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Rapper Rick Ross leads album chart for third time
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Rapper Rick Ross scored his third No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 chart Wednesday, while veteran synth-rockers Depeche Mode came in at No. 3 with modest sales for their first album in almost four years.

Ross' "Deeper Than Rap" sold 158,000 copies during the week ended April 26, according to Nielsen SoundScan data. His last set, 2008's "Trilla," bowed at No. 1 with 198,000 while 2006's "Port of Miami" also did the same, with 187,000.

Last week's champ, the "Hannah Montana: the Movie" soundtrack, slipped to No. 2 with 104,000 copies.

Depeche Mode sold 80,000 copies of "Sounds of the Universe." The new set gives the British band its second-best rank ever on the chart. Its highest came when "Songs of Faith and Devotion" debuted at No. 1 in 1993.

However, "Sounds of the Universe's" opening frame is actually the group's smallest debut sales week for a studio set since Nielsen SoundScan began tracking data in 1991. Depeche Mode's last four studio offerings have all had opening weeks north of 92,000, including 2005's "Playing the Angel."

Country combo Rascal Flatts' former chart-topper "Unstoppable" fell one to No. 4 with 68,000.

White rapper Asher Roth debuted at No. 5 with "Asleep in the Bread Aisle," which sold 65,000 copies. The set's lead single, "I Love College," peaked at No. 12 on the Billboard Hot 100 a little over a month ago.

Elsewhere, the "Twilight" soundtrack fell two places to No. 6; Lady GaGa's "The Fame" rose one to No. 7; Day26's "Forever in a Day" slid six to No. 8; the "Now 30" compilation dropped four to No. 9; and Jadakiss' "The Last Kiss" also fell four, to No. 10.

Overall album sales slipped three percent from the previous week, and were down 10 percent from the year-ago period. Year-to-date album sales are off 12 percent from the same time in 2008.

(Reuters April 29, 2009)

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