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Usher To Trump Bieber On Next Week's Billboard 200
The protege will be replaced by the mentor next week on the Billboard 200, as it seems Justin Bieber's "My World 2.0" will give up the No. 1 slot to Usher's new "Raymond v Raymond" album. Industry prognosticators think the latter's album could sell around 300,000 by week's end on April 4, no doubt aided by his guest turn on "American Idol" this week.
Usher -- who secured Bieber an audition with Island Def Jam CEO L.A. Reid in 2008 -- topped the Billboard 200 his last time out in 2008 with "Here I Stand." That album sold 443,000 copies in its first week according to Nielsen SoundScan. Thus far, it has moved 1.2 million in the U.S.
"Raymond v Raymond" has already spun off a number of Billboard chart hits, including a pair of top 10 singles on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart: "Papers" (No. 1) and "Hey Daddy (Daddy's Home)" (No. 3).
While Usher is on course for a No. 1 debut, the Billboard 200 will also greet new entries from a number of other big stars next week. Alan Jackson's "Freight Train," Erykah Badu's "New Amerykah Part Two" and Barenaked Ladies' "All In Good Time" are all heading for notable debuts, while E-40 will also make waves with the dual debut of his two new albums: "Revenue Retrievin': Day Shift" and "Revenue Retrievin': Night Shift."
Next week's Billboard 200 competes with the same week in 2009 when: Keith Urban narrowly beat out Prince to earn his first No. 1 album as "Defying Gravity" debuted with 172,000 copies ahead of the latter's "Lotus Flower's" arrival with 168,000. Diana Krall's "Quiet Nights" was the third debut in the top three, starting at No. 3 with 104,000.