Mariah Carey’s E=MC2 Rockets To Billboard #1, Sets Career Record

The pop diva's nonstop publicity efforts pay off, as she nets 2008's biggest first-week sales.

Last week, pop songstress Mariah Carey was everywhere, getting the word out about her latest LP, E=MC2. She appeared on “American Idol,” made the cover of Us Weekly and starred in a series of commercial-esque vignettes that aired all weekend, as part of MTV’s 52/52 campaign.

Needless to say, Mariah’s fans were well aware that the singer’s album landed in stores last week, and clearly, the public appearances and the media hoopla didn’t hurt sales of her record. In fact, with close to 463,000 copies scanned during week one, Carey’s 11th studio offering coasts to the top of next week’s Billboard albums sales chart, with little — if any — competition.

E=MC2 marks Carey’s sixth album to top the charts and has outsold all of the singer’s previous efforts’ opening weeks, according to the latest SoundScan data. In 2005, The Emancipation of Mimi opened at #1 with only 403,800 sold. Much more than that, though, E=MC2 has earned the distinction of becoming 2008′s best-selling debut so far, trouncing the 374,600 turned out by Jack Johnson‘s Sleep Through the Static in February.

Mariah’s was among 19 new releases to impact next week’s top 200 and one of only two new albums to enter the chart in the top 10. The other, country artist Lady Antebellum‘s self-titled set, bows at #4, selling 43,400 units. The rest of the top 10 is made up of several regulars, with Leona LewisSpirit at #2 (with 94,800 scans), Miley CyrusBest of Both Worlds live record at #3 (with 47,300 sold) and the 27th installment in the Now That’s What I Call Music! compilation series finishing at #5 (selling 39,000 copies).

George Strait‘s Troubadour follows at #6 (with 38,000 sold), and the soundtrack to “Alvin and the Chipmunks” comes in at #7 (with sales reported at 31,700). The “Juno” soundtrack climbed 38 spots to #8 (31,300), no doubt thanks to the movie’s DVD release, while R.E.M.’s Accelerate fell four spots to #9 (30,000). Taylor Swift‘s self-titled debut comes in at #10, with 29,700 sold.

Thrice‘s The Alchemy Index Vols. III & IV enters next week’s chart at #17, selling 21,400 units. Rush‘s Snakes and Arrows: Live bows at #18, selling 21,000 copies. The Naked Brothers Band‘s I Don’t Want to Go to School scanned 19,000 copies to open at #23, and Tristan Prettyman‘s Hello claims the #27 spot, with a reported 18,200 snatched up. The KooksKonk follows at #41, with 13,300 sold, while Insane Clown Posse offshoot Dark LotusOpaque Brotherhood sold 12,100 copies to enter the chart at #45.

Elsewhere on the chart, Jason Mraz‘s We Dance EP generated first-week sales of 11,300 to open at #52, Apocalyptica‘s Worlds Collide follows at #59 with 10,600 scans, and M83‘s Saturdays = Youth comes in at #107, on the strength of 6,300 in sales. Phantom Planet return at #119, selling 5,700 copies of their new one, Raise the Dead, and Worth Dying For‘s self-titled debut opens at #166, selling 4,100 copies.