Ludacris debuts atop Billboard Hot 200 this week. His latest studio installment "Battle of the Sexes" has sold around 137,000 copies, becoming his fourth chart topper and his third No. 1 debut. Also, it becomes the first rap album to top the chart since Jay-Z bowed at the hot spot with "The Blueprint 3" in October 2009.
Sitting right behind Ludacris at the runner-up position is Gorillaz's "Plastic Beach". The animated band which was picked up as AceShowbiz's artist of the week on March 15 arrived on the list with 112,000 units sold. The album becomes the band's highest-charting album as they could only peak at No. 5 with 107,000 copies with their 2005 effort "Demon Days".
Last week's champ Grammy-winning band Lady Antebellum are forced to fall two slots to No. 3. The country music act's sophomore set "Need You Now" shifts 105,000 (down 17%) in its seventh week on sale.
The two spots left in the Top 5 are also secured by newcomers. Jimi Hendrix debuts at No. 4 with "Valleys Of Neptune" which pulls in 95,000 units, and another new release "Get Off on the Pain" from country music singer Gary Allan sits at the next position with 65,000 copies.
Sade, who made triumphant return after 10 years in hiatus by reigning the chart for three consecutive weeks, land at No. 6 with "Soldier of Love". The next position belongs to new band Broken Bells, which were formed by Gnarls Barkley's Brian "Danger Mouse" Burton The Shins' James Mercer. The band which are scheduled to perform at SXSW Festival on March 17 and 19 crack the Hot 200 with their self-titled album "Broken Bells".
The other slots, meanwhile, are filled with Lady GaGa's "The Fame" and Black Eyed Peas' "The E.N.D." which land at No. 8 and 9 respectively. Blake Shelton who became last week's highest chart debut has to drop from No. 3 to 10 with "Hillbilly Bone".
Top 10 of Billboard Hot 200: