Drake's 'Take Care' coasts to No. 1 spot
"If we talkin' bout the numbers / Man, it look like 700, they know," Drake ad-libbed during his performance of "Headlines" at the American Music Awards on Sunday.
The Canadian rapper-singer's lyrical reference to estimates surrounding first-week sales of his sophomore effort turned out to be nearly on point. The highly anticipated set pushed an impressive 631,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan. "Take Care's" strong debut is this year's third-largest debut behind Lady Gaga's "Born This Way" (1.1 million) and Drake mentor Lil Wayne's "Tha Carter IV" (964,000).
Nickelback's “Here and Now" will likely edge out a pair of high-profile releases from divas Rihanna and Mary J. Blige. All three discs were released on Monday.
Rihanna's "Talk That Talk," is projected to push upward of 210,000 copies, still not enough to yield the Barbados-born singer her first No. 1 album, and Blige’s “My Life II ... The Journey Continues (Act I),” the sequel to her 1994 classic “My Life,” is on pace to move 120,000 to 140,000 copies, according to Hits Daily Double.
Neither total is enough to top Buble or Nickelback, who are expected to move between 225,000 and 250,000 copies.
-- Gerrick D. Kennedy
Photo: Drake performs onstage at the 2011 American Music Awards held at Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles on Sunday. Credit: Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images