Rap titan Eminem conquered the U.S. album chart last week, completely dominating the field with the second-best debut performance of 2013 to date.
"The Marshall Mathers LP 2" (Interscope) rocketed to No. 1 with a 792,000-copy bow, according to Nielsen SoundScan data for the week ending Nov. 10. So far this year, that number has been bested only by Justin Timberlake's 968,000-unit first-week score with "The 20/20 Experience."
A measure of Eminem's sales potency can be seen in the comparatively quiet performance by fresh competition on the chart. Canadian pop songstress Celine Dion's "Loved Me Back to Life" (Columbia) debuted at No. 2 with a 77,000-unit total -- less than 10% of the tally for "Mathers 2." The bilingual Dion's last English-language release, 2007's "Taking Chances," debuted at No. 3 with a 214,000-unit frame.
Another very different Canadian talent, Avril Lavigne, boarded her self-titled Epic release at No. 5, shifting 44,000. It's the vocalist's fifth top-five album in her 11-year, five-album career, but her lowest-charting U.S. set to date; 2011's "Goodbye Lullaby" peaked at No. 4 in the wake of two No. 1 albums, 2007's "The Best Damn Thing" and 2004's "Under My Skin."
The remainder of the top 10 titles: the Robertsons' "Duck the Halls" (No. 3, 73,000 sold, up 5%), Katy Perry's "Prism" (No. 4, 61,000, off 33%), Kelly Clarkson's "Wrapped in Red" (No. 6, 43,000, off 39%), Drake's "Nothing Was the Same" (No. 7, 37,000, down 3%), Lorde's "Pure Heroine" (No. 8, 35,000, flat), Arcade Fire's "Reflektor" (No. 9, 31,000, off 77%) and Luke Bryan's "Crash My Party" (No. 10, 31,000, up 27%). The latter two titles were separated by just a few hundred copies.
Next week will provide a test of Lady Gaga's ongoing market strength, as her new "Artpop" makes its debut. Also on tap: a newly minted set of the perennially popular Beatles' BBC recordings.
Eminem's 'The Marshall Mathers LP 2â² Debuts at No. 1, Bests 2010â²s 'Recovery'
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