Lil Wayne's 'Tha Carter III' crushes competition


NEW YORK -- With the highest weekly sales figure since 2005, Lil Wayne crashes in at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 with "Tha Carter III." The Cash Money/Universal set moved just over 1 million copies in the U.S., according to Nielsen SoundScan, the first time the six-figure threshold was crossed since 50 Cent's "The Massacre" in March 2005.

Sales for "Tha Carter III," Lil Wayne's first No. 1 on the Billboard 200, were helped along by several of the rapper's new singles, including the Hot 100-topping "Lollipop" featuring Static Major. His previous biggest sales week was a 238,000-unit start for "Tha Carter II" in 2005, which entered The Billboard 200 at No. 2 and became his fourth No. 1 on Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums.

No album in 2006 sold as many as 800,000 copies in a single frame, and the largest sales week since "The Massacre" belonged to Kanye West's "Graduation," which netted an opener of 957,000 copies last year when it hit stores on Sept. 11.

Plies' "Definition of Real" (Big Gates/Slip-N-Slide) sold 215,000 to debut at No. 2, the same position his 2007 album "The Real Testament" achieved. His current hit "Bust It Baby Part 2" featuring Ne-Yo is working its way up the Hot 100, sitting at No. 12 with a bullet this week.

The multilabel "Now 28" compilation slips a notch from No. 2 to No. 3 with 132,000 copies, a 28% sales decrease. Distrubed's Warner Bros. set "Indestructible falls from No. 1 to No. 4 after a 60% hit to 102,000. With 101,000 units, Usher's "Here I Stand (LaFace/Zomba) endures a 30% slip and drops from No. 3 to No. 5. Journey's Wal-Mart exclusive album "Revelation" is down from fifth to sixth on a 15% sales slide to 89,000.

With its first album in four years, hip-hop trio N.E.R.D.'s "Seeing Sounds" (Star Trak/Interscope) bows at No. 7 with 80,000. Alanis Morisette's "Flavors of Entanglement" (Warner Bros.) debuts No. 8 with 70,000; her 2004 album, "So-Called Chaos," peaked at No. 5.

My Morning Jacket's "Evil Urges" sold 49,000 copies to give the band its first top 10 album, debuting at No. 9. MMJ's previous chart high-water mark came with 2005's "Z," which topped out at No. 67. Rounding out the top tier, Weezer's third self-titled Geffen set falls from No. 4 to No. 10 with 46,000 (a 64% drop).

Other debuts this week include country mainstay Montgomery Gentry's "Back When I Knew It All" (Columbia, No. 20, 27,000), veteran singer Emmylou Harris' "All I Intended to Be" (Nonesuch, No. 22, 27,000), Wallflowers frontman Jakob Dylan's "Seeing Things" (Columbia/Starbucks, No. 24, 24,000), the soundtrack to Nickelodeon's "iCarly" (Sony, No. 28, 20,000) and DJ Skribble's mix "Total Club Hits" (Thrive/Red, No. 30, 20,000).

Album sales are up 22.8% from last week's sum at 9.29 million units, but are down 3.1% compared with the same week last year.