 119,000 (down 2%).

Country singer Brantley Gilbert re-enters at No. 4 with his "Halfway to Heaven" album (51,000; up 15,000%), after it was reissued last week by Valory Music (the sister label of Big Machine, home to Swift). The formerly independently released set, now distributed by Universal Music Group, spent 71 weeks on the Country Albums chart from April 2010 until August of this year, selling 135,000.

The final three debuts in the top 10 all come from rock bands as new efforts from Staind (No. 5), Dream Theater (No. 8) and the Devil Wears Prada (No. 10) arrive. Staind's new self-titled set (47,000) is its fourth top 10 album and the follow-up to 2008's "The Illusion of Progress," which bowed at No. 3 with 92,000. Dream Theater's "A Dramatic Turn of Events" enters with 36,000, marking the act's second top 10 after 2009's "Black Clouds & Silver Linings" (which sold 40,000 in its first week). Another act grabbing its second top 10 album is the Devil Wears Prada, with "Dead Throne" starting with 32,000. Its first top 10 came last year, with the "Zombie" EP, which debuted and peaked at No. 10 with 25,000.

As for the holdovers on the chart, the Beatles' "1" slides 4-6 (46,000; down 24%), George Strait's "Here for a Good Time" falls 3-7 (43,000; down 53%), and Jay-Z & Kanye West's "Watch the Throne" moves 6-9 (nearly 36,000; down 28%).

Moving over to the Digital Songs chart, the top three titles are stationary this week, led by "Moves Like Jagger" by Maroon 5 featuring Christina Aguilera (221,000; up 1%). Adele's "Someone Like You" (199,000; down 7%) and Foster the People's "Pumped Up Kicks" (186,000; down 4%) stand still at Nos. 2 and 3, respectively.

Coldplay's new "Paradise" debuts at No. 6 with 139,000, while Gym Class Heroes' "Stereo Hearts," featuring Adam Levine, rises 5-4 (144,000; down 1%). LMFAO's "Party Rock Anthem," featuring Lauren Bennett and GoonRock, falls 4-5 with 143,000 (down 8%), and Cobra Starship's "You Make Me Feel," featuring Sabi, holds at No. 7 with 130,000 (up 2%).

Closing out the top 10 is Lady Gaga's "You and I" (6-8 with 121,000; down 14%), Rihanna's "Cheers (Drink to That)" (8-9 with 120,000; down 5%), and David Guetta's "Without You" (featuring Usher), zooming 18-10 (104,000; up 71%).

Overall album sales in this past chart week (ending Sept. 18) totaled 5.6 million units, up 2% compared with the sum last week (5.5 million) and up 4% compared with the comparable sales week of 2010 (5.4 million). Year-to-date album sales stand at 217.6 million, up 3% compared with the same total at this point last year (210.7 million). It is the 17th week in a row where year-to-date album volume is greater than the same time in the prior year.

Digital track sales this past week totaled 21 million downloads, down 1% compared with last week (21.3 million) and up 6% stacked next to the comparable week of 2010 (19.9 million). Year-to-date track sales are at 910.6 million, up 11% compared with the same total at this point last year (821.7 million).

Next week's Billboard 200 competes with the same week in 2010 when: Zac Brown Band's "You Get What You Give" debuted at No. 1 with 153,000 while Maroon 5's "Hands All Over" started in the runner-up slot with 142,000. The previous week's leader, Linkin Park's "A Thousand Suns," fell to No. 3 with 70,000 (down 71%).

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