T.I. earns his third straight No. 1 on The Billboard 200 as "Paper Trail" debuts at the top this week. The rapper earns his biggest sales week ever with the Grand Hustle/Atlantic set, which moved 568,000 copies in the U.S., according to Nielsen SoundScan, which is also the third-biggest sales frame of the year.
T.I. crowned the chart with 2006's "King" and 2007's "T.I. Vs. T.I.P." This marks Atlantic's biggest sales week since Nielsen SoundScan began tracking data in 1991.
T.I. also has a big week over on the Hot 100, where he breaks the record for largest climb to No. 1 -- a feat he already accomplished only six weeks ago. "Live Your Life" featuring Rihanna, the second single from "Paper Trail," leaps 80-1, replacing the album's first single "Whatever You Like" at No. 1; the latter leapt to the top 71-1 the week of Sept. 6 and remained there for five weeks total. That makes this T.I. the first artist to replace himself at No. 1 since Usher traded in "Burn" for "Confessions Part II" in July 2004.
With 217,000 copies, Jennifer Hudson's self-titled Arista/RMG debut lands at No. 2 on The Billboard 200. Hudson came into the national spotlight in 2004 during the third season of "American Idol," coming in sixth; she was later cast as Effie in the film version of musical "Dreamgirls," earning her an Oscar for best supporting actress. First single "Spotlight" has peaked at No. 3 thus far on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs tally.
Robin Thicke scores his best sales week and highest charting album on The Billboard 200 with "Something Else," which enters at No. 3 with 137,000. The singer's previous release, "The Evolution of Robin Thicke" in 2006 peaked at No. 5. The re-issued deluxe version of that album, released in Feb. 2007, garnered Thicke's best sales week to that point, moving 116,000.
Earning him his best charting week since "October Road" in 2002, James Taylor's "Covers" (Starcon/Hear Music) debuts at No. 4 with 95,000. The album was sold at Starbucks and through home shopping network QVC.
After three weeks at the top, Metallica's Warner Bros. set "Death Magnetic" slips to No. 5 with 86,000, a 34% decrease in sales. Ne-Yo's "Year of the Gentleman" (Def Jam) falls 3-6 with 70,000 (-15%). In its 52nd week on the chart, Kid Rock's "Rock N Roll Jesus" (Top Dog/Atlantic) sits tight at No. 7 with 56,000 (7%).
Jack's Mannequin's sophomore album "The Glass Passenger" (Sire/Warner Bros.) starts at No. 8 with 49,000 -- easily the highest charting set and best sales week for the band. Its first release, "Everything in Transit," spent just two weeks on the chart, bowing at No. 37 with 22,000.
Another "American Idol" star, Kellie Pickler, arrives at No. 9 with her self-titled sophomore set (19 Recordings/BNA, 43,000). Her 2006 album "Small Town Girl" peaked at the same spot. The single from the set, "Don't You Know You're Beautiful," sits at its current peak of No. 26 on the Hot Country Songs Chart.
Jazmine Sullivan's debut "Fearless" (J) rounds out the top tier on The Billboad 200, falling 6-10 on a 35% sales hit to 42,000.
Ben Folds' Epic set "Way to Normal" bows at No. 11 with 40,000 -- his highest charting album as a solo act or with namesake band Ben Folds Five. Folds had previously reached as high as No. 13 when "Songs for Silverman" bowed in 2005.
Other debuts this week include Anberlin's "New Surrender" (Universal Republic) at No. 13 with 36,000 and Trivium's "Shogun" (Roadrunner) at No. 23 with 24,000.
At 7.47 million units, sales this week are up 15.7% from last week's sum but down a 16.1% from the same week last year.