Carrie Underwood celebrates her first No. 1 on The Billboard 200 and her second chart-topper on Top Country Albums as her sophomore effort "Carnival Ride" debuts with 527,000 ... The unique pairing of Robert Plant and Alison Krauss yields a No. 2 debut on both The Billboard 200 and Top Country Albums ... The big chart also welcomes high debuts from Gary Allan, Serj Tankian, Coheed and Cambria, Seether, Neil Young and Juanes ... In Progress Reports, we've got updates on Taylor Swift, Timbaland and Radiohead.



FLASH POINTS



• Carrie Underwood's second album, "Carnival Ride," gives the singer her first No. 1 on The Billboard 200 as the album bows with 527,000. It's her second chart-topper on Top Country Albums. Her first set, 2005's "Some Hearts," debuted at No. 2 on The Billboard 200 and at No. 1 on Top Country Albums with 315,000. This week, the album sits at Nos. 60 and 13 on those charts, respectively. "Some Hearts" remains 2007's top selling country album, with 1.3 million sold this year.

• Underwood's 527,000 opener for "Ride" is the best sales week for a female solo country artist since Shania Twain's "Greatest Hits" started with 530,000 in November 2004. In terms of all women, Underwood's bow is the best since Beyonce's "B'Day" blew in with 541,000 in September 2006 ... Underwood's current single, "So Small," rises into the top three on Hot Country Songs, giving the artist her fifth top three single ... Meanwhile, the singles from "Some Hearts" just won't die. On the Adult Contemporary chart, "Before He Cheats" is bulleted at No. 8, where it has been lodged in the top 10 for the past 19 weeks.

• A most unexpected pairing arrives at No. 2 on The Billboard 200 this week as Robert Plant and Alison Krauss team up for "Raising Sand." The collaborations set debuts with 112,000 and also starts at No. 2 on Top Country Albums. It's the highest charting album on The Billboard 200 for either artist. Krauss has never reached the top 10 before while Plant -- not counting his work with Led Zeppelin of course -- has hit the top 10 five times previously. He most recently visited the top 10 with 1998's "Walking Into Clarksdale," an album with Jimmy Page, which debuted and peaked at No. 8 ... "Raising Sand's" 112,000 debut is Plant's best sales week since his "No Quarter" album with Page bowed at No. 4 with 138,000 in 1994. For Krauss, it's her best sales week.

• With Gary Allan's debut at No. 3 on The Billboard 200, this week marks the first time that Nos. 1-3 on the big chart house country debuts. Allan's "Living Hard" starts with 69,000 and also of course enters at No. 3 on Top Country Albums. The singer's last album, 2007's "Greatest Hits," entered The Billboard 200 at No. 5 and Top Country Albums at No. 1 with 70,000. Previous to that, his last studio set, "Tough All Over," debuted at No. 3 on The Billboard 200 and No. 1 on Top Country Albums with 100,000.

• System of a Down frontman Serj Tankian debuts at No. 4 on The Billboard 200 with his solo debut album "Elect the Dead" (66,000). System of a Down's last album, 2005's "Hypnotize," bowed at No. 1 with 320,000 ... Coheed & Cambria's "No World For Tomorrow" starts at No. 6 with 62,000. Its last set, 2005's "Good Apollo I'm Burning Star IV," debuted and peaked at No. 7 with 84,000 ... Seether's "Finding Beauty In Negative Spaces," bows at No. 9 with 57,000. The band's last studio set, 2005's "Karma and Effect," entered at No. 8 with 82,000 ... Neil Young's "Chrome Dreams II" drives in at No. 11 on The Billboard 200 with 54,000. His last studio set, 2006's "Living With War," entered at No. 15 with 60,000 ... Juanes' "La Vida es un Ratico" climbs in at No. 13 on The Billboard 200 and at No. 1 on Top Latin Albums with 47,000. His last album, 2004's "Mi Sangre," started at No. 33 on The Billboard 200 with 34,000.




The Billboard 200

Sales data provided and compiled from Nielsen SoundScan
*1 New CARRIE UNDERWOOD Carnival Ride (Arista / Arista Nashville / RMG/SBN) *11 New NEIL YOUNG Chrome Dreams II (Reprise / Warner Bros.)
*2 New ROBERT PLANT / ALISON KRAUSS Raising Sand (Rounder ) 12 1 BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN Magic (Columbia / Sony Music)
*3 New GARY ALLAN Living Hard (MCA Nashville ) *13 New JUANES La Vida...Es Un Ratico (Surco )
*4 New SERJ TANKIAN Elect The Dead (Serjical Strike / Reprise / Warner Bros.) 14 6 REBA MCENTIRE Reba Duets (MCA Nashville / UMGN)
5 4 JOSH GROBAN Noel (143 / Reprise / Warner Bros.) 15 10 COLBIE CAILLAT Coco (Universal Republic / UMRG)
*6 New COHEED AND CAMBRIA No World For Tomorrow (Columbia / Sony Music) 16 9 KANYE WEST Graduation (Roc-A-Fella / Def Jam / IDJMG)
7 2 KID ROCK Rock N Roll Jesus (Top Dog / Atlantic / AG) 17 17 MILEY CYRUS Hannah Montana 2 (Soundtrack)/Meet Miley Cyrus (Walt Disney / Hollywood )
8 3 RASCAL FLATTS Still Feels Good (Lyric Street / Hollywood) 18 14 SOULJA BOY TELL'EM souljaboytellem.com (ColliPark / Interscope / IGA)
*9 New SEETHER Finding Beauty In Negative Spaces (Wind-up ) 19 12 KEYSHIA COLE Just Like You (Confidential / Imani / Geffen / IGA)
10 7 SOUNDTRACK High School Musical 2 (Walt Disney ) 20 13 MATCHBOX TWENTY Exile On Mainstream (Melisma / Atlantic / AG)
* indicates titles with greatest sales gains this week





MARKET WATCH

• Album units, current chart week: 8.34 million units
• UP 5.2% from last issue's charts: 7.93 million units
• DOWN 16.8% from same week, 2006: 10.03 million units
• This week: The top two albums sell more than 100,000 copies.
• This week last year on The Billboard 200: the soundtrack from Disney Channel's "Hannah Montana" bowed at No. 1, selling 281,000. My Chemical Romance's "The Black Parade" debuted in the runner-up slot with 240,000 and John Legend started at No. 3 with "Once Again" (231,000).



BORDERLINES

• The No. 1 album this week, Carrie Underwood's "Carnival Ride," (Arista/Arista Nashville) sold 527,000.
• The No. 1 album for the same week of 2006, the "Hannah Montana" soundtrack, (Walt Disney) sold 281,000.
• Average total of the No. 1 album for the same week of the year during the past 10 years (1998-2007): 290,671.



PROGRESS REPORTS



• Newcomer Taylor Swift collects her third consecutive top 10 single on the Hot Country Songs chart as "Our Song" gains 1.7 million audience impressions and jumps from No. 13 to No. 10. Swift becomes the third solo female since 2000 to score three straight top 10 singles from a debut album, following Gretchen Wilson ("Redneck Woman," "Here for the Party" and "When I Think About Cheatin'") in 2004-05 and Carrie Underwood (four top 10s from "Some Hearts") this year and last ... Swift's latest single also marks her quickest top 10 climb, reaching the lofty level in 11 weeks. Her debut single, "Tim McGraw" needed 24 weeks, and "Teardrops on My Guitar" cracked the top 10 in its 20th frame.

• Radiohead makes its first Alternative/Modern Rock airplay chart appearance in more than four years as "Bodysnatchers" debuts at No. 35. The track, promoted to radio by ATO Records, marks the Thom Yorke-led quintet's 12th chart appearance and its first since "Go to Sleep" peaked at No. 32 in September 2003. "Bodysnatchers" is the first track from the group's album "In Rainbows," which is currently available for download at the band's Web site for any cost that a consumer is willing to pay. A physical CD is expected to be made available at retail but no release date has been announced.

• Timbaland becomes the first lead artist in more than three years to occupy two slots in the CHR/Top 40 airplay chart's top three, as "Apologize" jumps from No. 4 to No. 2 to join his former No. 1 "The Way I Are" (now No. 3) in the list's upper reaches. OutKast was the last lead act to accomplish the feat, with "Hey Ya" and "The Way You Move" in February 2004, while Akon was the last overall act, with his own "Don't Matter" and as a guest on Gwen Stefani's "The Sweet Escape," in April. In the CHR/Top 40 chart's 15-year history, only Bryan Adams in 1994 and Mariah Carey in 1995 had previously claimed two of the chart's top three as leads.



Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums

Sales data provided and compiled from Nielsen SoundScan
1 4 KANYE WEST Graduation (Roc-A-Fella / Def Jam / IDJMG)
2 2 KEYSHIA COLE Just Like You (Confidential / Imani / Geffen / IGA)
3 3 JILL SCOTT The Real Thing: Words And Sounds Vol. 3 (Hidden Beach )
*4 New HURRICANE CHRIS 51/50 Ratchet (Polo Grounds / J / RMG)
5 6 SOULJA BOY TELL'EM souljaboytellem.com (ColliPark / Interscope / IGA)
6 5 J. HOLIDAY Back Of My Lac' (Music Line / Capitol)
7 1 ANGIE STONE The Art Of Love & War (Stax / Concord)
8 10 50 CENT Curtis (Shady / Aftermath / Interscope / IGA)
9 8 TREY SONGZ Trey Day (Song Book / Atlantic / AG)
*10 16 CHRISETTE MICHELE I Am (Def Jam / IDJMG)
* indicates titles with greatest sales gains this week
Top Country Albums

Sales data provided and compiled from Nielsen SoundScan
*1 New CARRIE UNDERWOOD Carnival Ride (Arista / Arista Nashville / RMG/SBN)
*2 New ROBERT PLANT / ALISON KRAUSS Raising Sand (Rounder )
*3 New GARY ALLAN Living Hard (MCA Nashville )
4 1 RASCAL FLATTS Still Feels Good (Lyric Street / Hollywood)
5 2 REBA MCENTIRE Reba Duets (MCA Nashville / UMGN)
*6 6 TAYLOR SWIFT Taylor Swift (Big Machine )
*7 7 SUGARLAND Enjoy The Ride (Mercury / UMGN)
8 5 KENNY CHESNEY Just Who I Am: Poets & Pirates (BNA / SBN)
9 4 LEANN RIMES Family (Curb )
10 3 SARA EVANS Greatest Hits (RCA / SBN)
* indicates titles with greatest sales gains this week





A LOOK AHEAD

• Among the titles released this week, due on next week's charts: Britney Spears' "Blackout," Avenged Sevenfold's "Avenged Sevenfold," Backstreet Boys' "Unbreakable," Andrea Bocelli's "The Best of Andrea Bocelli: Vivere" and Josh Turner's "Everything Is Fine."
• Next week's Billboard 200 competes with the same week in 2006 when: the soundtrack from Disney Channel's "Hannah Montana" stayed put at No. 1, shifting 203,000 in its second week. Barry Manilow's "Greatest Songs of the Sixties" started in the runner-up slot with 202,000. Five more debuts rounded out the top 10 that week. The top four albums each sold more than 100,000.