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Black Keys battle King of Pop for Top spot on next week's Billboard 200

By Malcolm Abram Published: May 21, 2014

The duo's steady dozen year climb continues..where do you go after debuting at Number One?

From the digital desk of


There's a race for No. 1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart, as both Michael Jackson's "Xscape" and the Black Keys' "Turn Blue" have their sights set on the top slot. 

Industry sources suggest both albums -- which were released on Tuesday, May 13 -- could sell between 150,000 and 155,000 copies in the week ending Sunday, May 18. 

The Billboard 200's new top 10 will be revealed on Wednesday, May 21.

Two days ago, on May 14, forecasters had pegged "Xscape" to bow with around 140,000, while "Turn Blue" was aiming for 150,000. Jackson's album has seen its projected sales grow a bit in the past few days, while the Black Keys' number has also grown -- but by slightly less.

If the Black Keys start at No. 1, it will mark the rock duo's first chart-topper. Their last studio release, 2011's "El Camino", debuted and peaked at No. 2 off a 206,000 start (according to Nielsen SoundScan) and is their best seller, with 1.4 million sold.


As for Jackson, "Xscape" would mark the seventh No. 1 for the King of Pop, who died in 2009. The new set is his second posthumous album of previously unreleased material, following "Michael" in 2011. "Michael" debuted and peaked at No. 3 on the Billboard 200, selling 228,000 in the week ending Dec. 19. It has sold 541,000 to date.

"Xscape's" first-week sales might be amplified by a special event celebrating Jackson during the Billboard Music Awards (May 18) -- which occurs on the final day of the sales tracking week. There are no details on what the experience will include, but it has been described by Larry Klein, the show's executive producer, as "one of the most amazing things I've ever seen."





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