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T.I.'s 'Paper Trail' leads at No. 1

October 8, 2008 | 10:58 pm


Rapper T.I. has blazed a golden road to the top of the national sales chart with his new album, “Paper Trail,” which qualifies for gold certification in its first week of release with sales of 568,000 copies.

It’s the Atlanta rhymer’s third collection to enter the chart at No. 1 and also the third best opening-week sales of 2008, behind Lil' Wayne’s "Tha Carter III" and Coldplay’s “Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends,” which sold 1 million and 721,000 copies, respectively, during back-to-back weeks in June.

T.I. earns another chart distinction by becoming the first performer in four years to replace himself in the top spot on Billboard’s Hot 100 singles chart. “Live Your Life,” the second release from the new album, has just taken over the top of the list, knocking out “Whatever You Like.” Usher last did the same when “Confessions Part II” replaced “Burn” at No. 1.

“Jennifer Hudson,” the long-gestating debut album from the “American Idol” contestant turned Oscar-winning actress, showed up at No. 2 with sales of 217,000. Robin Thicke’s “Something Else” comes in behind Hudson at No. 3 on sales of 137,000 copies. And James Taylor’s new collection with his versions of some of his favorite rock and pop songs, “Covers,” lands at No. 4 with first-week sales of 95,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

--Randy Lewis

Photo: T.I. performs at Key Club on Friday. Credit: Michael Park