After vacating the top slot on the Billboard 200 chart for three weeks, it looks like Taylor Swift's "Red" will return to No. 1. The current tracking week isn't over yet, but industry forecasters suggest that the Big Machine Records album will swoop back to No. 1 next week with perhaps 160,000 sold.
The new Billboard 200 chart's top 10 will be revealed on the morning of Dec. 12.
"Red" bowed at No. 1 six weeks ago with 1.2 million, according to Nielsen SoundScan, earning the largest sales week for an album since 2002. (Eminem's "The Eminem Show" was the last to rack up a larger frame when it did 1.32 million in its first full week at No. 1 on the chart dated June 15, 2002.)
So far, "Red" has moved 2.2 million in the United States, making it the year's second-biggest selling album. Adele's "21" leads the pack with 4.2 million.
As for the rest of the top 10 next week, look for Wiz Khalifa's new "O.N.I.F.C." to bow with around 135,000 or so, l ikely at No. 2. Rod Stewart's "Merry Christmas, Baby" is also in the running for the No. 2 slot.
The tally's second-highest debut will come from Ke$ha's "Warrior," which is on course to start with about 80,000 to 90,000. That might place it somewhere just around the No. 5 position. The album's lead single "Die Young" is a smash hit and currently sits at No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100. Ke$ha's first album, "Animal," debuted at No. 1 in January 2010 with 152,000 while its follow-up, "Cannibal," launched at No. 15 later that year with 74,000.
On Nielsen SoundScan's Building chart (below), Khalifa is No. 1, Swift is No. 2 and Ke$ha is No. 3. 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 Building chart's top 10: Stewart is No. 4, followed by One Direction's "Take Me Home." Alicia Keys' "Girl On Fire" is in the sixth slot and Blake Shelton's "Cheers, It's Christmas" is No. 7. Country duo Florida Georgia Line's new "Here's to the Good Times" is No. 8, Phillip Phillips' "The World From the Side of the Moon" is No. 9 and Rihanna's "Unapologetic" rounds out the top 10.
|Nielsen SoundScan Building Chart|
|4||3||Rod Stewart||"Merry Christmas, Baby"|
|5||4||One Direction||"Take Me Home"|
|6||1||Alicia Keys||"Girl On Fire"|
|7||9||Blake Shelton||"Cheers, It's Christmas"|
|8||NEW||Florida Georgia Line||"Here's to the Good Times"|
|9||5||Phillip Phillips||"The World From the Side of the World"|
|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.|