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Kanye West Wins the Battle of the Charts


After months of tireless promotion for his new album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, Kanye West has something to celebrate. The rapper’s fifth album debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 charts this week, selling 496,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Fantasy is West’s fourth straight No. 1 album – and has earned him bigger first-week sales than his 2008 album 808s & Heartbreak, which bowed with 450,000 units sold.

West’s total falls well below Taylor Swift, who debuted with sales of 1.047 million copies of Speak Now in November, and Eminem, who sold 741,000 records in June.

Rapper Nicki Minaj also had impressive first-week sales for her debut Pink Friday. Lil Wayne’s protégé moved 375,000 copies of the disc – making this the second best sales week for a female hip-hop act since Lauryn Hill released The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill in 1998.

My Chemical Romance were this week’s lone rock act to snag a spot on the Top Ten. The emo kings came in at No. 8 with 112,000 copies sold of Dangerous Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys. While it’s the band’s second consecutive album to debut in the Top Ten, My Chem’s last record fared much better: 2006’s The Black Parade debuted at No. 2, with 240,000 copies sold. Ke$ha’s Cannibal debuted at No. 15, selling 74,000 units.

This Week’s Billboard Top 10
1. Kanye West, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, 496,000 copies
2. Nicki Minaj, Pink Friday, 375,000
3. Susan Boyle, The Gift, 263,000
4. Taylor Swift, Speak Now, 241,000
5. Jackie Evancho, O Holy Night, 142,000
6. Rihanna, Loud, 141,000
7. Justin Bieber, My World Acoustic, 115,000
8. My Chemical Romance, Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys, 112,000
9. Ne-Yo, Libra Scale, 112,000
10. Glee Cast, Glee: The Music, The Christmas Album, 108,000 copies