Fabolous Flirts With #1 Debut — But Toby Keith Is Billboard‘s Big Dog

DJ Khaled, Traveling Wilburys, Queens of the Stone Age also enjoy strong first-week sales.

When it comes to scoring a #1 debut, sometimes it’s all about timing.

That’s the lesson Grammy-nominated rapper Fabolous learned this week, since his latest album, From Nothin’ to Somethin’, was released on the very same day that one of country music’s biggest names, Toby Keith, issued a fresh helping of his own material. Like Fabolous, a number of artists in recent years have discovered the hard way that America’s a big country, and country’s one of its most popular musical genres.

Unfortunately for Fab, that means his hunt for a #1 debut is very much still on. With 158,600 copies of From Nothin’ to Somethin’ scanned over the past week, Fabolous fell about 46,000 short of even threatening Keith’s chart dominance. Toby’s Big Dog Daddy netted nearly 204,500 scans, making his the latest LP to top the Billboard albums chart, according to the latest SoundScan totals.

However, the album is Fab’s highest-charting debut, besting 2001′s Ghetto Fabolous, which opened at #4 with 143,000 scans, and 2003′s Street Dreams, which finished at #3 with 184,600 sold. Keith’s Big Dog Daddy, on the other hand, is the country star’s third #1 bow, joining 2002′s Unleashed (which scanned more than 338,000 units) and 2003′s Shock’n Y’all (with sales of 585,000).

But Fab and Keith weren’t this week’s sole newcomers to the chart’s top 10. Rapper and mixtape maestro DJ Khaled‘s We the Best, which features guest spots from Lil Wayne, T.I., Akon, T-Pain, the Game, Young Jeezy and others, debuts at #8 with nearly 79,000 sold, while The Traveling Wilburys Collection, a box set chronicling the all-star group’s history, sold a reported 77,300, to follow at #9.

The rest of the top 10 is populated by repeat customers, including, at #3, Paul McCartney‘s Memory Almost Full, which sold more than 106,500 units during its second week in stores. Maroon 5‘s It Won’t Be Soon Before Long climbs one spot to #4, having sold 87,000-plus copies, while last week’s #1, T-Pain‘s Epiphany, falls to #5, with sales reported at 82,000. Linkin Park‘s Minutes to Midnight owns the #6 spot, scanning an additional 81,600, for a five-week grand total of 1.1 million. Rihanna‘s Good Girl Gone Bad slips five chart positions to #7, with 81,200 sold, while Amy Winehouse‘s Back to Black holds at #10, with 73,700 units scanned.

Surprisingly, the latest offering from Queens of the Stone Age, Era Vulgaris, failed to bow in the chart’s top 10, instead opening at #14 with sales of 51,600; the band’s 2005 offering Lullabies to Paralyze sold nearly 97,000 copies, to open at #5. Just behind the Queens at #15 is Instant Karma: The Amnesty International Campaign to Save Darfur, a compilation featuring artists like Green Day, U2, Avril Lavigne, Christina Aguilera, the Black Eyed Peas, Snow Patrol, and the Flaming Lips covering selections from the late John Lennon’s solo catalogue; the set sold 48,900 units.

Enrique Iglesias‘ new one, Insomniac, makes its debut on next week’s chart at #17, thanks to sales of more than 44,500, while Something to Talk About, a collaborative release from the late Gerald Levert and his father, Eddie Levert Sr., opens at #19. Paramore‘s Riot! follows at #20, with sales reported at 42,000, and coming in at #26 is The Definition of X: The Pick of the Litter, a greatest-hits collection from DMX, which sold 35,000.

Further down the chart, debuting at #137, is the third offering from Fair to Midland, Fables From a Mayfly: What I Tell You Three Times Is True, which generated sales of 6,000. Reggae Gold 2007, a compilation featuring contributions from Sean Paul, Buju Banton, Elephant Man and others, opens at #152, with 5,700 sold, followed lastly at #163 by Paula Cole‘s Courage, which scanned 5,400 units.