The King of Pop is still the king of the Billboard charts. The Top Comprehensive Albums chart that is, where his "Number Ones" set reigns yet again (114,000). The set has now become the second-biggest-selling album of the year and has Taylor Swift's "Fearless" in its sights . . . Over on the currents-based Billboard 200, rapper Fabolous nets his first No. 1 album, "Loso's Way." He previously topped out at No. 2 with his last album, 2007's "From Nothin' to Somethin' " . . . Meanwhile, "High School Musical" star Ashley Tisdale's sophomore album, "Guilty Pleasure," starts at No. 12 with 25,000 . . . In Progress Reports, we've got updates on Darius Rucker, Mariah Carey and Wilco.



FLASH POINTS

• Indeed, rapper Fabolous earns his first No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 this week with "Loso's Way," but the bigger news is that Michael Jackson's "Number Ones" collection becomes the year's second-best-selling album. As the 2003 set moves another 114,000 this week—and retains the No. 1 spot on Top Comprehensive Albums—its total for the year adds up to 1.37 million. That moves it past the "Hannah Montana: The Movie" soundtrack (1.33 million) and Eminem's "Relapse" (1.31 million). Now, only Taylor Swift's "Fearless" (with nearly 1.5 million) stands in Jackson's way.

• The King of Pop has now ruled with the top-selling set in the United States in five out of the past six weeks. "Number Ones" only stepped aside when Daughtry's "Leave This Town" bowed with 269,000 two weeks ago. Jackson may very well end up No. 1 overall again next week, though Sugarland's new Wal-Mart-exclusive CD/DVD package "Live on the Inside" could overtake him.

• As a reminder, the Billboard 200 houses current and new albums, generally those 18 months old or less. On the Top Comprehensive Albums chart, both old and new albums mingle together—hence why Jackson reigns on the Comprehensive list, but the aforementioned Fabolous debuts at No. 1 on the Billboard 200.

• Fabolous' "Loso's Way" starts atop the latter list with 99,000. The Def Jam effort also doubles as a soundtrack to a short movie of the same name. It's available on a DVD in a deluxe CD/DVD package or as a video download with the digital album. In turn, "Loso's Way" also debuts at No. 1 on the Top Soundtracks chart. Fabolous has notched four previous top 10 sets on the Billboard 200, charting as high as No. 2 when his last release, 2007's "From Nothin' to Somethin'," started with 159,000.

• Last week's No. 1, Demi Lovato's "Here We Go Again," falls to No. 8 in its second week, selling 39,000 (down 64%). The chart's second-highest debut comes from "High School Musical" singer/actress Ashley Tisdale. Her second album, "Guilty Pleasure," begins at No. 12 with 25,000. Her first, 2007's "Headstrong," debuted and peaked at No. 4 with 64,000 sold in its first week.

• And now a recap of the rest of the top 10 on the Billboard 200 . . . Daughtry's "Leave This Town" holds at No. 2 with 62,000 (down 39%) while Maxwell's "BLACKsummers'night" (No. 3 with 55,000; down 24%) and the "Now 31" compilation (No. 4 with 53,000; down 8%) also stay put. The Black Eyed Peas' "The E.N.D." rises one spot to No. 5 (49,000; down 6%) while Kings of Leon's "Only by the Night" climbs two slots to No. 6 with 47,000 (up 21%). The band played NBC's "Today" show last Friday (July 31), likely sparking the gain. The "Hannah Montana 3" TV soundtrack is one step below the band at No. 7, falling two rungs (41,000; down 25%). Rounding out the top 10 are Taylor Swift's "Fearless" (No. 9 with 38,000; up 1%) and Lady GaGa's "The Fame" (No. 10 with 27,000; down 2%); they also retain their positions from last week.

• Overall album sales in this past chart week (ending Aug. 2) totaled 6 million units, down 4.6% compared with the sum last week (7.4 million) and down 19.4% compared with the same sales week of 2008 (7.4 million). Year-to-date album sales stand at 207.7 million, down 14.2% compared with the same total at this point last year (242.2 million).



MARKET WATCH

• Album units, current chart week: 6 million units
• DOWN 4.6% from last week's charts: 6.3 million units
• DOWN 19.4% from same week, 2008: 7.4 million units
• This week: No albums on the Billboard 200 sell more than 100,000 copies. Only the No. 1 album on the Top Comprehensive Albums chart—Michael Jackson's "Number Ones"—sells more than 100,000.
• This week last year on The Billboard 200: Sugarland's "Love on the Inside" moved 2-1 in its second week on the chart with 171,000 (down 45%) after its "standard" version streeted in the album's second week. The album charted in its first week at No. 2 based on sales of its "deluxe" version.



PROGRESS REPORTS

• On Hot Country Songs, Darius Rucker becomes the the first artist in nearly 17 years to top the chart with their first three format singles, and the fourth in the past 20 years to do so. Rucker's "Alright" ascends to the top this week, following "Don't Think I Don't Think About It" and "It Won't Be Like This for Long." The most recent acts to run their first three songs to No. 1 were Wynonna (1992), Brooks & Dunn (1992) and Clint Black (1990). Wynonna did time atop the chart with her first three solo songs, while Brooks & Dunn and Black led with each of their first four singles.

• Twelve long years after Wilco first appeared on the Triple A radio chart, the band notches its first No. 1 this week with "You Never Know." In 1997, the band's Triple A debut, "Outtasite (Outta Mind)," peaked at No. 16. It then charted another five hits between 1991 and 2007 before "You Never Know." The band sets the record for the longest wait between an act's first hit and first No. 1, previously held by Alanis Morissette, who waited eight years between 1996's "Ironic" and her first No. 1, 2004's "Everything."

• Mariah Carey makes her 29th appearance on the Mainstream Top 40 radio airplay chart as "Obsessed" debuts at No. 39, extending her lead for most overall chart entries in the tally's nearly 17-year history. She is now three titles ahead of second-place holder Madonna (26).




A LOOK AHEAD

• Among the albums released this week, due on next week's charts: Sugarland's "Live on the Inside," the "Kidz Bop 16" album, Gloriana's "Gloriana" and K'Jon's "I Get Around."

• Next week's Billboard 200 competes with the same week in 2008 when: the "Mamma Mia!" soundtrack climbed to No. 1 for the first time, shifting 131,000 (down 5%). The chart's highest debut came from Lloyd's "Lessons in Love" at No. 7 with 51,000.

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboardbiz

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