T.I. arrives atop The Billboard 200 with "T.I. Vs. T.I.P.," his second chart-topper ... Miley Cyrus' dual effort, "Hannah Montana 2/Meet Miley Cyrus," slips to No. 2 with a 42% decline ... Meanwhile, Kelly Clarkson's "My December" drops one slot to No. 3 with a 61% decrease in sales ... The second albums from Velvet Revolver and Kelly Rowland start in the top 10 ... We've also got a mid-year report on album sales as well as updates on Fergie, Justin Timberlake, Big & Rich, Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, Rascal Flatts, Silverchair and news on increases for Independence Day-themed digital downloads.



FLASH POINTS



• T.I. crowns The Billboard 200 for a second time, as "T.I. Vs. T.I.P." comes in at No. 1 with 468,000. His last album, "King," also started atop the tally a little more than a year ago with 522,000. The new album boasts guest turns from Jay-Z, Eminem, Wyclef Jean, Nelly and others. The set's first single, "Big Things Poppin' (Do It)," has been steadily rising on The Billboard Hot 100, giving the rapper his seventh top 20 single ... "T.I. Vs. T.I.P." was released with bonus tracks to Best Buy and iTunes, while if you bought the album at Circuit City you received a free T-shirt. Kmart consumers got a voicetone with purchase, and Target's edition came packaged with a DVD. The CD was sale-priced for less than $10 at all of the preceding sellers, while the CD/DVD edition went for $13.98 at Target ... T.I. has partnered with everyone from YouTube and Music Choice to MySpace and General Motors to hype the new album and his forthcoming projects. Speaking of projects, T.I. will headline the Screamfest '07 tour that kicks off Aug. 3 in New Orleans with Ciara, T-Pain and Yung Joc in tow. On the horizon is his new movie "American Gangster," due in November. The film is directed by Ridley Scott and stars Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe.

• Last year at this time, the chart was absurdly quiet, thanks to the July 4th holiday falling on a Tuesday, the same day as when albums are generally released to retail. Though Johnny Cash's "American V: A Hundred Highways" debuted at No. 1, it did so with only 88,000 -- the lowest-ever sum for a No. 1 debut. The chart also saw one other debut, Rise Against's "The Sufferer & the Witness," at No. 10 with 48,000. Luckily, this week's chart is a bit more spicy, since July 4 fell on a Wednesday this year. Aside from T.I., Velvet Revolver and Kelly Rowland helped celebrate Independence Day by issuing their second albums last week. Velvet starts at No. 5 with "Libertad" (92,000) while Rowland begins at No. 6 with "Ms. Kelly" (82,000). Velvet's debut album, 2004's "Contraband," jumped in at No. 1 with 256,000. Rowland's debut set, "Simply Deep," crept in at No. 12 in 2002 with 77,000. "Libertad" lead single "She Builds Quick Machines" isn't moving very quickly up the charts. This week it inches one spot to No. 15 on the Alternative/Modern Rock radio chart. Comparatively, when "Contraband" started in the penthouse on The Billboard 200, its lead single, "Slither," was at No. 2 on the Alternative/Modern Rock tally, on its way to a four-week stay at No. 1 ... Rowland's single, "Like This" (featuring Eve) garnered 35 million in radio audience for the week ending July 8, according to Nielsen BDS. It was the most-played song at three monitored stations: WZKF and WGZB Louisville, Ky., and WJMH Greensboro, N.C.

• The first half of 2007 closed with the sales week ending July 1. Through mid-year, only six albums had sold more than 1 million copies: Daughtry's debut, "Daughtry" (1.7 million); Norah Jones' "Not Too Late" (1.4 million); Akon's "Konvicted" (1.3 million); Linkin Park's "Minutes to Midnight" (1.2 million); Carrie Underwood's tireless 2005 release "Some Hearts" (1.1 million); and Robin Thicke's "The Evolution of Robin Thicke" (he surpasses the million mark by 18,000 units). All told, 26 albums sold more than 500,000 in 2007's first half. Only 98 albums surpassed 250,000 ... To compare, in the first half of 2006, 16 albums shifted more than 1 million units, while 45 releases sold in excess of 500,000 and 123 did more than 250,000 ... This year's biggest newcomer, at least in terms of album sales, is Amy Winehouse. Her "Back to Black" is the year's 16th-biggest seller, with 759,000.

• Shifting our focus to 2007's top-selling digital albums, there are five that have sold more than 100,000. The year's biggest digital set is Maroon 5's "It Won't Be Soon Before Long," with 174,000 in digital sales through the week ending July 1. That's 19% of its overall total. But that's no match compared with the digital share of Arcade Fire's "Neon Bible," with that configuration accounting for 26% of its overall total (271,000).

• Looking at the bigger picture, through the week ending July 1, 230 million total albums were sold, of which, 10% -- 23.5 million -- were digital. At the same point in 2006, we had shifted 271 million albums, with the digital format accounting for 5% -- 15 million -- of the overall total ... As for overall digital track sales, 417 million were sold in the first half of 2007, a 49% increase over the 281 million sold in the first six months of 2006.

• A number of patriotic songs benefit from the Independence Day festivites, as the following tunes' digital downloads increase by more than 100%: Ray Charles' "America the Beautiful" (up 224%), Lee Greenwood's "God Bless the U.S.A." (up 206%), Bruce Springsteen's "Born in the U.S.A." (up 155%), John Mellencamp's "R.O.C.K. in the U.S.A." (up 188%) and James Brown's "Living in America" and Neil Diamond's "America" (both up 117%).




The Billboard 200

Sales data provided and compiled from Nielsen SoundScan
*1 New T.I. T.I. Vs T.I.P. (Grand Hustle / Atlantic / AG) *11 12 FERGIE The Dutchess (will.i.am / A&M / Interscope / IGA)
2 1 MILEY CYRUS Hannah Montana 2 (Soundtrack)/Meet Miley Cyrus (Walt Disney / Hollywood ) 12 10 MAROON 5 It Won't Be Soon Before Long (A&M / Octone / IGA)
3 2 KELLY CLARKSON My December (RCA / RMG) 13 11 T-PAIN Epiphany (Konvict / Nappy Boy / Jive / Zomba)
4 3 BON JOVI Lost Highway (Mercury / Island / UMGN/IDJMG) 14 14 RIHANNA Good Girl Gone Bad (SRP / Def Jam / IDJMG)
*5 New VELVET REVOLVER Libertad (RCA / RMG) 15 16 R. KELLY Double Up (Jive / Zomba)
*6 New KELLY ROWLAND Ms. Kelly (Music World / Columbia / Sony Music) 16 13 TOBY KEITH Big Dog Daddy (Show Dog Nashville )
7 5 BRAD PAISLEY 5th Gear (Arista Nashville / SBN) 17 17 FABOLOUS From Nothin' To Somethin' (Desert Storm / Def Jam / IDJMG)
8 6 AMY WINEHOUSE Back To Black (Universal Republic / UMRG) 18 19 TAYLOR SWIFT Taylor Swift (Big Machine )
9 8 LINKIN PARK Minutes To Midnight (Machine Shop / Warner Bros.) 19 9 PAUL MCCARTNEY Memory Almost Full (MPL / Hear / Concord)
10 4 THE WHITE STRIPES Icky Thump (Third Man / Warner Bros.) 20 18 AVRIL LAVIGNE The Best Damn Thing (RCA / RMG)
* indicates titles with greatest sales gains this week





MARKET WATCH

• Album units, current chart week: 8.73 million units
• DOWN 1.1% from last issue's charts: 8.83 million units
• DOWN 3% from same week, 2006: 9 million units
• This week: The top three albums sell more than 100,000 copies.
• This week last year on The Billboard 200: Johnny Cash's "American V: A Hundred Highways" debuted at No. 1 with the smallest sum for a chart-topping debut: 88,000. Rise Against's "The Sufferer & the Witness" was the only other debut in the top 10, at No. 10, with 48,000. No albums sold more than 100,000 units.



BORDERLINES

• The No. 10 album this week, the White Stripes' "Icky Thump" (Third Man/Warner Bros.), sold 56,000.
• The No. 10 album for the same week of 2006, Rise Against's "The Sufferer & the Witness" (Geffen/IGA), sold 48,000.
• Average total of the No. 10 album for the same week of the year during the past 10 years (1998-2007): 71,880.



PROGRESS REPORTS

• More than three-and-a-half years after the duo bowed on the Hot Country Songs chart, Big & Rich claim their first No. 1 as "Lost in This Moment" jumps from No. 3 to No. 1. Previously, the pair's highest-charted title was a No. 11 peak with "Save a Horse (Ride a Cowboy)" on the chart dated July 31, 2004. Big & Rich first appeared on the tally with "Wild West Show," which peaked at No. 21 in April 2004 ... Elsewhere in the upper section of the chart, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill's "I Need You" leaps 13-10, marking the 40th top 10 single for McGraw and the 22nd for Hill. "I Need You" is the couple's fourth duet to impact the chart. Their biggest pairing was "It's Your Love," which had a six-week run at No. 1 in June and July of 1997 ... Down at No. 24, Rascal Flatts debuts with its new single "Take Me There." It is the highest bow on Hot Country Songs since Keith Urban's "Once in a Lifetime's" No. 17 entrance on the chart dated Sept. 2, 2006.

• Fergie notches her first solo No. 1 on the CHR/Top 40 radio chart, as "Big Girls Don't Cry" jumps 2-1. As a member of the Black Eyed Peas, she previously led with "Where Is the Love?" in 2003. Of Fergie's other hits from her solo debut, "The Dutchess," its lead single, "London Bridge," reached No. 4 while "Fergalicious" and "Glamorous" climbed to No. 2. Justin Timberlake -- whose "Summer Love" was displaced at No. 1 by Fergie -- earns a fifth charting single from his "FutureSex/LoveSounds" album, as "Lovestoned" debuts on the CHR/Top 40 chart at No. 37 ... Collectively, the songs from Fergie's debut album have sold 6.7 million downloads in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Of that sum, "Fergalicious" accounts for 2.1 million. Meanwhile, Timberlake's "FutureSex/LoveSounds" is on its way to surpassing his debut album's total sales. Since its release not quite a year ago, "FutureSex" has moved 3.4 million, while 2002's "Justified" has danced through 3.6 million.



• Silverchair makes its first appearance on the Alternative/Modern Rock chart in eight years as "Straight Lines" enters at No. 35. The Australian trio last charted in June 1999 with the No. 12 hit "Ana's Song (Open Fire)." The biggest of its seven chart appearances was its debut single "Tomorrow," which spent three weeks at No. 1 in 1995. The band's new album, "Young Modern," will be released July 24 on indie label Eleven: A Music Company through Warner's Alternative Distribution Alliance. The band played "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno" last night and will visit "The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson" tomorrow (July 12).



Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums

Sales data provided and compiled from Nielsen SoundScan
*1 71 T.I. T.i. Vs T.i.p. (Grand Hustle / Atlantic / AG)
*2 New KELLY ROWLAND Ms. Kelly (Music World / Columbia / Sony Music)
*3 3 FABOLOUS From Nothin' To Somethin' (Desert Storm / Def Jam / IDJMG)
4 1 T-PAIN Epiphany (Konvict / Nappy Boy / Jive / Zomba)
5 2 R. KELLY Double Up (Jive / Zomba)
6 4 NE-YO Because Of You (Def Jam / IDJMG)
7 5 AMY WINEHOUSE Back To Black (Universal Republic / UMRG)
8 6 RIHANNA Good Girl Gone Bad (SRP / Def Jam / IDJMG)
*9 12 TANK Sex Love & Pain (Blackground / Universal Motown / UMRG)
10 7 SHOP BOYZ Rockstar Mentality (OnDeck / Universal Republic / UMRG)
* indicates titles with greatest sales gains this week
Top Country Albums

Sales data provided and compiled from Nielsen SoundScan
1 1 BRAD PAISLEY 5th Gear (Arista Nashville / SBN)
2 2 TOBY KEITH Big Dog Daddy (Show Dog Nashville )
3 3 TAYLOR SWIFT Taylor Swift (Big Machine )
4 4 CARRIE UNDERWOOD Some Hearts (Arista / Arista Nashville / RMG)
5 5 BIG & RICH Between Raising Hell And Amazing Grace (Warner Bros. / WRN)
6 6 JASON ALDEAN Relentless (Broken Bow )
7 7 TIM MCGRAW Let It Go (Curb )
8 8 RASCAL FLATTS Me And My Gang (Lyric Street / Hollywood)
9 9 SUGARLAND Enjoy The Ride (Mercury / UMGN)
*10 13 KEITH URBAN Love, Pain & The Whole Crazy Thing (Capitol Nashville )
* indicates titles with greatest sales gains this week
Top Heatseekers

Sales data provided and compiled from Nielsen SoundScan
*1 5 PETER BJORN AND JOHN Writer's Block (AlmostGold )
2 4 BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE The Poison (Trustkill )
3 3 EMERSON DRIVE Countrified (Montage / Midas)
*4 8 RODRIGO Y GABRIELA Rodrigo Y Gabriela (ATO )
*5 10 CAMILA Todo Cambio (Sony BMG Norte )
*6 13 SICK PUPPIES Dressed Up As Life (RMR / Virgin)
7 1 SYMPHONY X Paradise Lost (Inside Out / SPV)
*8 17 LEELAND Sound Of Melodies (Essential )
9 7 COLD WAR KIDS Robbers & Cowards (Downtown )
10 6 TUM TUM Eat Or Get Ate (T-Town / Universal Republic / UMRG)
* indicates titles with greatest sales gains this week
Top Pop Catalog Albums

Sales data provided and compiled from Nielsen SoundScan
1 2 GUNS N' ROSES Greatest Hits (Geffen / IGA)
2 3 BON JOVI Cross Road (Mercury / UMe)
3 1 KELLY CLARKSON Breakaway (RCA / RMG)
4 4 JOURNEY Journey's Greatest Hits (Legacy / Columbia / Sony Music)
5 5 MICHAEL BUBLE It's Time (143 / Reprise / Warner Bros.)
6 6 BOB SEGER & THE SILVER BULLET BAND Greatest Hits (Capitol )
*7 10 THE BEACH BOYS The Very Best Of The Beach Boys: Sounds Of Summer (Capitol )
*8 15 NORAH JONES Come Away With Me (Blue Note / BLG)
*9 20 TIM MCGRAW Greatest Hits (Curb )
10 8 ORIGINAL BROADWAY CAST RECORDING Wicked (Decca Broadway / Universal Classics Group)
* indicates titles with greatest sales gains this week




A LOOK AHEAD

• Among the titles released this week, due on next week's charts: Smashing Pumpkins' "Zeitgeist," Interpol's "Our Love to Admire," Spoon's "Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga," the soundtrack to "Hairspray" and Aly & AJ's "Insomniatic."
• Next week's Billboard 200 competes with the same week in 2006 when: the "Now 22" various-artists compilation bowed in the penthouse with 398,000, forcing Thom Yorke's "Eraser" to a No. 2 debut with 90,000. Rapper Pimp C's "Pimpalation" started in the No. 3 slot with 87,000. Muse's "Black Holes and Revelations" was the final debut in the top 10, at No. 9, with 48,000. Only the No. 1 album sold more than 100,000 units.