Mariah Carey, Paramore Battling For No. 1 On Billboard 200
Fasten your seatbelts.
Next week's Billboard 200 albums chart is going to be flush with new releases, including a race for No. 1 between Mariah Carey's new "Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel" and Paramore's third album "Brand New Eyes." Based on early prognostications from industry sources, each album could sell between 160,000 to 170,000 in their first week.
For Paramore, the Fueled By Ramen/Atlantic act will easily charge in with its best sales week and highest charting album ever. The band's sophomore set, "Riot!," peaked at No. 15 in 2007.
As for Carey, if her Island effort hits No. 1, it will give the diva her seventh chart-topper and would tie her with Madonna for the second-most No. 1s on the Billboard 200 among women. Only Barbra Streisand, with eight No. 1s, has more.
Speaking of Streisand, the legendary Columbia singer's new "Love Is The Answer" is on course to start with around 150,000. It should easily enter the top 10 next week, marking the icon's 30th top 10 set.
Also aiming to start near 150,000 is Breaking Benjamin's new "Dear Agony." The effort is the Hollywood Records band's first release since 2006's "Phobia" debuted and peaked at No. 2 with 125,000.
Alice in Chains is also going to make a splash next week, as its "Black Gives Way to Blue" could move between 110,000 to 120,000. It's the band's first effort with new vocalist William DuVall, who picked up the mic in 2006, replacing the band's late frontman Layne Staley.
Other albums in the hunt for handsome debuts next week include Miranda Lambert's "Revolution," AFI's "Crash Love," Madonna's greatest hits set "Celebration," Selena Gomez & the Scene's "Kiss & Tell" and Lynyrd Skynyrd's "God & Guns."
Nielsen SoundScan's sales tracking week, as reflected in Billboard's sales charts, runs from Monday through Sunday of each week. Next week's album charts will be revealed on Wednesday, Oct. 7 and will reflect data through the week ending Sunday, Oct. 4.