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Lady Gaga Still Heading for No. 1, Beatles Set for 31st Top 10 Album

As reported earlier this week, Lady Gaga's "ARTPOP" album seems destined for a No. 1 debut on the Billboard 200 chart next week, securing the diva her second chart-topping set.

As reported earlier this week, Lady Gaga’s “ARTPOP” album seems destined for a No. 1 debut on the Billboard 200 chart next week, securing the diva her second chart-topping set.

Presently, industry sources forecast the album to sell around 240,000 to 250,000 by the end of the tracking week on Sunday, Nov. 17. That’s down slightly from its 260,000 projection on Wednesday (Nov. 13). As we’ve noted previously, sales forecasts often change throughout the week, based on many variables.

The new Billboard 200’s top 10 will be revealed on Wednesday, Nov. 20.

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In this week’s “ARTPOP”-tastic episode, Jason and Keith discuss all things Lady Gaga, including a first-week sales projection for the album. Listen above, or click here to download/subscribe in iTunes.

The new album was released on an Monday, Nov. 11, bucking the trend of most albums hitting retail on a Tuesday. Because of Lady Gaga’s move to Monday, most other albums that were scheduled for a Tuesday, Nov. 12 release were also moved up one day to Monday.

“ARTPOP” follows Gaga’s No. 1-debuting “Born This Way” in 2011, which launched with 1.1 million sold (a number amplified by a temporary 99-cent sale deal by Amazon MP3). Overall, “ARTPOP” will rack up the fifth top 10 set for Gaga, who previously notched top 10s with her first album “The Fame” (No. 2 peak in early 2010), “The Fame Monster” (EP) (No. 5 in 2009), “The Remix” (No. 6 in 2010) and “Born This Way.”

Eminem’s current chart champ, “The Marshall Mathers LP 2,” will likely fall to No. 2 with around 210,000 for the week.

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The second-highest new entry will probably be the new “Now 48” compilation, which could start with between 90,000 and 100,000. All 47 of the regular (numbered) “Now” albums have reached the top 10, and all but the first debuted in the top 10. The last “Now” set, “Now 47,” debuted at No. 2 with 82,000 sold in August.

Also set for a top 10 debut: the Beatles.

The Fab Four’s new “On Air – Live at the BBC, Vol. 2” album should give the act its 31st top 10 set. The album is forecast to sell around 35,000. The group last charted a new top 10 effort back in 2006 with the release of “Love,” the companion album to the Cirque du Soleil stage production based on the Beatles’ music.

If “On Air” debuts in the top 10, the Beatles would remain in fourth place on the all-time list of acts with the most top 10 albums. The Rolling Stones have the most, with 36. They are followed by, currently, Frank Sinatra (33), Barbra Streisand (32) and the Beatles (30, at the present).

On SoundScan’s Building chart (below), Eminem is No. 1, while Lady Gaga is No. 2. The Building tally is a precursor to the final Billboard 200 ranking — reflecting the first four days (Monday through Thursday) of SoundScan’s tracking week as reported by six major merchants.

Because of how Building Chart is compiled, the rankings can sometimes be misleading in relation to what the final Billboard 200 will look like. The chart was further complicated by this week’s off-cycle Monday release schedule.

For example, while Gaga is ranked at No. 2 on the Building chart, she is indeed heading for a No. 1 debut once the official SoundScan sales figures have been tabulated. And, though the Beatles are No. 10, it’s likely the group will end up slightly higher on the list.

As for the rest of the top 10:

Nielsen SoundScan Building Chart
Rank LW
BB 200
Artist Title
1 1 Eminem “The Marshall Mathers LP 2”
2 NEW Lady Gaga “ARTPOP”
3 NEW Various Artists “Now 48”
4 3 The Robertsons “Duck the Halls: A Robertson Family Christmas”
5 4 Katy Perry “PRISM”
6 6 Kelly Clarkson “Wrapped In Red”
7 NEW Jhene Aiko “Sail Out” (EP)
8 7 Drake “Nothing Was the Same”
9 8 Lorde “Pure Heroine”
10 NEW The Beatles “On Air – Live at the BBC, Vol. 2”
The Building Chart reflects the first four days (Monday through Thursday) of SoundScan’s tracking week (which ends Sunday) as reported by six major merchants: iTunes, Trans World Entertainment, Best Buy, Starbucks, Target and Anderson Merchandisers. Billboard estimates that they make up about 85% of all U.S. album sales.