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Britney Spears' 'Circus' vaults to No. 1

December 10, 2008 |  9:06 am

Spears290_2 Britney Spears' "Circus" takes the singer back to the top of the national sales chart after selling 505,000 copies during its first week of release. Billboard notes that it makes her the first act with four albums to sell 500,000 or more copies out of the gate.

She had been tied at three with Jay-Z, Garth Brooks, 2Pac and 50 Cent. It is her fifth No. 1 album.

Her biggest first-week figure came in 2000, at the height of the teen pop craze, when “Oops! I Did It Again” rang up 1.3 million sales in a single week.

“Circus” was one of only two new albums to land inside this week's Top 10. Akon's "Freedom" entered at No. 7 after selling 111,000 copies. And Guns N' Roses years-in-the-making "Chinese Democracy" tumbled from No. 3 to No. 18 in its second week on the chart after a 78% sales drop, the largest dip for any Top 50 album last week.

Other new chart entries include Scarface’s “Emeritus,” which enters at No. 24 on sales of 42,000, and Neil Young’s “Sugar Mountain — Live at Canterbury House 1968,” starting out at No. 40 with 26,000 copies.

Update: An earlier version of this post incorrectly stated that "Circus" was the only new album to debut inside the Top 20 this week.

-- Randy Lewis

Related: Album review: Britney Spears' 'Circus'

Related: Britney Spears' comeback: A snap judgment

Related: Britney Spears: Life in pictures

(Photo courtesy AP)