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Lana Del Rey has last laugh with top Billboard debut

By Piya Sinha-Roy

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - After weeks of hype and ridicule, singer Lana Del Rey had the last laugh on Wednesday by scoring the week's highest debut on the Billboard 200 album chart with her new record "Born To Die."

New York native Del Rey, who had the Internet abuzz especially after a shaky performance on U.S. sketch show "Saturday Night Live" last month, sold 76,000 copies of her debut album in its first week.

She was second only to British singer Adele, who continued her reign for the 19th week at No. 1 with "21."

Following on the heels of Del Rey was veteran folk singer Leonard Cohen, who sold 41,000 copies of his 12th studio album, "Old Ideas," a collection of songs recalling some of Cohen's earlier and best-known works such as "Hallelujah."

Despite Del Rey and Cohen's high new entries, they could not shift Adele from her top spot. She sold 121,000 copies of "21" in the past week ahead of her official comeback from throat surgery at the Grammy Awards on Sunday.

The only other new entry in the top ten albums was gospel singer Fred Hammond, who entered the chart at No. 8 with "God, Love & Romance," while party rockers LMFAO re-entered the chart with "Sorry for Party Rocking" at No. 9 and Rihanna's "Talk That Talk" jumped up the chart to round out the top ten.

Next week's chart battle will see if veteran rockers Van Halen can knock Adele off the top spot with their new album, "A Different Kind of Truth."

(Reporting By Piya Sinha-Roy; Editing by Jill Serjeant)

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