New albums from Keith Urban and Prince are on track to debut high on the Billboard 200 chart next week, with each artist's latest release aiming for a start in the neighborhood of 150,000 copies and a shot at No. 1.
Industry prognosticators suggest Urban's "Defying Gravity" (Capitol Nashville) may shift somewhere in the range of 150,000-160,000 in its first week, while Prince's Target-exclusive "LotusFlow3r" (NPG) could sell between 140,000-150,000.
If Urban debuts at No. 1, he'll earn his first chart-topper on the Billboard 200. He's hit No. 3 twice previously with 2004's "Be Here" and 2006's "Love, Pain and the Whole Crazy Thing." If Prince reigns atop the list, it'll be his fifth No. 1.
Prince and Urban respectively lead Nielsen SoundScan's Building Chart, which was released today (April 1). We'll have a better gauge on how next week's official Billboard 200 chart will shake out on April 3, when SoundScan releases its next Building Chart.
Billboard estimates the seven merchants who report to Nielsen SoundScan's Building chart -- Trans World Entertainment, Best Buy, iTunes, Starbucks, Borders, Target and Anderson Merchandisers -- comprise about 60% of all U.S. album sales.
Other albums looking good for a top 10 debut on next week's Billboard 200 chart include UGK's "UGK For Life" (UGK/Jive/JLG), Diana Krall's "Quiet Nights" (Verve) and Flo Rida's "R.O.O.T.S." (Poe Boy/Atlantic).
Nielsen SoundScan's sales tracking week, as reflected in the official Billboard 200 chart, runs from Monday through Sunday of each week. The newest Billboard 200 chart, released today -- where the "Now 30" compilation debuted at No. 1 with 146,000 -- reflected the week that ended on March 29.