The Notorious B.I.G.'s "Greatest Hits" debuts at No. 1 on The Billboard 200, giving the late rapper his third chart-topper ... Arcade Fire starts in the runner-up slot with "Neon Bible" and at No. 1 on Top Independent Albums ... Three more debuts fall in the top 10 this week: Gary Allan's "Greatest Hits," Relient K's "Five Score and Seven Years Ago" and Korn's "MTV Unplugged" ... In Progress Reports we've got updates on Justin Timberlake, Pink, Lily Allen, T-Pain, Beyonce and Shakira.




FLASH POINTS



• For the first time since November, The Billboard 200 greets five debuts in the top 10. Strong debuts for Relient K and Arcade Fire join bows from the Notorious B.I.G., Gary Allan and Korn ... It's the first time five debuts have arrived in the top 10 since the week Jay-Z's "Kingdom Come" was crowned at No. 1. That week also saw starts from Daughtry's "Daughtry" (No. 2), the Beatles' "Love" (No. 4), Snoop Dogg's "Tha Blue Carpet Treatment" (No. 5) and 2Pac's "Pac's Life" (No. 9) ... The same week a year ago (for the sales week ending March 12, 2006), only three albums bowed in the top 10: Juvenile's "Reality Check" (No. 1 with 174,000), Matisyahu's "Youth" (No. 4; 119,000) and David Gilmour's "On An Island" (No. 6; 96,000).


• The five debuts in the top 10 this week run the gamut in terms of music styles. There's the Christian-crossover pop-rock of Relient K, country from Gary Allan, rap and hip-hop from the Notorious B.I.G., alternative rock from Arcade Fire and hard rock (turned acoustic) from Korn ... Notorious B.I.G. achieves his third No. 1 album as "Greatest Hits" debuts atop The Billboard 200 with 99,000 units. It follows his other chart-toppers "Life After Death" and "Born Again." The new "Greatest Hits" sports 17 tracks, including two previously unreleased cuts: "Running Your Mouth" and "Want That Old Thing Back" ... Arcade Fire's last full-length album, "Funeral," topped out at No. 131 on The Billboard 200 in early 2005. Now, its second album, "Neon Bible," blasts onto the big chart at No. 2, easily marking its best sales week ever (92,000 units). A full 30% of the album's first week was made up of sales through digital retailers ... The seven-member group played "Saturday Night Live" on Feb. 24 and begins a U.S. tour on April 26 in San Diego.


• Gary Allan sees his "Greatest Hits" start at No. 5 on The Billboard 200 and at No. 1 on Top Country Albums (70,000 units). It's his second No. 1 on the Country list, following 2005's "Tough All Over," which debuted at No. 1. That album also started and peaked at No. 3 on The Billboard 200, where it was his first album to hit the top 10 ... His current single, "A Feelin' Like That," bullets at No. 14 for a second week on Hot Country Songs ... Relient K's "Five Score and Seven Years Ago" wows the charts as it earns the group its best sales week and highest chart position ever, debuting at No. 6 with 34,000 units. It's last full-length set, "MMHMM," debuted and peaked at No. 15 on the big chart in 2004 with 51,000 -- its previous high-water mark both in terms of sales and chart placing ... The band first hit a Billboard album chart back on Sept. 15, 2001. Its "The Anatomy of the Tongue in Cheek" bowed that week and eventually peaked at No. 2 on Top Christian Albums, No. 8 on Top Heatseekers and No. 158 on The Billboard 200 ... On our Hot Christian Songs chart, the new album's single "Forgiven" rises 17-15 while another track, "Must Have Done Something Right," is bubbling under both the CHR/Top 40 and Hot AC/Adult Top 40 charts.


• Of all acts, Korn might have been one of the least likely to record an "MTV Unplugged" album. (Ok, maybe Kiss is on that list, too.) And yet, here we are, with "MTV Unplugged" debuting at No. 9 on The Billboard 200 with 52,000 units. It's the band's tenth album to chart and seventh top 10 hit. The lead radio track from the set, a redux of "Freak on a Leash" (featuring Evanescence's Amy Lee), is currently charting on the Active Rock, Alternative/Modern Rock, Heritage Rock and Mainstream Rock radio charts ... Other debuts on The Billboard 200 this week include ... Sevendust's "Alpha" begins at No. 14 with 42,000 units. It's the rock band's eighth title to reach the big chart and it's the follow-up to 2005's "Home," which debuted and peaked at No. 20 ... Finger Eleven's "Them Vs. You Vs. Me" starts at No. 31 with 19,000 units. The set's "Paralyzer" single creeps up 33-32 on the Alternative/Modern Rock radio chart this week ... French electronic act Air has its highest charting album, as "Pocket Symphony" debuts at No. 40 with 17,000 units ... Other debuts in the top 100 include Bright Eyes' "Four Winds" (EP) at No. 57 (13,000), Mary Chapin Carpenter's "The Calling" at No. 59 (13,000), the soundtrack to "300" at No. 74 (11,000), Son Volt's "The Search" (No. 81; 10,000) and the "WOW Hymns" compilation (No. 100; 8,000).



The Billboard 200

Sales data provided and compiled from Nielsen SoundScan
*1 New THE NOTORIOUS B.I.G. Greatest Hits (Bad Boy / AG) 11 6 JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE FutureSex/LoveSounds (Jive / Zomba)
*2 New ARCADE FIRE Neon Bible (Merge ) *12 15 CARRIE UNDERWOOD Some Hearts (Arista / Arista Nashville / RMG)
3 1 DAUGHTRY Daughtry (RCA / RMG) 13 11 FERGIE The Dutchess (will.i.am / A&M / Interscope)
*4 3 AKON Konvicted (Konvict / Upfront / SRC / Universal Motown / UMRG) *14 New SEVENDUST Alpha (7Bros / Asylum)
*5 New GARY ALLAN Greatest Hits (MCA Nashville / UMGN) 15 9 CORINNE BAILEY RAE Corinne Bailey Rae (Capitol )
*6 New RELIENT K Five Score And Seven Years Ago (Gotee / Capitol) 16 12 NICKELBACK All The Right Reasons (Roadrunner )
7 2 NORAH JONES Not Too Late (Blue Note / BLG) 17 7 NELLY FURTADO Loose (Mosley / Geffen / Interscope)
8 4 FALL OUT BOY Infinity On High (Fueled By Ramen / Island / IDJMG) 18 10 DIXIE CHICKS Taking The Long Way (Columbia / Sony Music)
*9 New KORN MTV Unplugged (Virgin ) 19 17 GWEN STEFANI The Sweet Escape (Interscope )
10 5 ROBIN THICKE The Evolution Of Robin Thicke (Star Trak / Interscope) 20 20 CELTIC WOMAN A New Journey (Manhattan / BLG)
* indicates titles with greatest sales gains this week





MARKET WATCH

• Album units, current chart week: 8.66 million units
• UP 2% from last issue's charts: 8.49 million units
• DOWN 19% from same week, 2006: 10.74 million units
• This week: No albums sell more than 100,000 copies.
• This week last year on The Billboard 200: Juvenile's "Reality Check" entered at No. 1 with 174,000 while James Blunt's "Back to Bedlam" surged 9-2 with 161,000. Other big debuts that week included Matisyahu's "Youth" at No. 4 (119,000) and David Gilmour's "On An Island" at No. 6 (96,000). The top five albums sold more than 100,000 units.



BORDERLINES

• The No. 100 album this week, the "WOW Hymns" compilation, (Word) sold 8,000.
• The No. 100 album for the same week of 2006, Jason Aldean's "Jason Aldean," (Broken Bow) sold 11,000.
• Average total of the No. 100 album for the same week of the year during the past 10 years (1998-2007): 12,280.



PROGRESS REPORTS

• On the CHR/Top 40 radio airplay chart, Justin Timberlake scores his third straight No. 1 from the "FutureSex/LoveSounds" album, as "What Goes Around ... Comes Around" scoots 2-1. It joins "FutureSex's" other chart-toppers "SexyBack" and "My Love." He previously hit No. 1 with "Rock Your Body" from his solo debut album "Justified" and as part of *NSYNC, he notched two No. 1s ("Bye Bye Bye" and "It's Gonna Be Me") ... Akon achieves his fourth CHR/Top 40 top 10 hit in less than six months as "Don't Matter" rises 11-7 in only its fifth week on the chart. The first two singles from his "Konvicted" album -- "Smack That" and "I Wanna Love You" -- both hit the top five. Additionally, his collaboration with Gwen Stefani on "The Sweet Escape" (the title track from her latest album) hit the top five last week. It holds at No. 4 this week.

• More than a year after Pink hit the CHR/Top 40 chart with "Stupid Girls," she matches that single's peak with "U + Ur Hand," as it rises 22-17 this week. "Hand" is the third single from "I'm Not Dead," and follows the poorly received ballad "Who Knew" ... "U + Ur Hand" also climbs 26-25 in its 17th week on the Hot AC/Adult Top 40 radio chart, matching the peak of "Stupid Girls" on that tally ... She's currently on tour, supporting Justin Timberlake, and plays Nashville on March 16. The trek wraps on March 29 and beginning April 18 Pink begins an Australian tour that continues through June 3.

• Lily Allen debuts on the Hot AC/Adult Top 40 chart with "Smile" at No. 37. The tune already peaked on the Triple-A chart at No. 27 in February ... T-Pain returns to the Rhythmic Top 40 chart with "Buy U A Drank (Shawty Snappin')." The single, which features Yung Joc debuts at No. 34 and is from T-Pain's upcoming second album. The artist's last album, "Rapper Ternt Sanga," spawned the Rhythmic Top 40 hits "I'm Sprung" and "I'm N Luv (Wit A Stripper," both of which peaked at No. 3 ... Beyonce and Shakira double up for a diva duet on "Beautiful Liar," which starts at No. 32 on Hot Latin Songs, No. 35 on Rhythmic Top 40 and No. 38 on CHR/Top 40. The single was serviced to radio in at least four different versions (the English album version, Spanish, Spanglish and an album edit). "Liar" will be included in the deluxe edition of Beyonce's "B'Day" album, which streets April 4. The set will also boast five more new songs, plus six remixes and Spanish takes of other "B'Day" hits like "Listen" and "Irreplaceable."





Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums

Sales data provided and compiled from Nielsen SoundScan
*1 New THE NOTORIOUS B.I.G. Greatest Hits (Bad Boy / AG)
2 1 ROBIN THICKE The Evolution Of Robin Thicke (Star Trak / Interscope)
*3 3 AKON Konvicted (Konvict / Upfront / SRC / Universal Motown / UMRG)
4 2 GERALD LEVERT In My Songs (Atlantic / AG)
5 6 JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE FutureSex/LoveSounds (Jive / Zomba)
6 8 YOUNG JEEZY The Inspiration (Corporate Thugz / Def Jam / IDJMG)
7 9 CORINNE BAILEY RAE Corinne Bailey Rae (Capitol )
8 7 PRETTY RICKY Late Night Special (BlueStar / Atlantic / AG)
9 5 SOUNDTRACK Dreamgirls (Music World / Columbia / Sony Music)
10 4 B.G. AND THE CHOPPER CITY BOYZ We Got This (Choppa City / Koch)
* indicates titles with greatest sales gains this week
Top Country Albums

Sales data provided and compiled from Nielsen SoundScan
*1 New GARY ALLAN Greatest Hits (MCA Nashville / UMGN)
*2 2 CARRIE UNDERWOOD Some Hearts (Arista / Arista Nashville / RMG)
3 1 DIXIE CHICKS Taking The Long Way (Columbia / Sony Music)
4 3 RASCAL FLATTS Me And My Gang (Lyric Street / Hollywood)
5 4 TAYLOR SWIFT Taylor Swift (Big Machine )
6 5 KEITH URBAN Love, Pain & The Whole Crazy Thing (Capitol Nashville )
*7 10 SUGARLAND Enjoy The Ride (Mercury / UMGN)
8 6 RODNEY ATKINS If You're Going Through Hell (Curb )
9 8 JOSH TURNER Your Man (MCA Nashville / UMGN)
*10 New MARY CHAPIN CARPENTER The Calling (Zoe / Rounder)
* indicates titles with greatest sales gains this week
Top Heatseekers

Sales data provided and compiled from Nielsen SoundScan
*1 New CONSEQUENCE Don't Quit Your Day Job (G.O.O.D. )
*2 New ALBERT HAMMOND, JR. Yours To Keep (Scratchie / New Line)
*3 New THE STOOGES The Weirdness (Virgin )
4 1 UNK Beat'n Down Yo Block (Big Oomp / Koch)
*5 New LOVEDRUG Everything Starts Where It Ends (The Militia Group )
*6 New RJD2 The Third Hand (XL / Beggars Group)
7 2 BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE The Poison (Trustkill )
*8 New !!! (CHK CHK CHK) Myth Takes (Warp )
*9 3 PETER BJORN AND JOHN Writer's Block (AlmostGold )
10 4 XTREME Haciendo Historia (La Calle / UG)
* indicates titles with greatest sales gains this week
Top Pop Catalog Albums

Sales data provided and compiled from Nielsen SoundScan
1 2 GUNS N' ROSES Greatest Hits (Geffen / Interscope)
2 3 NORAH JONES Come Away With Me (Blue Note / BLG)
*3 New VARIOUS ARTISTS Wonderful Cross (Worship Together )
*4 9 PINK FLOYD Dark Side Of The Moon (Capitol )
5 4 BOB SEGER & THE SILVER BULLET BAND Greatest Hits (Capitol )
6 5 RASCAL FLATTS Feels Like Today (Lyric Street / Hollywood)
7 7 CREED Greatest Hits (Wind-up )
8 6 THE DOORS Best Of The Doors (Elektra / Asylum / Elektra)
*9 14 EVANESCENCE Fallen (Wind-up )
10 8 TIM MCGRAW Greatest Hits (Curb )
* indicates titles with greatest sales gains this week




A LOOK AHEAD

• Among the titles released this week, due on next week's charts: Lloyd's "Street Love," Amy Winehouse's "Back to Black," Musiq Soulchild's "Luvanmusiq" and Rich Boy's self-titled album.
• Next week's Billboard 200 competes with the same week in 2006 when: the "High School Musical" soundtrack returned to No. 1 (142,000) while the biggest debut was from E-40's "My Ghetto Report Card" (No. 3; 94,000). Only the top two albums sold more than 100,000 units.