Justin Timberlake is seeing things clearly from his familiar spot atop the Billboard charts. His new album, The 20/20 Experience, debuted at number 1 on the Billboard 200 charts last week, selling an astonishing 968,000 copies, according to Nielson SoundScan.
Released on March 19, 20/20 gave Justin his best first week sales ever as a solo artist, topping 2006’s FutureSex/LoveSounds, which debuted with 684,000. Timberlake’s first solo effort, 2002’s Justified, peaked at number 2 and sold 439,000 in its first week.
20/20 racked in the 19th highest first-week sales in history since SoundScan began tracking data in 1991. As a member of ‘N Sync, Justin set the all-time record with 2000’s No Strings Attached, which moved 2.42 million during its first week on the charts.
The last artist to enjoy such a massive first week is Taylor Swift, whose Red sold 1.2 million in November 2012. Timberlake has the largest first week figures for a male artist since Lil Wayne’s Tha Carter III sold 1.01 million in 2008. Usher and Garth Brooks are the only male non-rappers to sell more units in their first week, with Usher’s 2004 album, Confessions, and Brooks’ 1998 album, Double Live, moving 1.10 and 1.9 million, respectively.
According to Billboard.com, Apple’s iTunes store was the top seller of 20/20, followed by Target, which offered a copy with two exclusive bonus tracks. iTunes offered an exclusive stream of the album in the week leading up to its release.
Led by the Jay-Z-assisted single, “Suit & Tie,” 20/20 was promoted with an appearance on NBC’s Saturday Night Live, 20/20 and a live TV concert special sponsored by Target. Timberlake and Jay-Z will collaborate for the Legends of Summer tour starting in July. They will also headline Yahoo’s International On the Road tour, which will include stops across Europe.
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(Photo: Awais, PacificCoastNews.com)