LOS ANGELES – Susan Boyle prevented Alicia Keys from topping the U.S. album chart this week, and now it's likely she will block another R&B star -- Mary J. Blige -- from the No. 1 slot next week.
Industry sources suggest Boyle's "I Dreamed a Dream" could sell 500,000 copies during the week ended Sunday. That would be enough to fend off Blige's "Stronger With Each Tear," which is on course to open at No. 2 with at least 300,000.
Sales data will be issued on Wednesday. Boyle led the latest chart for a third week after "I Dreamed a Dream" sold 661,000 copies. Keys' "The Element of Freedom" followed with 417,000.
"Stronger" is Blige's third studio set in a row to be released just before Christmas. "The Breakthrough" started the trend back in 2005, when it launched at No. 1 with 727,000 copies. In 2009, "Growing Pains" bowed at No. 2 with 629,000 copies, and moved to No. 1 the following week.
The next best debut will likely be the "We Are Young Money" collaborations album, featuring artists on Lil Wayne's Young Money label. It is projected to move somewhere between 100,000 and 120,000 copies.
Also of note is the reissue of Eminem's "Relapse" album with additional tracks. The combined sales of the deluxe package, "Relapse: Refill," along with the original release may be in the range of 85,000 to 100,000.
Other albums that will debut on the chart, but with less-impressive figures, include Mudvayne's self-titled set and the "Nine" film soundtrack, each with 15,000 to 20,000 copies.