This week's highest debut on the Billboard 200 albums chart -- and first of six entries in the top 10 -- comes from Korn's "Korn III - Remember Who You Are" as it starts at No. 2 with 63,000. It's the rock band's tenth top 10 album out of 12 entries. Only its 1995 self-titled debut and 2006's "Live & Rare" missed the region, peaking at Nos. 72 and 51, respectively. "Korn III" is the act's first effort on Roadrunner Records, after three albums with Virgin/Capitol. Its last album, 2007's "Untitled," debuted and peaked at No. 2 with 123,000 sold in its first week.
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Newsboys notches its best showing ever on the Billboard 200 as its "Born Again" album bows at No. 4 with 45,000 -- the act's highest sales week since SoundScan began tracking data in 1991. The set is the first from the quartet to feature dc Talk's Michael Tait as its lead vocalist, who steps in for Peter Furler. Newsboys have been charting on the Billboard 200 since 1996, when "Take Me to Your Leader" debuted and peaked at No. 35, but, the act has never risen higher than No. 28 with "In the Hands of Good" in 2009. The new "Born Again" album also naturally debuts at No. 1 on Top Christian Albums -- the act's fourth No. 1 there.
Pop veteran Sting is no stranger to throwing the Billboard 200 curveballs in his career. His last album, 2009's No. 6 hit "If On a Winter's Night," was a seasonal effort featuring traditional music of the British Isles. And before that, in 2006, he reached No. 25 -- and No. 1 on our Classical chart -- with "Songs From the Labyrinth." Now Sting brings us "Symphonicities," an album's worth of Sting and Police songs classically reinvented by noted composers and performed with the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra. The set debuts at No. 6 with 36,000 and marks Sting's tenth solo top 10 album.
Country newcomer Jerrod Niemann climbs onto the Billboard 200 at No. 7 with "Judge Jerrod & the Hung Jury," selling 34,000 in its opening week. He's currently riding high on our Hot Country Songs chart at No. 3 with "Lover, Lover" -- his first top 10 hit. The album was sale tagged for less than $7 at both Best Buy and Wal-Mart and carries a list price of just $9.99. On Top Country Albums the set enters at No. 1 -- pushing Lady Antebellum's "Need You Now" aside after a 24-week run at the top.
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Rock super group Hellyeah sees its second album "Stampede" charge in at No. 8 with 28,000. Its self-titled debut opened at No. 9 in 2007 with 45,000. The act consists of Chad Gray and Greg Tribbett (both of Mudvayne), Vinnie Paul (Pantera), Tom Maxwell (Knives Out! and Nothingface) and Bob Zilla (Damageplan).
The final arrival in the top 10 this comes from M.I.A.'s "Maya," starting at No. 9 with 28,000. It easily surpasses the No. 18 debut and peak of her last set, 2007's "Kala," though it started with a shade more: 29,000.
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As for the rest of the top 10, Drake's "Thank Me Later" slips a spot to No. 3 (50,000; down 32%), Justin Bieber's "My World 2.0" holds at No. 5 (41,000; down 5%) and the soundtrack to "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse" drops six rungs to No. 10 (28,000; down 37%).
Overall album sales in this past chart week (ending July 18) totaled 5.21 million units, down less than 1% compared to the sum last week (5.23 million) and down 23% compared to the comparable sales week of 2009 (6.78 million). Year to date album sales stand at 164.4 million, down 12% compared to the same total at this point last year (186.9 million).
Digital track sales this past week totaled 20.9 million downloads, down less than 1% compared to last week (21.1 million) and down 1% stacked next to the comparable week of 2009 (21.2 million). Year to date track sales are at 639.5 million, down less than 1% compared to the same total at this point last year (642.5 million).