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Chartbreaker: Justin Bieber's 'Believe' has year's best-selling week for an album debut

Say what you want about Justin Bieber -- "he looks like a girl," "he's annoying," "he's only relevant to thirteen-year-old girls" -- but the pop star sensation is doing something right. His new album, Believe , sold 374,000 copies in its first week.

That number may not seem like a lot for a number-one album on the Billboard 200 chart, but in the age of albums purchased as individual tracks, the fact that Bieber was able to sell almost triple the amount of albums as last week's album chart-topper, Looking 4 Myself, is quite impressive. Gone are the days when Bieber was only relevant as a punchline -- now he's verifiable competition for modern pop royalty like Adele, Gaga, Katy, Rihanna and even Usher.

Though sales projections for Believe were higher than actual figures, by anywhere from 25,000 to 100,000 units, the album is the year's biggest debut so far -- however, 2012's biggest seller in a week-long period remains Adele's 21 at 730,000 copies following her Grammy wins.

Yet 21 is nowhere near Believe on this week's chart. Rather, Adele sits at number seven this week, moving 47,000 copies. It's the second time in its 70-week run on the chart for 21 to fall out of the top five.

Between Adele and Bieber is a slew of debuts. Kenny Chesney's Welcome To The Fishbowl follows Believe at number two with 193,000 copies. Fiona Apple's The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than the Driver of the Screw And Whipping Chords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do (what a mouthful!) lands at number three, preceding Smashing Pumpkins' Oceania at number four, the Rock of Ages soundtrack at number five and Looking 4 Myself at number six.

One Direction's Up All Night comes in at number eight this week. Additional holdovers from last week, Luke Bryan's Tailgates & Tanlines and Rush's Clockwork Angels, sit at numbers nine and ten.

On the singles chart, another Canadian, Carly Rae Jepsen, continues to reign with "Call Me Maybe." It's the song's third week at the top of the Billboard Hot 100. "Maybe" is followed by "Payphone" by Maroon 5 featuring Wiz Khalifa and "Somebody That I Used To Know" by Gotye featuring Kimbra at numbers two and three, respectively. Katy Perry's "Wide Awake" holds another week at number four. Rihanna's "Where Have You Been" climbs three spots to number five.

The lower portion of the top ten sees welcomed entries by Ellie Goulding and Usher. After what seems like at least a year of promotion and blog hype in the United States, Goulding's "Lights," a British import, finally lands within the top ten at number six. Usher's second single from Looking 4 Myself, "Scream," lies in the outskirts of the top ten, at number ten.

Between Usher and Goulding are fun.'s "We Are Young" at number seven, Nicki Minaj's "Starships" at number eight and One Direction's "What Makes You Beautiful" at number nine.



Follow Backbeat on Twitter: @westword_music


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