The Big News: For the third consecutive week, Sade's Soldier of Love topped the Billboard 200, selling an additional 127,000 copies to keep the top spot on lockdown and out of the hands of Lady Antebellum's Need You Now, which sold 118,000 at Number Two. However, Need You Now did cross the platinum barrier in its fifth week. The biggest surprise on the charts was Johnny Cash's American VI: Ain't No Grave, selling 54,000 copies on its way to a Number Three debut. Released just three days after what would have been the Man in Black's 78th birthday, VI was Cash's second consecutive Top Three album, following the Number One debut of American V: A Hundred Highways in 2006.
The usual suspects rounded out the Top 10: Black Eyed Peas' The E.N.D. at Four, Lady Gaga's The Fame at Five and Lil Wayne's Rebirth at Six. Ke$ha's sales of Animal were up seven percent and the album jumped from 14 to Seven, thanks in large part to her new single "Blah Blah Blah." Her talent show cover of "Karma Police" probably didn't hurt.
Debuts: It was yet another slow debut week on the charts. Besides Cash, only Alkaline Trio's This Addiction managed to break into the Top 20, grabbing Number 11 with 26,000 copies sold. The Rocket Summer's Of Men and Angels debuted at Number 38, High on Fire's Snakes for the Divine entered at 62 and Joanna Newsom's Have One on Me bowed at Number 74 with 7,400 copies.
Last Week's Heroes: Sade and Lady Antebellum's clutch on Numbers One and Two seems unshakable as the pair continue to sell 100K+ copies a week, more than double their closest competitors. With another slate of smaller new releases on deck for this week, don't anticipate much changes at the top of the charts until possibly next week, when Gorillaz's Plastic Beach could give Sade and Antebellum a run for the top spot.