Rapper Wale knocks Kanye West from atop Billboard album chart

LOS ANGELES Wed Jul 3, 2013 4:40pm EDT

Rapper Wale attends the re-opening of 40/40 Club in New York January 18, 2012. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz

Rapper Wale attends the re-opening of 40/40 Club in New York January 18, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Eduardo Munoz

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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - American rapper Wale grabbed the top spot on Wednesday on the U.S. Billboard 200 album chart for the first time with his record "The Gifted," while fellow rapper Kanye West's "Yeezus," last week's No. 1, fell to third place.

"The Gifted" sold 158,000 copies in its first week, according to figures compiled by Nielsen SoundScan.

Wale's previous album, 2011's "Ambition," sold 164,000 copies in its first week but only reached No. 2 on the weekly album chart.

West's "Yeezus" fell to No. 3 with 65,000 in sales during the week, an 80 percent decline from its debut total of 327,000 albums sold last week.

Rapper J. Cole's album "Born Sinner" was No. 2 on the chart for the second consecutive week. Christian rock band Skillet's "Rise" placed fourth while French electronic duo Daft Punk's "Random Access Memories" rose one spot to No. 5.

Other top 10 new albums this week include U.S. singer-songwriter India.Arie's "Songversation" at No. 7 and metal group August Burns Red's "Rescue & Restore" at No. 9.

Albums sales for the week totaled 5 million, a 13 percent decrease from the same period last year. Albums sales so far in 2013 have totaled 142 million, a 6 percent decline over the same time last year.

(Reporting by Eric Kelsey; Editing by Philip Barbara)

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