"Now! 43" keeps new entries from Billboard 200 top spot

LOS ANGELES Wed Aug 15, 2012 5:41pm EDT

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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The "Now That's What I Call Music!" franchise's 43rd collection of current popular Top 40 radio singles topped the Billboard 200 album chart on Wednesday, staving off new entries from newcomer R&B artist Elle Varner and country singer Colt Ford.

The "Now! 43" collection, which features hit singles from Carly Rae Jepsen, Katy Perry, Maroon 5 and David Guetta, sold 111,000 copies in its first week according to figures from Nielsen SoundScan.

The latest installment from the album franchise outsold the last collection, "Now! 42," which entered the album chart at No. 3 with sales of 95,000 in May this year.

Frank Sinatra's 2008 collection "Nothing But The Best" made a surprising entry in the chart this week at No. 3, after selling 40,000 copies fueled by an Amazon MP3 offer discounting the album to 99 cents for one day last week.

It is the latest in a series of older albums charting high in the Billboard 200 rankings over the last few weeks due to the Amazon MP3 discounts, following the Bee Gees' "Number Ones" compilation at No. 5 last week and Phil Collins' 1998 album "...Hits" at No. 6 in July.

Rapper Rick Ross also saw the Amazon effect last week when his latest album "God Forgives, I Don't," topped the chart with high sales of 218,000, aided by a discounted price of $5 on Amazon MP3. The album dropped to No. 2 this week with a 73 percent decline in sales, shifting 60,000 copies.

Newcomer R&B singer Varner debuted at No. 4 with her first studio album, "Perfectly Imperfect," selling 33,000 and also taking the No. 2 spot on the Billboard R&B album chart.

Ford rounded out the top five with "Declaration of Independence."

Rapper Flo Rida took the top spot on the Digital Songs chart this week with his latest single "Whistle," knocking "American Idol" winner Phillip Phillips' "Home" to No. 2 while Carly Rae Jepsen's infectious hit "Call Me Maybe" stayed put at No. 3.

(Reporting By Piya Sinha-Roy)

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