Usher is setting a fine example for his protégé, Justin Bieber. A week before the Biebs plans to storm the charts with his eagerly anticipated Believe , Ush will debut in the #1 spot on the Billboard 200 chart with his seventh album, Looking 4 Myself.
According to figures provided by Nielsen SoundScan, he sold 128,000 copies of the disc. The debut was the fourth #1 bow in a row for Usher, though it was significantly down from the 329,000 copies sold by his previous album, 2010's Raymond V. Raymond.
The figures were not nearly what Bieber's expected to pull next week, but they were enough to hold back prog rock icons Rush, whose Clockwork Angels clocked in at #2 on sales of 103,000. The other debuts in the top 10 came from country singer Josh Turner, who hit #4 with Punching Bag (45,000), British singer/songwriter sensation Ed Sheeran's + (42,000) and hyped rapper Waka Flocka Flame's Triple F Life: Friends, Fans & Family (33,000).
The rest of the top 10: Adele, 21 (#3, 63,000), One Direction, Up All Night (#6, 39,000), Neil Young & Crazy Horse, Americana (#7, 37,000), Alan Jackson, Thirty Miles West (#8, 37,000) and the "Rock of Ages" soundtrack (#9, 36,000).
Metric debuted at #12 with Synthetica (27,000), while festival faves Grace Potter & The Nocturnals jammed into the #17 slot with their latest, The Lion The Beast The Beat (24,000) and TV funnyman Jimmy Fallon hit #25 with his all-star comedy effort Blow Your Pants Off (15,000).
Usher topped the iTunes album chart as well, followed by Sheeran, Rush, "Rock of Ages," rapper Kid Ink's "Up & Away," One Direction, Waka, Adele, John Mayer's Born and Raised and Fun.'s Some Nights.
On the iTunes single chart, Carly Rae Jepsen continued to top the list with "Call Me Maybe," with Maroon 5 just behind with "Payphone," then Katy Perry's "Wide Awake," Bieber's "As Long As You Love Me," Gotye's "Somebody That I Used to Know" and Pitbull's "Back in Time." Rounding out the list at #7 was Usher's "Scream," Rihanna's "Where Have You Been," One Direction's "What Makes You Beautiful" and Bieber's "Boyfriend."
Bieber is expected to blow everyone out of the box next week with Believe, which could score the biggest first frame of the year.