"Black Panties'" projected start would mark an improvement in debut week sales compared to R. Kelly's last release. His previous album, 2012's "Write Me Back," opened at No. 5, but with 68,000, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
Kelly has been busy lately, collaborating with a number of high-profile artists in a short span of time. He's currently in the top 20 on the Billboard Hot 100 with his Lady Gaga collaboration "Do What U Want," and he also hooked up with Justin Bieber on the track "PYD." Further, Kelly is featured on the G-Mix of Bruno Mars' "Gorilla" (which also boasts Pharrell).
Every one of R. Kelly's previous solo studio albums have reached the top 10, stretching back to his solo debut, 1993's "12 Play." (He charted one previous album before that, "Born Into the '90's," with Public Announcement.)
R. Kelly probably won't sell enough to be No. 1 on next week's chart, however. The current chart champ, Garth Brooks' "Blame It All On My Roots: Five Decade of Influences," might hold atop the list. There's a small chance that Kelly Clarkson's "Wrapped In Red" could skip to the top as well.
Other big debuts next week include Childish Gambino's "Because the Internet," which might move around 80,000 to 90,000. That could give the actor/comedian/hip-hop artist his first top 10 set. "Because the Internet" is his second album, and follows the No. 11-peaking "Camp" in 2011, which bowed with 52,000.