Keith Urban narrowly beats Prince for the top spot on this week's Billboard 200 to claim his first No. 1 album on the mainstream chart. It's a game of inches this week as Urban's "Defying Gravity" only outsells Prince's "Lotusflow3r" three-pack by 3,000 units.
While "Gravity" is Urban's first climb to the Billboard 200 summit, it's his third time at the peak of the Top Country albums chart. Previous efforts "Love, Pain & The Whole Crazy Thing" and "Be Here" both debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard 200.
"Lotusflow3r," which was offered exclusively at Target," is the Purple One's highest entry on the chart since 2006's "3121" entered in the top spot in 2006. He continually has shown that he does not need any major label power to sell records. Granted, he's not selling the kind of numbers or getting the airplay that he got in his heyday on Warner Bros. in the 1980s, but when an artist owns his own masters and makes a deal such as the kind he made with Target, he is keeping a much higher percentage per record
All three top spots on the Billboard 200 are new entries: coming in at No. 3 is Diana Krall's "Quiet Nights." The jazz singer scores a new peak on the Billboard 200 and lands her ninth No. 1 on the jazz chart, according to Billboard.
"UGK 4 Life," the last album from the hip hop duo UGK, enters the chart at No. 6. It is the final project from Pimp C, who died in 2007. Rapper Flo Rida's "R.O.O.T.S" comes in at No. 9. He continues to be a top seller of digital singles: "Right Round," the first single from "R.O.O.T.S," stayed at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for six weeks, but his popularity does not transcend to album sales yet.
Next week, Rascal Flatts is a lock to come in at No. 1 with the country trio's sixth studio album, "Unstoppable." We should also see a number of country artists get a bump from their appearances on the April 5 Academy of Country Music Awards.