Metallica Are #1 For Third Week In A Row, As Death Magnetic Nears Million-Sold Mark

Demi Lovato, Kings of Leon, Pussycat Dolls can't bump metal band's latest from Billboard peak.

For three weeks in a row, Metallica have managed to maintain a stranglehold over the entire record industry. A number of artists have tried to remove the metal icons’ latest set, Death Magnetic, from atop the Billboard albums chart , and all have failed — even as sales of the disc continue to shrink. Young Jeezy, Jessica Simpson, Ne-Yo, Buckcherry and even squeaky-clean 16-year-old Disney Channel star Demi Lovato have come along to challenge Metallica’s sales prowess, but their attempts have consistently fallen short of the legendary riff-engineers, who hadn’t released a record in five years.

You know, it’s sad but true.

While losing out to Metallica may have hurt Ne-Yo the most (his Year of the Gentleman falls one spot to #3 on next week’s chart, with 83,000 sold), Lovato, whose debut LP Don’t Forget opens at #2 this week, probably won’t take the loss too badly. She is, after all, a closet metalhead . Lovato’s silver-medal finish with 89,000 scans came as sales of Death Magnetic sagged 61 percent to 132,000.

Since its release three Fridays ago, sales of Death Magnetic have been reported at 959,000, according to Nielsen Soundscan, so chances are good the set will eclipse the 1 million-sold mark when this week’s sales are released on October 8.

Lovato’s inaugural offering was among 24 new releases making their impact on next week’s Top 200, and one of five to enter the chart in the top 10. Pussycat DollsDoll Domination comes in at #4, while Kings of Leon‘s Only by the Night bows at #5. (Note: SoundScan initially listed Kings of Leon at #4 and Pussycat Dolls at #5, but revised those numbers later on Wednesday.) R&B artist Jazmine Sullivan‘s Fearless opens at #6, with sales of 66,000, and fellow R&B crooner Joe‘s Joe Thomas, New Man debuts at #8, selling 54,000 copies.

The remainder of the top 10 is rounded out by some of the year’s biggest sellers: Kid Rock’s Rock N Roll Jesus sold 60,000 more copies, to finish at #7; Young Jeezy‘s The Recession ends up at #9, with 40,000 scans; and the Jonas Brothers’ A Little Bit Longer climbs one spot to #10, with 36,000 sold.

Also new to next week’s chart are TV On The Radio’s Dear Science, which enters at #12 with 32,000 scans, and the Cold War Kids’ Loyalty to Loyalty, which sold 22,000 units, and opens at #21. Jenny LewisAcid Tongue follows at #24, with 21,000 copies scanned. Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour debuts at #26, selling 19,000 copies of his Live in Gdansk. The Plain White T’sBig Bad World enters the chart at #33, selling 15,000-plus, and Thievery Corporation‘s Radio Retaliation comes in at #35, with 14,000 sold.

The second soundtrack from “Sex and the City,” called Volume 2: More Music — a collection featuring Ciara, Craig David, Janet Jackson, Ingrid Michaelson and Amy Winehouse — enters at #45 with 11,500 scans. Z-Ro‘s Crack makes its debut at #48, after selling 10,500 copies. Everlast returns to the Top 200 at #78, selling 6,600 copies of his Love, War and the Ghost of Whitey Ford, while Mogwai‘s Hawk Is Howling opens at #97, with 5,600 sold. Lastly, just making the cut at #196, is Gucci Mane‘s Hood Classics, which sold close to 3,000 units.

[This story was originally published at 1:44 pm E.T. on 10.01.2008]