Justin Timberlake Thanks Fans for Massive '20/20 Experience' Debut

12:41 PM PST 03/28/2013 by Jason Lipshutz, Billboard
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The singer's first release since 2006 sold 968,000 copies in its first week in the marketplace.

On this week's Billboard 200 chart, Justin Timberlake's The 20/20 Experience scores a monster debut, selling 968,000 copies in its first week, according to Nielsen SoundScan. After news broke Tuesday night that he had notched his best sales week and the biggest debut of 2013, the pop superstar took to Twitter one day later to offer a quick thank-you to fans.

"Whoa ... Speechless. Shocked," Timberlake wrote to his 18 million followers on Wednesday. "Numbers go up, numbers go down. I just hope this album makes your Summer... You already made mine ‪#bestfansever."

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Soon after, Timberlake added, "I'm gonna find a way to show my appreciation to you ladies and gents this week ... Stay tuned. ‪#finderskeepers."

Timberlake's 20/20 Experience debut marks the biggest overall sales frame since Taylor Swift launched Red with 1.2 million copies sold in one week, according to Nielsen SoundScan. His previous high came when sophomore album FutureSex/LoveSounds launched with 684,000 units sold in its first week in 2006.

On Wednesday, the first extended Q&A with Timberlake about The 20/20 Experience was posted on Myspace, with JT telling former Billboard editor Benjamin Meadows-Ingram that, while his latest full-length carries a slower tempo, he'd be open to speeding things up again. "I really do think my effort with the last album was to make people dance, and I think with this album, I wrote a lot of songs that make me want to sing," says Timberlake. "I want to do a dance record, but not like a 120 bpm dance record. I want to do like a Marvin Gaye Gotta Give It Up, Curtis Mayfield, Move on Up."

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This summer, Timberlake will kick off a 12-city stadium tour alongside his "Suit & Tie" collaborator Jay-Z -- but maybe he'll stop by the 2013 Coachella fest before then? He tells Myspace, "I’ve been to Coachella many times but not remembered a lot of it, I’ll leave it at that. But I remember I used to go to Coachella a long time ago. I remember Coachella when there wasn’t like, paparazzi and stuff there. Like, I stood in an open field and one year I saw Nine Inch Nails and the next year I saw Weezer and I was standing in the middle of the field, you know, like tripping my mind out."

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