How strong is [artist id="502642"]Eminem[/artist]'s run at the top of the Billboard 200 albums chart? In addition to locking down the #1 spot for seven out of the nine weeks since its release, Slim Shady will manage to hold his perch next week despite a rush of four new titles debuting in the top five.
The rapper, who was just added to the roster of performers at this year's MTV Video Music Awards, will keep his pole position again thanks to sales of 116,000, which pushed his to-date total above the 2.2 million mark, according to figures provided by Nielsen SoundScan.
He also fended off four contenders, led by R&B singer Kem, whose Intimacy was well behind at #2 (74,000), followed by the latest from sandpaper-voiced singer Ray LaMontagne and his band the Pariah Dogs, God Willin' & the Creek Don't Rise (#3, 64,000), metal icons Iron Maiden with Final Frontier (#4, 63,000) and country singer Trace Adkins' Cowboy's Back in Town (#5, 50,000).
The rest of the top 10: Lady Antebellum, Need You Now (#6, 32,000); the former #1 album from Arcade Fire, Suburbs, which dropped five spots to #7 on sales of 31,000 for a three-week total nearing 250,000; Justin Bieber's My World 2.0 (#8, 30,000); the debut of mellow singer David Gray's Foundling (#9, 25,000); and another new face, rock legend-turned-dustbowl balladeer John Mellencamp's No Better Than This (#10, 24,000).
The Camp Rock 2 soundtrack had a short stay in the top 10, as it fell 10 spots in week two to #13 (23,000), while VMA-nominated Mumford & Sons' Sigh No More continued a march up the charts, scooting up one to #19 as sales picked up by nearly 20 percent to 17,000. And Hey Monday landed at #25 with their latest, Beneath It All (14,000).
After weeks of domination of the iTunes singles chart, Eminem's iron grip was finally broken this week by (who else?) Lil Wayne. The incarcerated rapper's "Right Above It" collabo with Drake took over the #1 spot, pushing Em's Rihanna hookup, "Love the Way You Lie," to #4, as Katy Perry's "Teenage Dream" hung in at the #2 spot right in front of Taio Cruz's "Dynamite." Breaking into the chart this week was Nelly with "Just a Dream" at #7.
Though iTunes does not release specific sales data, suffice it to say that Em held the top spot on the album tally again, followed by LaMontagne, a Lady Antebellum iTunes session, Arcade Fire, Gray, Mumford & Sons, Antebellum's resurgent Need You Now, the chart debut of Maroon 5's Hands All Over, Kem and Maiden.
He's been the chart champ most of the summer (save for bumps by Arcade Fire and Avenged Sevenfold), but it looks like Eminem's Billboard domination could end for good with the release of Katy Perry's Teenage Dream, the highly anticipated second album from the singer that has already spawned two massive hits. Also vying for the top is the third effort from former "American Idol" champ Fantasia, and an Usher remix/deluxe repackaging of Raymond v. Raymond called Versus.