Houston: We don't have any problems. Whitney Houston debuts at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 with "I Look to You." With its opening of 305,000, it gives the diva her fourth chart-topper and her best opening sales week since Nielsen SoundScan began tracking data in 1991 . . . Also starting high are new sets from Insane Clown Posse, Pitbull and the Used . . . In Progress Reports we have updates on Kings of Leon, Green River Ordinance and Jordin Sparks.


FLASH POINTS

• Like a true diva, Whitney Houston returns to the Billboard 200 in grand style, as "I Look to You" becomes her fourth No. 1 album, debuting with 305,000. It's by far the singer's best opening sales week since Nielsen SoundScan began tracking data in 1991. Her previous best opening week, since 1991, came when 2002's "Just Whitney" bowed at No. 9 in the thick of the Christmas holiday shopping season with 205,000.

• "Look" is also her first chart-topper since the Houston-fueled "The Bodyguard" soundtrack wrapped up a 20-week run at No. 1 in 1993. "Look" and "Bodyguard" are joined by her two previous toppers: her self-titled set in 1986 and then "Whitney" in 1987.

• "I Look to You" is Houston's first No. 1-debuting album since, believe it or not, her 1987 sophomore set, "Whitney." The latter title was also the first album from a woman to debut at No. 1, and it did so on the Billboard 200 dated June 27, 1987. (Before the inclusion of SoundScan's sales tracking data in the compiling of the Billboard 200 in 1991, it was very rare for an album to debut at No. 1. All told, only six albums opened atop the chart before 1991.)

• Next week, Houston will have to contend with the arrival of Jay-Z's "The Blueprint 3" and the new Beatles mono and stereo boxed sets. Figure that Hova is a lock for No. 1, but of course, anything can happen. Chart watchers note: The two new boxed sets from the Beatles will chart on the Billboard 200, as the tally houses current and new releases—generally those 18 months old or less. Over on the Top Comprehensive Albums chart, both old and new albums mingle. Thus, the individual album reissues of the Beatles' catalog will chart on the Top Comprehensive Albums and Top Pop Catalog Albums charts.

• While Houston is clearly the big news on the Billboard 200 this week, five other new albums grace the top 10 of the chart. Trey Songz's "Ready" is the second-biggest bow of the week, starting at No. 3 with 131,000 while rap act Insane Clown Posse captures its second top 10 album as "Bang! Pow! Boom!" crashes in at No. 4 with 50,000. Rock band Chevelle sees its "Sci-Fi Crimes" effort enter at No. 6 with 46,000 while Pitbull's "Rebelution" starts at No. 8 with 41,000. Rounding out the top 10's new entries is the Used's "Artwork," which debuts at No. 10 with 35,000.

• And now a recap of the rest of the top 10 on the Billboard 200 . . . Miley Cyrus' "The Time of Our Lives" EP scoots up one spot to No. 2 with 153,000 (up 146%) after it gained its first full week of sales. It debuted last week with just three days of sales after it hit stores Friday, Aug. 28—three days earlier than expected. Last week's No. 1, Colbie Caillat's "Breakthrough," falls to No. 5 with 47,000 (down 56%) while Kings of Leon's "Only by the Night" slips three rungs to No. 7 with 45,000 (down 14%). Lastly, Taylor Swift's "Fearless" continues its remarkable chart run, holding at No. 9 with 35,000 (up 4%).

• Overall album sales in this past chart week (ending Sept. 6) totaled 6.3 million units, up 8% compared with the sum last week (5.8 million) and down 7% compared with the same sales week of 2008 (6.8 million). Year-to-date album sales stand at 237.4 million, down 14% compared with the same total at this point last year (277.6 million).



MARKET WATCH

• Album units, current chart week: 6.3 million units
• UP 8% from last week's charts: 5.8 million units
• DOWN 7% from same week, 2008: 6.8 million units
• This week: The top three albums on the Billboard 200 and Top Comprehensive Albums sell more than 100,000 copies.
• This week last year on the Billboard 200: Young Jeezy's aptly titled "The Recession" debuted at No. 1 with 260,000 while New Kids on the Block returned at No. 2 with "The Block" (95,000). The previous week's topper, Slipknot's "All Hope Is Gone," fell to No. 5 in its second frame with 73,000 (down 69%).



PROGRESS REPORTS

• Kings of Leon move to No. 1 on the Alternative/Modern Rock radio airplay chart this week with "Notion," marking the band's third topper. As it turns out, all three are from the band's current set, "Only by the Night." The act is the first to earn three Modern Rock No. 1s from one album since Foo Fighters did it in 2007 and 2008 with "The Pretender," "Long Road to Ruin" and "Let It Die"—all from the group's "Echoes, Silence, Patience and Grace" album.

• The Fort Worth, Texas, band Green River Ordinance nets its first hit on a Billboard singles chart as "Come On" bows at No. 38 on the Adult Top 40 list this week. The group is currently on tour with Needtobreathe and Serena Ryder through the end of the month.

• Shannon's evergreen dance hit "Let the Music Play" finds new life on the Hot Dance Club Songs chart this week as Jordin Sparks' "S.O.S. (Let the Music Play)" enters at No. 48. Sparks' version is a whole new song, but it repurposes the chorus of the original tune. Shannon's original take debuted on the Club chart back on Oct. 1, 1983, and eventually spent six weeks at No. 1. Later, in 2000, a new version by Shannon was issued, and it peaked at No. 32.


A LOOK AHEAD

• Among the albums released this week, due on next week's charts: The Beatles' catalog album reissues and its new mono and stereo boxed sets, Jay-Z's "The Blueprint 3," Barlowgirl's "Love and War," Howie Day's "Sound the Alarm," They Might Be Giants' "Here Comes Science" and Brooks and Dunn's "#1s . . . and Then Some."


• Next week's Billboard 200 competes with the same week in 2008 when: Metallica's "Death Magnetic" blew through 490,000 copies in just three days after a Friday release and debuted at No. 1. Jessica Simpson's "Do You Know" was the second-highest entry of the week, starting at No. 4 with 65,000. The previous week's leader, Young Jeezy's "The Recession," fell to No. 2 in its second week with 90,000 (down 65%).