Beyonce! Nickelback! David Cook! The gang's all here as we roll into the hopefully busy post-Thanksgiving shopping weekend . . . Next week's chart will see new albums arrive from Kanye West, Guns N' Roses, the Killers, Ludacris and Barry Manilow . . . Elsewhere, though, on this week's chart, we've got new arrivals from Il Divo, Dido, Mudvayne and Zac Brown Band.


FLASH POINTS

• Beyonce bows at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 with "I Am . . . Sasha Fierce," posting a debut sales week of 482,000. The diva's last set, 2006's "B'Day," started with 541,000 . . . "Sasha" is the multihyphenate's third solo No. 1 album. With the group Destiny's Child, she notched another two chart-toppers: "Survivor" in 2001 and "#1's" in 2005 . . . Beyonce faces some stiff competition next week, so it's likely she won't hold onto the No. 1 crown. Expected to take over the top slots -- and maybe the entire top four -- are new entries from Kanye West ("808s and Heartbreak"), Guns N' Roses (the long-awaited "Chinese Democracy"), the Killers ("Day and Age") and Ludacris ("Theater of the Mind").

• Nickelback's "Dark Horse" trots in at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 this week with 326,000. That's actually slightly more than what its last set, 2005's "All the Right Reasons," began with (325,000) when it landed at No. 1 . . . "American Idol" winner David Cook sees his self-titled freshman album start at No. 3 with 280,000. "Idol" runner-up David Archuleta slips 2-11 with his eponymous debut. In its second week, the album shifted 66,000 (down 64%).

• Of the seven albums that debuted in the top 20 on last week's Billboard 200, the smallest decline goes to Enya's holiday album "And Winter Came . . . " (which steps 8-9 with 83,000 -- down 10%). Taylor Swift's "Fearless," T-Pain's "Thr33 Ringz" and the aforementioned "David Archuleta" all dropped by more than 63%.

• Other debuts on the Billboard 200 this week include Il Divo's "The Promise" (No. 5 with 162,000), Dido's "Safe Trip Home" (No. 13 with 51,000), Mudvayne's "The New Game" (No. 15 with 48,000) and Zac Brown Band's "The Foundation" (No. 17 with 44,000).



The Billboard 200

Sales data provided and compiled from Nielsen SoundScan
*1 New BEYONCE I Am...Sasha Fierce (Music World / Columbia / Sony Music) 11 2 DAVID ARCHULETA David Archuleta (19 / Jive / Zomba)
*2 New NICKELBACK Dark Horse (Roadrunner ) 12 4 T-PAIN Thr33 Ringz (Konvict / Nappy Boy / Jive / Zomba)
*3 New DAVID COOK David Cook (19 / RCA / RMG) *13 New DIDO Safe Trip Home (Cheeky / Arista / RMG)
4 1 TAYLOR SWIFT Fearless (Big Machine ) 14 10 T.I. Paper Trail (Grand Hustle / Atlantic / AG)
*5 New IL DIVO The Promise (SYCO / Columbia / Sony Music) *15 New MUDVAYNE The New Game (Epic / Sony Music)
*6 5 SOUNDTRACK Twilight (Summit / Chop Shop / Atlantic / AG) *16 24 FAITH HILL Joy To The World (Warner Bros. (Nashville) / WRN)
7 3 VARIOUS ARTISTS Now 29 (Universal / EMI / Sony BMG / Zomba / UMe) *17 New ZAC BROWN BAND The Foundation (Roar / Big Picture / Home Grown / Atlantic / AG)
8 7 SOUNDTRACK High School Musical 3: Senior Year (Walt Disney ) 18 12 JOHN LEGEND Evolver (G.O.O.D. / Columbia / Sony Music)
9 8 ENYA And Winter Came... (Reprise / Warner Bros.) 19 11 PINK Funhouse (LaFace / Zomba)
10 6 AC/DC Black Ice (Columbia / Sony Music) 20 17 KID ROCK Rock N Roll Jesus (Top Dog / Atlantic / AG)
* indicates titles with greatest sales gains this week




MARKET WATCH

• Album units, current chart week: 9.45 million units
• UP 6% from last issue's charts: 8.9 million units
• DOWN 32% from same week, 2007: 13.96 million units
• This week: The top seven albums each sell more than 100,000 copies.
• This week last year on the Billboard 200: Josh Groban's "Noel" skipped from No. 2 to No. 1 with 405,000 (up 81%). Only one album, Jordin Sparks' self-titled set, debuted in the top 10 -- at No. 10 (119,000). The top 11 albums each sold more than 100,000.



BORDERLINES

• The No. 10 album this week, AC/DC's "Black Ice" (Columbia), sold 73,000.
• The No. 10 album for the same week of 2007, Jordin Sparks' "Jordin Sparks" (Jive), sold 119,000.
• Average total of the No. 10 album for the same week of the year during the past 10 years (1999-2008): 138,217.


PROGRESS REPORTS

• Zac Brown Band is the first group to take a debut single to No. 1 on Hot Country Songs in more than two years, as "Chicken Fried" sizzles 2-1. The track is the first chart entry for the act, but it's a case of reheated "Chicken," as a version of the song by the Lost Trailers peaked at No. 52 in a three-week chart run in April 2006 . . . As for the last group to take its first single to No. 1, that was Heartland on the chart dated Oct. 28, 2006, with "I Loved Her First."

• Scott Weiland makes his first solo appearance on the Modern Rock radio airplay chart in more than a decade, as "Missing Cleveland" enters at No. 33. Weiland last graced the list as a solo artist with "Barbarella," a No. 36 hit in March 1998. Overall, Weiland has scored 27 Modern Rock hits: 19 fronting Stone Temple Pilots, five with Velvet Revolver and three solo. "Cleveland" introduces Weiland's second solo album, " "Happy in Galoshes," which streeted yesterday (Nov. 25).

• Barry Manilow brings holiday cheer to the Adult Contemporary chart with "Christmas Is Just Around the Corner" debuting at No. 30. With the bow, Manilow has notched more chart entries this decade (six) than in the '90s (five). He enjoyed his biggest hit in that span last year, when "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" reached No. 11. The new carol marks Manilow's 47th career Adult Contemporary hit stretching to his debut in 1974 with "Mandy," which was the first of his 13 No. 1s.


A LOOK AHEAD

• Among the titles released this week, due on next week's charts: Kanye West's "808s and Heartbreak," Guns N' Roses' "Chinese Democracy," the Killers' "Day and Age," Ludacris' "Theater of the Mind" and Barry Manilow's "Greatest Songs of the Eighties."

• Next week's Billboard 200 competes with the same week in 2007 when: Josh Groban's "Noel" held at No. 1 for a second week, selling 539,000 (up 33%). Eagles' "Long Road out of Eden" was in second place with 313,000 (up 70%), and Alicia Keys' "As I Am" was in third with 257,000 (down 26%). The top debut of the week was at No. 50, where Pitbull's "Boatlift" floated in with 22,000. The top five albums each sold more than 100,000.