LOS ANGELES, March 26 Justin Timberlake's first
album since 2006 made a bumper U.S. debut, selling an
unexpectedly better 968,000 copies in the first week since its
release, according to figures on Tuesday from Nielsen SoundScan.
"The 20/20 Experience" gave Timberlake, 32, the top spot on
this week's Billboard 200 album chart and marked the singer's
best solo effort yet.
The heavily-promoted release from the former N'Sync boy band
singer had been expected to sell about 750,000 copies in its
But after warm reviews and fan fever, the album sold almost
300,000 copies more than the first week sales for Timberlake's
last release - 2006's hit album "FutureSex/LoveSounds" - despite
an overall decline in album sales in recent years.
"The 20/20 Experience" marks Timberlake's musical comeback
after focusing on his movie career in films like "The Social
Network" and "Friends with Benefits," launching his own record
label, investing in social networking website MySpace, and
marrying actress Jessica Biel.
Despite the big first week, Timberlake came in below
country-pop singer Taylor Swift's debut in November 2012 when
her "Red" album sold 1.2 million copies in its first week.
Timberlake's "The 20/20 Experience" was released on RCA
Records, a unit of Sony Music Entertainment.
This week's full Billboard 200 album chart will be released
(Reporting By Jill Serjeant; Editing by Paul Simao)