Sometimes the hardest, bumpiest rides are the ones that get you to the sweetest destination. That's the lesson Chicago MC Lupe Fiasco is basking in this week as he celebrates the #1 debut of his third album, Lasers.
After a difficult, oft-delayed birth, the record will make its mark on the Billboard 200 next week when it takes over the top spot thanks to sales of more than 204,000, according to figures provided by Nielsen SoundScan. That's more than enough to end the two-week #1 reign of British soul singer Adele, whose 21 drops a spot to #2 as sales dipped to 133,000, giving her an impressive three-week total of more than 653,000.
There are plenty of other debuts in the top 10 as well, including the latest "Glee" cast recording, Glee: The Music, Volume 5 (#3, 90,000), Avril Lavigne's long-awaited Goodbye Lullaby (#4, 87,000), R.E.M.'s Collapse Into Now (#5, 57,000) and country singer Sara Evans' Stronger (#6, 55,000).
The rest of the top 10: Mumford & Sons, Sigh No More (#7, 46,000), Marsha Ambrosius, Late Nights & Early Mornings (#8, 41,000), Justin Bieber, Never Say Never - The Remixes (#9, 40,000) and NOW 37 (#10, 33,000).
Just outside the top 10, rapper Raekwon cooks up a #12 debut for his latest solo effort, Shaolin vs. Wu-Tang (29,000), and "Tosh.0" comedian Daniel Tosh comes in at #28 with the CD of his comedy special, Happy Thoughts (15,000). Way down the line, heavily hyped English singer Ellie Goulding finally makes her American chart debut, sliding in at #129 with Lights (4,000).
"American Idol" judge Jennifer Lopez continues to kill it on the iTunes singles chart, topping the tally with her comeback hit, "On the Floor," followed by Katy Perry's "E.T.," Lady Gaga's "Born This Way," Britney Spears' "Till the World Ends" and Rihanna's "S&M." A few fellas manage to break up the ladies' club, with Cee Lo Green snagging the #6 position with "Forget You," Ke$ha at #7 with "Blow," Pink right behind with "F---in' Perfect," Dr. Dre and Eminem at #9 with "I Need a Doctor" and the cast of "Glee" rounding things out with "Landslide."
Lupe rules the iTunes albums chart as well, again besting #2 Adele, who's in front of Lavigne, the "Glee" cast album, Mumford & Sons, R.E.M., Tosh, the Christian rock compilation Passion - Here for You, Evans and Ambrosius.
Look for little change at the top next week, as new albums by Rise Against, Miranda Cosgrove and Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker hit the charts.