T-Pain gains No. 1 spot

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NEW YORK -- T-Pain's sophomore album, "Epiphany," enters on top of the Billboard 200 in a week in which six of the top 10 albums are new releases. With sales fueled by the MC's high-powered single "Buy U a Drank (Shawty Snappin')," the Konvict/Nappy Boy/Jive set moved 171,000 copies in the U.S., according to Nielsen SoundScan. T-Pain's 2005 debut, "Rapper Ternt Sanga," only reached No. 40, selling 47,000 copies in its first week.

Rihanna's "Good Girl Gone Bad" bows at No. 2 with 162,000. The set's lead single, "Umbrella," currently crowns the Hot 100. The SRP/Def Jam effort is the singer's third release in two years, with each album achieving a better start than its predecessor. The 2005 album "Music of the Sun" began at No. 10 with 68,000, while 2006's "A Girl Like Me" started at No. 5 with 115,000.

Paul McCartney earns his third-best-charting debut since SoundScan began tracking data in 1991 with "Memory Almost Full," which sold 161,000. It marks the Beatle's first effort through Starbucks' Hear Music label after a 45-year association with EMI. McCartney's only higher debuts came with 2002's "Back in the U.S. Live 2002" (No. 8, 224,000) and 2001's "Wingspan: Hits and History" (No. 2, 221,000).

After debuting at the summit last week, R. Kelly's "Double Up" (Jive) slips to No. 4 with 121,000, a 69% sales decrease. Maroon5's A&M/Octone effort "It Won't Be Soon Before Long" falls from No. 2 to No. 5 with 112,000 (a drop of 35%).

Country duo Big & Rich scores a No. 6 start on the Billboard 200 and opens at No. 1 on Top Country Albums with "Between Raising Hell and Amazing Grace" (Warner Bros.), which moved 103,000. The group's last set, "Comin' to Your City," stopped at No. 7 on the big chart in 2005; its 2004 debut, "Horse of a Different Color," also peaked at No. 6.

Linkin Park's "Minutes to Midnight" (Machine Shop/Warner Bros.) descends from third to seventh with 96,000 (a slide of 24%). Elsewhere, Marilyn Manson returns to the Billboard 200 with "Eat Me, Drink Me" (Interscope) at No. 8 on sales of 88,000. Manson's previous set, 2003's "The Golden Age of Grotesque," debuted at No. 1 with 118,000.

Reggaeton superstar Daddy Yankee earns his first top 10 album as "El Cartel: The Big Boss" slides in at No. 9 with 82,000, enough to take over the Top Latin Albums chart. His previous Billboard 200 best came with 2005's " Barrio Fino: En Directo," which peaked at No. 24. Amy Winehouse's "Back to Black" falls from No. 6 to No. 10 despite a 33% sales increase to 67,000.

The Police's self-titled A&M greatest hits collection enters the chart at No. 11 with 58,000, a return to the chart after a five-year absence. "The Very Best of ... Sting & the Police" peaked at No. 46 in 2002.

Other big debuts this week include Chris Cornell's second solo set, "Carry On" (Interscope), at No. 17 with 37,000; Dream Theater's "Systematic Chaos" (Roadrunner) with 36,000 at No. 19, a charting best; Bruce Springsteen and his Sessions Band's "Live in Dublin" at No. 23 with 31,000; Carl Thomas' "So Much Better" (Bungalow) at No. 25 with 28,000; the "Vans Warped Tour: 2007 Tour" compilation (Side One Dummy) at No. 31 with 22,000; and veteran rock act Poison's "POISON'D!" (Capitol) at No. 32 with 21,000.

Album sales are up 5.3% from last week's total at 8.75 million units and down 8.3% compared with the same week last year.
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