Initial Nielsen SoundScan reports indicate Jay-Z is expected to have the number one album in the country next week. Despite his refusal to make the album available on iTunes, American Gangster has unweighted sales of 179,000 through the close of business yesterday (Nov. 7). The sales are the third highest figure on the Wednesday Building Chart behind Kanye West's Graduation (437,000) and 50 Cent's Curtis (310,000).
Another number one album would make 10 for Jay-Z, which would move him into a tie with Elvis Presley. The Beatles have the most number one albums with 19.
SoundScan's Wednesday Building Chart is compiled of sales from Trans World Entertainment, Best Buy, Circuit City, iTunes, Border's, Target, Anderson Merchandisers and Handleman Co. It is estimated that the companies represent 79% of the U.S. retail music market. The Building Chart was created in September, 2007 to give unweighted sales figures from the leading retailers through the close of business each Tuesday, and figures are then posted at 5:00 p.m. EST each Wednesday.