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Jay Z's 'Magna Carta Holy Grail' tops Billboard album chart

American rapper Jay-Z performs during the Heineken Open'er Festival in Gdynia, northern Poland, July 5, 2008. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel
American rapper Jay-Z performs during the Heineken Open'er Festival in Gdynia, northern Poland, July 5, 2008. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Rapper Jay Z's latest album "Magna Carta Holy Grail" debuted at the top of the Billboard 200 album chart on Wednesday, while besting industry forecasts.

"Magna Carta Holy Grail" sold 528,000 copies in its first week, according to figures compiled by Nielsen SoundScan, making it the second-best debut week for an album this year behind Justin Timberlake's "The 20/20 Experience."

Industry forecasts had projected "Magna Carta Holy Grail" to sell as many as 500,000 copies, according to Billboard. It is the rapper's 13th No. 1 album, the most by a solo artist in the chart's history.

Those figures do not include the 1 million copies that smart phone maker Samsung had purchased ahead of the album's release.

Samsung gave away the copies as a digital download ahead of the album's public release date to users of its phones as a promotional tie-in with the 43-year-old rapper.

Billboard had said that those sales would not count toward the album's figures because of rules on promotional bulk sales.

R&B singer Ciara was second on the weekly chart with 59,000 copies sold of her self-titled album in its first week. Last week's top album, rapper J. Cole's "Born Sinner," fell to third with 40,000 copies sold.

Country group Florida Georgia Line's "Here's to the Good Times" rose one spot to No. 4, selling 33,000 copies, and rockers Imagine Dragons' "Night Visions," fell a spot to No. 5 with about the same number of albums sold.

Rapper Kanye West's "Yeezus" dropped to No. 6 from No. 3, having sold 29,000 copies in its third week on the chart after debuting at No. 1.

Singer-songwriter Skylar Grey's album "Don't Look Down" sold 24,000 copies in its first week, good enough for No. 8.

(Reporting by Eric Kelsey; Editing by Bob Burgdorfer)

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