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Black Eyed Peas dominate U.S. charts

The Black Eyed Peas scored their first No. 1 album on the U.S. pop charts on Wednesday, buoyed by heavy promotion for its first release in four years. The Peas also claimed the top two spots on the singles chart.

The hip-hop act topped the Billboard 200 with “The E.N.D.,” which sold 304,000 copies during the week ending June 14, according to Nielsen SoundScan. It was the group’s best sales week ever.

Its previous set, 2005’s “Monkey Business,” bowed at No. 2 with a then-best 291,000. Believe it or not, the Black Eyes Peas have hit the top 10 only twice: its first two releases — 1998’s “Behind the Front” and 2000’s “Bridging the Gap” — both missed the top 50. It was not until the group recruited Fergie for Elephunk in 2003 that it hit the big time. That album, powered by three top-40 singles, peaked at No. 14 and spent 106 weeks on the chart.

It was hard not to know that the Black Eyed Peas had a new album last week, thanks to heavy promotion from Target. The retailer carried an exclusive version of the album that featured additional tracks and flooded the airwaves with a commercial touting the new set.

Over on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart, the Peas debuted at No. 2 with “I Gotta Feeling” and held at No. 1 for an 11th week with “Boom Boom Pow.” It is the first time any act has occupied the top two slots on the Hot 100 with songs from the No. 1 album of the week since OutKast did it in February 2004, when “Hey Ya!” and “The Way You Move” were No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, while Speakerboxxx/The Love Below spent its seventh (and final) week atop the Billboard 200.

Last week’s albums champ, the Dave Matthews Band’s Big Whiskey and the GrooGrux King slipped to No. 2 in its second week with 128,000 copies sold. Eminem’s Relapse was down one at No. 3 with 87,000 copies, while “supergroup” Chickenfoot’s self-titled debut album was unchanged at No. 4 with 79,000 copies.

Latin quartet Aventura entered the Billboard 200 at No. 5 with Last. The disc sold 47,000 copies, the act’s best sales week ever.

Lady GaGa’s The Fame climbed two slots to No. 6, also with 47,000, while the Hannah Montana movie soundtrack slipped one to No. 7 with 46,000. Green Day’s 21st-Century Breakdown dropped three spots to No. 8 with 41,000 (down 21 percent).

Mos Def’s newest, Ecstatic, started at No. 9 with 39,000 — his second top 10 set. Former Pretty Ricky member Pleasure P’s solo debut, The Introduction of Marcus Cooper,” entered at No. 10 with just under 39,000.

Overall album sales totaled 6.34 million units, down 0.6 percent compared to the sum last week (6.39 million), but down 31.7 percent compared to the same sales week of 2008 (9.29 million).

Year to date album sales stand at 161.4 million, down 14 percent compared to the same total at this point last year (188.6 million).

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