Rapper Lecrae collects his first No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 as his new Anomaly opens atop the list. It sold 88,000 copies in the week ending Sept. 14, according to Nielsen SoundScan. It's also the first chart-topper for Lecrae's label, Reach Records.
Anomaly's launch is Lecrae's best sales week, trumping the 72,000-unit start of 2012's Gravity, which debuted and peaked at No. 3. (Gravity was also Lecrae's highest-charting album — and only top 10 — until Anomaly's arrival.)
Anomaly is the Grammy winner's sixth No. 1 on the Gospel Albums chart and his fifth leader on Christian Albums. (Most Christian hip-hop releases are eligible to appear on both sales charts.)
Thus, Anomaly is the first title to crown both Gospel Albums and the Billboard 200, and just the fifth set to lead both Christian Albums and the Billboard 200. In terms of the latter achievement, it follows Chris Tomlin's Burning Lights (in 2013), TobyMac's Eye on It (2012), LeAnn Rimes' You Light Up My Life — Inspirational Songs (1997) and Bob Carlisle's Butterfly Kisses (Shades of Grace) (1997).
While Lecrae, 34, might not quite be a household name — he's yet to chart a single on the all-genre Billboard Hot 100 — he has sold 1.4 million albums and 2.9 million track downloads. He has released seven studio albums, and made his chart debut in 2005 with Real Talk (No. 39, Gospel Albums). He reached the all-genre Billboard 200 for the first time in 2008 with Rebel, which peaked at No. 88.
Lecrae leads a parade of new entries in the top 10 of the Billboard 200, where six more titles arrive. The seven debuts are the most the top 10 has seen since Oct. 26, 2013, when seven titles also stepped in (led by Miley Cyrus' Bangerz).
Last week's No. 1, Maroon 5's V, falls to No. 2 with 80,000 (down just 51 percent). It had a smaller-than-normal sales decline because its sales were buoyed by redemptions of the album sold with tickets to the band's upcoming tour. Traditionally, those titles that debut at No. 1 tumble by more than 70 percent in their second week.
The chart's second-highest debut is Jhene Aiko's full-length debut album, Souled Out, which enters at No. 3 with 70,000. It also opens at No. 1 on Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums and R&B Albums.
Rocker Ryan Adams snags his highest-charting album on the Billboard 200 as his new self-titled release starts at No. 4 with 45,000. He previously went as high as No. 7 with two different albums, 2007's Easy Tiger and 2011's Ashes & Fire.
Country singer Lee Brice starts at No. 5 with I Don't Dance selling 38,000. It also crowns the Country Albums chart — his first leader on that tally. His last album, Hard 2 Love, debuted and peaked at No. 5 on the Billboard 200 and No. 2 on Country Albums, selling 46,000 in its first week.
Jeezy's Seen It All: The Autobiography dips 2-6 on the Billboard 200 in its second week, selling 33,000 (down 73 percent).
Following Jeezy is rock band Interpol with El Pintor, which launches at No. 7 with 31,000. It's the group's third consecutive top 10, following a self-titled album in 2010 (which debuted and peaked at No. 7) and Our Love to Admire in 2007 (No. 4).
Country singer Dustin Lynch is the sixth new album in the top 10. His Where It's At bows at No. 8 with 31,000 — his best sales week yet. It's his second album, and follows his self-titled debut, which hit No. 13 in 2012. The Guardians of the Galaxy soundtrack slides 3-9 with 30,000 (down 43 percent).
Lastly, Robert Plant scores his eighth top 10 album as a solo artist, with the arrival of Lullaby And … The Ceaseless Roar at No. 10 (29,000). It's his third straight top 10 as well, following 2010's Band of Joy and 2007's Raising Sand (with Alison Krauss).
On the Digital Songs chart, Meghan Trainor's “All About That Bass” holds at No. 1, selling 312,000 downloads (down less than 1 percent). Taylor Swift's “Shake It Off” is steady at No. 2, with 309,000 (up 10 percent). Also stationary in the No. 3 slot is “Bang Bang” by Jessie J, Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj, selling 147,000 (down 14 percent).
Fall Out Boy's “Centuries” logs the week's highest debut, starting at No. 4 with 138,000. It's the first single from the band's upcoming sixth studio album.
Iggy Azalea's “Black Widow” (featuring Rita Ora) descends 4-5 (127,000; down 11 percent), Nicki Minaj's “Anaconda” falls 5-6 (126,000; down 3 percent), and Clean Bandit's “Rather Be” (featuring Jess Glynne) climbs 8-7 (80,000; down 2 percent).
Jason Aldean's “Burnin' It Down” steps 11-8 (78,000; down less than 1 percent), Maroon 5's “Maps” vaults 43-9 with 78,000 (up 161 percent), and Ariana Grande's “Break Free” (featuring Zedd) drops 6-10 (74,000; down 21 percent).
Overall album sales in the chart week ending Sept. 14 totaled 4.2 million units, up 1 percent compared with last week's sum (4.1 million) and down 9 percent compared with the comparable sales week of 2013 (4.5 million). Year-to-date album sales stand at 166.9 million, down 15 percent compared with the same total at this point in 2013 (195.5 million).
Digital track sales totaled 18.5 million downloads, down 3 percent compared with last week (19.1 million) and down 16 percent stacked next to the comparable week of 2013 (22.1 million). Year-to-date track sales are at 812.3 million, down 13 percent compared with the same total at this point in 2013 (932.4 million).
Next week's Billboard 200 competes with the same week in 2013 when Jack Johnson's From Here to Now to You debuted at No. 1 with 117,000 and Justin Moore's Off the Beaten Path started at No. 2 with 97,000.