Black Keys edge out Michael Jackson for top spot on Billboard 200

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The Black Keys, it turns out, needn’t have worried.

After publicly complaining on multiple occasions -- including in Rolling Stone and at last weekend’s Hangout Music Festival in Alabama -- that the late Michael Jackson was thwarting their effort to score a No. 1 album, the garage rockers’ “Turn Blue” topped the Billboard 200 on Wednesday, narrowly beating Jackson’s posthumous “Xscape,” which entered the chart at No. 2.

The Black Keys’ latest sold 164,000 copies in the week ending May 18, while “Xscape” moved 157,000, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

Turn Blue” is the Black Keys’ first album to reach No. 1 on Billboard’s overall tally, though as the magazine’s Keith Caulfield points out, the duo’s previous record, “El Camino,” actually had a bigger first week; that album debuted at No. 2 in 2011 with sales of 206,000 copies.


Jackson, of course, was more familiar with the top spot during his lifetime, having gotten there with records including “Thriller,” “Bad,” “Dangerous” and “Invincible.”

The first official Jackson album released after the singer’s death in 2009, the soundtrack to “Michael Jackson’s This Is It,” hit No. 1 that year; “Michael,” from 2010, went to No. 3.

Behind the Black Keys and Jackson on this week’s chart, the “Now 50” compilation fell to No. 3 from its No. 1 position last week, while Disney’s “Frozen” soundtrack moved down to No. 4 from No. 2.

Two new country albums took the next two spots: Rascal Flatts’ “Rewind” at No. 5 and Dolly Parton’s “Blue Smoke” at No. 6. Tori Amos and Michael W. Smith debuted inside the top 10, as well.