Lil Wayne not only earns his first No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 with the debut of "Tha Carter III," but he starts with 1,006,000 -- the biggest sales week the chart has seen since 2005. Only 14 other albums have notched million-plus weeks since Nielsen SoundScan began tracking data in 1991 ... Believe it or not, there is other news on the chart this week, as four more albums debut in the top 10, led by Plies at No. 2. Also starting high: N*E*R*D*, Alanis Morissette and My Morning Jacket.


FLASH POINTS


• The headline says it all. Rapper Lil Wayne is a wonder this week as his "Tha Carter III" scores with a debut week of 1,006,000 and gives the artist his first No. 1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart. The eye-popping opening figure is the biggest weekly sales frame the chart has had since March 2005, when 50 Cent's "The Massacre" bowed with 1,141,000.

• Wayne's album becomes only the 15th set to notch a million-plus week since Nielsen SoundScan began tracking sales in 1991. The Billboard 200 got its first taste of million madness when the soundtrack to "The Bodyguard" sold 1,061,000 during the Christmas week of 1992. Since then, we've seen million-plus debuts from N 'Sync (twice), Eminem, Backstreet Boys (twice), Britney Spears, 50 Cent, Usher, Garth Brooks, Limp Bizkit and Norah Jones. Two more albums motored past the million mark, but not in their debut week: the Beatles' hits package "1" did 1,259,000 during Christmas week of 2000 and Eminem's "The Eminem Show" did 1,322,000 in its second week on the chart in 2002 ... Of those 14 bigger weeks, 10 occurred between November 1998 and June 2002.

• Lil Wayne has been a fixture on the Billboard charts for nine years, ever since he first appeared as a guest star on Juvenile's hit single "Back That Thang Up" in 1999. However, while he's been a consistent seller, he's never racked up a sales week this big. Since 1999, he's charted eight albums on the Billboard 200, with all of his studio efforts reaching the top 20. His last set, 2006's "Like Father, Like Son," a collaboration project with Birdman, debuted and peaked at No. 3 with 176,000 ... Previous to this week, Lil Wayne's best sales week came with 2005's "Tha Carter II," when it launched with 238,000 in December 2005.

• Hard to imagine, but there is other news on the Billboard 200 this week. Four more albums debut in the top 10, starting with Plies and his "Definition of Real" at No. 2 with 215,000. N*E*R*D* climbs in at No. 7 with "Seeing Sounds" (80,000) while Alanis Morissette's "Flavors of Entanglement" lands at No. 8 (70,000) and My Morning Jacket's "Evil Urges" bows at No. 9 (49,000) ... Last week's chart-topper, Disturbed's "Indestructible," slips to No. 4 this week with 102,000 (down 60%).




The Billboard 200

Sales data provided and compiled from Nielsen SoundScan
*1 New LIL WAYNE Tha Carter III (Cash Money / Universal Motown / UMRG) 11 9 3 DOORS DOWN 3 Doors Down (Universal Republic / UMRG)
*2 New PLIES Definition Of Real (Big Gates / Slip-N-Slide / Atlantic / AG) 12 7 SOUNDTRACK Sex And The City (New Line )
3 2 VARIOUS ARTISTS NOW 28 (EMI / Sony BMG / Universal / Zomba / Capitol) 13 6 ASHANTI The Declaration (The Inc. / Universal Motown / UMRG)
4 1 DISTURBED Indestructible (Reprise / Warner Bros.) 14 11 LEONA LEWIS Spirit (SYCO / J / RMG)
5 3 USHER Here I Stand (LaFace / Zomba) 15 12 DUFFY Rockferry (Mercury / IDJMG)
6 5 JOURNEY Revelation (Nomota ) *16 15 TAYLOR SWIFT Taylor Swift (Big Machine )
*7 New N*E*R*D Seeing Sounds (Star Trak / Interscope / IGA) 17 16 FRANK SINATRA Nothing But The Best (Reprise / Warner Bros.)
*8 New ALANIS MORISSETTE Flavors Of Entanglement (Maverick / Warner Bros.) *18 18 TOBY KEITH 35 Biggest Hits (Show Dog Nashville / UMe)
*9 New MY MORNING JACKET Evil Urges (ATO ) *19 21 KID ROCK Rock N Roll Jesus (Top Dog / Atlantic / AG)
10 4 WEEZER Weezer (DGC / Interscope / IGA) *20 New MONTGOMERY GENTRY Back When I Knew It All (Columbia (Nashville) / SBN)
* indicates titles with greatest sales gains this week




MARKET WATCH

• Album units, current chart week: 9.29 million units
• UP 22.8% from last issue's charts: 7.56 million units
• DOWN 3.1% from same week, 2007: 9.58 million units
• This week: The top five albums each sell more than 100,000 copies.
• This week last year on the Billboard 200: Toby Keith's "Big Dog Daddy" started at No. 1 with 204,000 while Fabolous' "From Nothin' to Somethin'" landed at No. 2 with 159,000. Each of the top three albums sold more than 100,000.





BORDERLINES

• The No. 100 album this week, Radiohead's "In Rainbows" (ATO), sold 8,000.
• The No. 100 album for the same week of 2007, the soundtrack to "Once" (Canvasback/Sony Music Soundtrax/Columbia), sold 9,000.
• Average total of the No. 100 album for the same week of the year during the past 10 years (1999-2008): 12,864.



PROGRESS REPORTS


• With the June 15 Father's Day holiday closing out the Nielsen SoundScan tracking week, a gaggle of Dad-friendly albums make gains thanks to gift purchases. On the Billboard 200, some of the most obvious gainers high up on the list include Toby Keith's "35 Biggest Hits" (No. 18, up 20%), Kid Rock's "Rock N Roll Jesus" (No. 19, up 25%), Neil Diamond's "Home Before Dark" (No. 26, up 15%), Jack Johnson's "Sleep Through the Static" (No. 32, up 22%) and George Strait's "Troubadour" (No. 36, up 55%).

• Even though the Tony Awards fell on the final day of the tracking week, June 15, all but three of the titles on the 15-position Top Cast Albums chart post increased sales. Next week we'll see the full impact of the Tony broadcast, with seven-time winner "South Pacific" and four-time winner "In the Heights" safe bets for big gains. Crowd-pleaser "Xanadu," which was nominated for four awards (including best musical) but didn't take home a trophy, could see a significant increase as well.


• Kenny Chesney snares his 14th No. 1 on the Hot Country Songs chart as "Better Than a Memory" jumps 4-1. Chesney first led the list when "She's Got It All" spent the first of three weeks atop the chart dated Aug. 22, 1997. The new track is the third chart-topper from "Just Who I Am: Poets and Pirates." "Never Wanted Nothing More" led for five weeks last summer, and "Don't Blink" followed with a four-week stay in the fall. Third single "Shiftwork," with Strait, peaked at No. 2 in February.



A LOOK AHEAD

• Among the titles released this week, due on next week's charts: Coldplay's "Viva La Vida," the soundtrack to "Camp Rock," the Offspring's "Rise and Fall, Rage and Grace," Judas Priest's "Nostradmus," Katy Perry's "One of the Boys" and 2 Pistols' "Death Before Dishonor."

• Next week's Billboard 200 competes with the same week in 2007 when: Bon Jovi notched its first No. 1 since 1988 as "Lost Highway" bowed atop the chart with 292,000. The White Stripes' "Icky Thump" started at No. 2, and Brad Paisley's "5th Gear" switched in at No. 3. Each of the top three albums sold more than 100,000.

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