The sales forecast for Luke Bryan's new album just keeps getting brighter.
Two days ago, industry prognosticators suggested Bryan's "Crash My Party" album might sell 450,000 copies by the end of the tracking week on Sunday, Aug. 18. Now, that forecast has been upgraded to 500,000 -- if not more.
Unless something really "Crazy" happens, Bryan's album will open at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart. It would be his second chart-topping album -- and second this year, following "Spring Break… Here to Party."
The new Billboard 200 chart's top 10 will be revealed on the morning of Wednesday, Aug. 21.
"Crazy's" debut will also instantly give Bryan the third-largest sales week of 2013. Only the debuts of Justin Timberlake's "The 20/20 Experience" (968,000) and Jay Z's "Magna Carta… Holy Grail" (528,000) captured bigger weeks.
Further, "Crash" may log the largest sales week for a male country artist since way back in 2004. That November, Tim McGraw's "Live Like You Were Dying" bowed with 766,000.
Stunningly, since 2008, only three country albums have sold more than a half-million copies in a single week -- and they're all by Taylor Swift. She's seen half-million bows with each of her last three studio albums: 2012's "Red" (a 1.21 million debut), 2010's "Speak Now" (1.05 million) and 2008's "Fearless" (592,000).
Heading for a No. 2 arrival next week is K. Michelle's debut album "Rebellious Soul," with perhaps 65,000 copies. Possible bows in the top 15 include Parachute's "Overnight" and Hoodie Allen's "Americoustic" EP.
On SoundScan's Building chart (below), Bryan and Michelle are Nos. 1 and 2, respectively. The Building tally is a precursor to the final Billboard 200 ranking -- reflecting the first four days (Monday through Thursday) of SoundScan's tracking week as reported by six major merchants.
As for the rest of the top 10: The "Now 47" album is in third place, followed by Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines" and the Civil Wars' self-titled effort at Nos. 4 and 5. Jay Z's "Magna Carta… Holy Grail" is No. 6, the "Teen Beach Movie" soundtrack is No. 7 and Florida Georgia Line's "Here's to the Good Times" is No. 8. Imagine Dragons' "Night Visions" is No. 9, while Parachute closes out the top 10 at No. 10.
|Nielsen SoundScan Building Chart|
|1||NEW||Luke Bryan||"Crash My Party"|
|2||NEW||K. Michelle||"Rebellious Soul"|
|3||2||Various Artists||"Now 47"|
|4||3||Robin Thicke||"Blurred Lines"|
|5||1||The Civil Wars||"The Civil Wars"|
|6||4||Jay Z||"Magna Carta Holy Grail"|
|7||5||Soundtrack||"Teen Beach Movie"|
|8||10||Florida Georgia Line||"Here's to the Good Times"|
|9||7||Imagine Dragons||"Night Visions"|
|The Building Chart reflects the first four days (Monday through Thursday) of SoundScan's tracking week (which ends Sunday) as reported by six major merchants: iTunes, Trans World Entertainment, Best Buy, Starbucks, Target and Anderson Merchandisers. Billboard estimates that they make up about 85% of all U.S. album sales.|