Despite the leaks and bootlegging of Lil Wayneâs âTha Carter IIIâ the album surprised many by selling 423, 000 copies Tuesday, according to Nielsen Soundscan. With sales at that level, Lil Wayneâs new album is slated to debut atop the charts next week and will become 2008’s top seller besting highly anticipated albums from Janet Jackson, Usher, and Mariah Carey. In contrast, âTha Carter IIIâ may come close to last yearâs first week record breaker Kanye West who sold 957,000 copies of his third studio album âGraduation.â Though Lil Wayne has been on the rap scene for years, “Tha Carter III,” released Tuesday, was expected to be the album that catapults the critically acclaimed rapper into pop superstardom. Ubiquitous on mixtapes and a frequent collaborator, he has owned the No. 1 spot on Billboard’s Hot 100 pop chart for the past few weeks with his song “Lollipop,” and “Tha Carter III” is among this year’s most anticipated CDs. His last two albums, “Tha Carter” and “Tha Carter II,” sold 1.1 million and 1.4 million copies, respectively. The release date for “Tha Carter III” was pushed back several times because the album was frequently leaked and bootlegged. Elsewhere on the charts, Plies’ sophomore album “Definition of Real” and N.E.R.D.’s “Seeing Sounds” are also predicted to make top 10 debuts next week.
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