Kenny Chesney has claimed the top spot on the Billboard 200 album chart, it has been confirmed.

The country and western singer's new release Lucky Old Sun claimed the top spot with sales of 176,000 in its first week on release, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

Though the album ended TI's two-week reign at the top of the Billboard 200 and represents Chesney's fifth number one album, Lucky Old Sun's sales were less than half of the 387,000 copies shifted by his 2007 release Just Who I Am: Poets & Pirates.

The next highest new entry was somewhat of a surprise as Ray LaMontagne's third album, Gossip in the Grain, exceeded expectations to debut in third.

The singer-songwriter's highest-ever charting in the US - his last album Till the Sun Turns Black debuted at number 28 - owed much to digital downloads, holding the number one spot in that chart, with more than half of its first week sales coming online.

Country singer Lucinda Williams' new album Little Honey also performed well to open in ninth while Keane's third album Perfect Symmetry - currently number one in the UK - opened in an impressive seventh.

The top ten albums on the Billboard 200 are: (last week's position)

1 Kenny Chesney: Lucky Old Sun (-)
2 TI: Paper Trail (1)
3 Ray LaMontagne: Gossip in the Grain (-)
4 Metallica: Death Magnetic (2)
5 Jennifer Hudson: Jennifer Hudson (4)
6 Kid Rock: Rock 'n' Roll Jesus (7)
7 Keane: Perfect Symmetry (-)
8 Ne-Yo: Year of the Gentleman (8)
9 Lucinda Williams: Little Honey (-)
10 James Taylor: Covers (10)

23/10/2008 12:40:19