Thursday, May 28, 2009 8:20am by  
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Eminem's new album 'Relapse' tops Billboard's 200

Eminem's "Relapse" brings the rapper back to familiar ground -- the No. 1 slot on the Billboard 200. With 608,000 sold in its first week, it not only nets the biggest sales week of the year for any album, but the best since AC/DC's "Black Ice" began with 784,000 copies last October.

It's Eminem's fifth straight No. 1 debut -- and fifth overall No. 1. His only album to miss the top spot was his "Slim Shady LP" debut, which bowed and peaked at No. 2 in 1999.

His last studio set, 2004's "Encore," arrived with 711,000 after an abbreviated debut week -- it was released four days earlier than scheduled in order to counter leaks. A little over a year later, his greatest hits package "Curtain Call" took the stage with 441,000 in December 2005. Collectively, his six albums have sold 34 million in the U.S., making him the biggest selling hip-hop act in the SoundScan era (1991-present).

Eminem was seemingly the pied-piper last week in terms of new releases, as a cavalcade of artists unleashed their latest sets last Tuesday (19). Of course, it didn't hurt that the two-night "American Idol" finale, which wrapped up on Wednesday (May 20), brought a lot of people into physical and digital stores too.

Watch Eminem's video for 'Beautiful' below: