Country singer Gary Allan bests Grammy nominees for Billboard No. 1

LOS ANGELES Wed Jan 30, 2013 3:04pm EST

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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Country singer Gary Allan scored his first No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 chart on Wednesday, keeping Grammy-nominated favorites from the top spot.

Allan's ninth studio album "Set You Free" sold 106,000 copies in its first week, according to figures from Nielsen SoundScan, garnering the singer his best sales week in his 17-year career.

The Billboard 200 is the album chart for all music genres.

Allan, 45, who is a staple within the country music scene, has notched three No. 1 albums in the Billboard country music chart.

The lead song from his new album "Every Storm (Runs Out of Rain)" started gaining chart popularity in September last year, and Allan's label decided to push forward the release of the album from March of this year to January.

Allan told Reuters the song struck a chord among audiences with its message of hope. "This is a time when our country needs hope and I think that's why it's doing so well," he said.

Allan's album kept Grammy nominees The Lumineers at No. 2 with their debut self-titled record, which was released last April but has steadily been rising on the charts after the band picked up two Grammy nominations.

The official "2013 Grammy Nominees" compilation album, the only other new record in this week's top 10, landed at No. 4 this week after selling 41,000 copies, coming behind the soundtrack for last year's comedy "Pitch Perfect."

Allan's reign atop the Billboard 200 is likely to be short-lived, for Canadian pop phenomenon Justin Bieber's latest album, "Believe Acoustic" is set to debut at the top next week, making Bieber the youngest artist to score five No. 1 albums.

On the Digital Songs chart, rapper Macklemore and Ryan Lewis' "Thrift Shop" held onto the top spot for a third week, ahead of Taylor Swift's "I Knew You Were Trouble" at No. 2 and Lil Wayne's "Love Me" at No. 3.

Justin Timberlake's "Suit & Tie," his first new single in five years, dropped from No. 2 to No. 8 this week on the Digital Songs chart.

(Editing by Philip Barbara)

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