Brantley Gilbert

Brantley Gilbert by Justin Nolan Key

Justin Nolan Key

Country singer Brantley Gilbert is on his way to a smashing debut on the Billboard 200 chart.

His new "Just As I Am" album, which was released on May 19, could sell around 200,000 copies in the week ending May 25, according to industry forecasters.

The Billboard 200's new top 10 will be revealed on Wednesday, May 28.

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The set, his third studio effort, will easily log his best sales week ever and also give him his highest charting album on the Billboard 200, and his first No. 1 on the Top Country Albums chart. His biggest week thus far came when "Halfway to Heaven" hit No. 4 on the Billboard 200, and No. 2 on Top Country Albums. That set also tallied his previous biggest sales frame, after the originally independently-distributed 2010 set was picked up and reissued by Valory Records.

Gilbert will most likely play runner-up on the Billboard 200 to Coldplay, as the British band's new album "Ghost Stories" should debut at No. 1 with between 370,000 and 390,000 sold -- the biggest sales week of the year.

If both Coldplay and Gilbert sell in excess of 200,000 copies each, this week will mark the first since the week ending Nov. 17, 2013 that two albums have each sold more than 200,000. (The last time it happened was when Lady Gaga's "ARTPOP" debuted at No. 1 with 258,000 -- according to Nielsen SoundScan -- and Eminem's "The Marshall Mathers LP 2" fell to No. 2 with 210,000 in its second week.)

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Gilbert recently hit No. 1 on the Country Airplay chart with the "Just As I Am" single "Bottoms Up”, and enters the latest tally (dated May 31) with "Small Town Throwdown”, at No. 28. The latter track also features his fellow Valory acts Justin Moore and Thomas Rhett.

Next week's top 10 could also see new entries from Phillip Phillips and the multi-artist soundtrack to "The Fault In Our Stars”. Phillips' "Behind the Light" could sell maybe 35,000, while the "Fault" album may shift 30,000 or so.

On SoundScan's Building chart (below), Coldplay and Gilbert 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 on the Building Chart: Michael Jackson's "Xscape" is No. 3, "The Fault In Our Stars" is No. 4 and Phillips is No. 5. The soundtrack to "Frozen" is No. 6, with "Now 50" and the Black Keys' "Turn Blue" at Nos. 7 and 8, respectively. Rounding out the top 10 are Rascal Flatts' "Rewind" at No. 9 and the Roots' new "And Then You Shoot Your Cousin" at No. 10.

 

Nielsen SoundScan Building Chart
Rank LW
BB 200
Artist Title
1 NEW Coldplay "Ghost Stories"
2 NEW Brantley Gilbert "Just As I Am"
3 2 Michael Jackson "Xscape"
4 NEW Soundtrack "The Fault In Our Stars"
5 NEW Phillip Phillips "Behind the Light"
6 4 Soundtrack "Frozen"
7 3 Various Artists "Now 50"
8 1 The Black Keys "Turn Blue"
9 5 Rascal Flatts "Rewind"
10 NEW The Roots "And Then You Shoot Your Cousin"
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.

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboardbiz

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