Guitar legends Eric Clapton and B.B. King will debut at #3 on the Billboard 200 albums chart this week with their collaboration Riding With the King, but they won't dethrone the king of the sales, Eminem, or teen queen Britney Spears.
Rapper Eminem's The Marshall Mathers LP will remain at #1 for the fourth week in a row, having sold about 520,000 copies, according to SoundScan data released Wednesday (June 21). That's nearly 200,000 more than Spears sold of her sophomore album, Oops! ... I Did It Again (RealAudio excerpt of title track), which will again land at #2.
Marshall Mathers is the fastest-selling rap album ever, moving 1.76 million units in its first week.
"I realize I'm hot now, and I guess I just got to ride the wave," Eminem said Monday of the album's success. "It feels good to be where I'm at musically, as far as careerwise. I couldn't ask for anything more, I guess, could I? No, I couldn't."
But he said he hasn't felt right about celebrating his professional triumphs because his personal life simultaneously has hit a low. The Detroit rapper was recently slapped with criminal assault and weapons charges in Michigan.
The long-awaited collaboration from Clapton and King features five nuggets from King's lengthy career, plus Big Bill Broonzy's "Key to the Highway," Sam and Dave's soul classic "Hold On I'm Coming" (RealAudio excerpt) and two tunes from Doyle Bramhall II's Jellycream album.
Gangsta-rap group Three 6 Mafia will enter at #6 with When the Smoke Clears, while rockers Bon Jovi's Crush will bow at #9. The LP is the band's first album in five years and picks up where they left off, with big guitar riffs and lyrics shifting from brash to sentimental.
Rounding out the top 10 will be Kid Rock's retrospective The History of Rock at #4, *NSync's No Strings Attached at #5, Creed's Human Clay at #7, Matchbox Twenty's Mad Season by Matchbox Twenty at #8 and Santana's Supernatural at #10.
Other debuts include the "Shaft" soundtrack, featuring R. Kelly and OutKast, at #22; Sinéad O'Connor's Faith and Courage at #55; punk-rockers NOFX's Pump up the Valuum at #61; the soundtrack to "Gone in 60 Seconds," featuring the Cult, Moby, DMX and Gomez, at #69; Modest Mouse's The Moon and Antarctica at #120; Duran Duran's Pop Trash at #135; and Poison's Power to the People at #166.