By Todd Martens
12:28 PM PST, February 19, 2014
With the title cut of his latest album, country star Eric Church proclaims himself one of "The Outsiders," but he's definitely among the in-crowd now. "The Outsiders" cruises to the No. 1 spot on the U.S. pop charts, having sold 288,000 copies in its first week in the U.S., according to Nielsen SoundScan.
That makes it the biggest debut of a young 2013 and Church's second album to hit the top spot on Billboard's charts. His last album, 2011's "Chief," debuted with 145,000 copies sold, according to Billboard.
"Chief" has now sold 1.7 million copies and was named album of the year by both the Country Music Assn. and the Academy of Country Music. Heading into the release of "The Outsiders," Church's single "Give Me Back My Hometown" had hit No. 52 on Billboard's Hot 100 singles chart.
In a recent interview with The Times, Church admitted that the success of "Chief" had kind of "freaked" him out.
"We'd always been on the margins, and I liked it there," Church said. "And then I felt the industry move toward me. All of a sudden, we were in the middle of the road. This time I said, 'Let's get back out there.' "
Church's set is the only album to debut this week inside the top 10, although locals the Glitch Mob have a career breakout on its hands with "Love Death Immortality." The album, the act's first-ever to reach the top 200, sold 22,000 copies. The electronic act has a major slot on this year's Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival.
Last week's chart topper, the 49th edition of the "Now That's What I Call Music!" compilation album, slips to No. 3. The title sold 77,000 copies this week, giving it a two-week total of 176,000 copies.
The soundtrack to Disney's "Frozen" hold at No. 2. The collection, featuring the Oscar-nominated "Let It Go," sold 100,000 copies this week and has now topped the 1 million mark.
The top 5 is rounded out by Beyoncé's self-titled album, which sold approximately 48,000 copies this week, and Bruno Mars' "Unorthodox Jukebox," which tallied more than 47,000 copies sold this week. The latter has sold almost 2.1 million copies to date.
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