Black Eyed Peas' "The E.N.D." bows at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, selling 304,000 -- the hip-pop act's best sales week ever. It's also the first No. 1 album for the group, which had previously gone as high as No. 2. Its last set, 2005's "Monkey Business," bowed in the runner-up slot with a then-best 291,000. It had the unfortunate luck to come out the same week as Coldplay's "X&Y," which kept the Peas' at bay when it started at No. 1 with 737,000.
Believe it or not, "The E.N.D." is only the second top 10 album for the Peas. While "Monkey" peaked at No. 2, its first two releases -- 1998's "Behind the Front" and 2000's "Bridging the Gap" -- both missed the top 50. It wasn't until the group recruited Fergie for "Elephunk" in 2003 did the group break through big time. That album, powered by three top 40 Hot 100 singles (including "Where Is The Love?"), peaked at No. 14 and spent 106 weeks on the chart.
It was hard not to know that the Black Eyed Peas had a new album last week, thanks to heavy promotion from Target. The retailer carried an exclusive version of the album that featured additional tracks and flooded the airwaves with a commercial touting the new set.