Madonna's new album has debuted at the top of the US album chart, making Hard Candy her seventh US chart-topper.

The number one opening of the new release makes the 4 Minutes star the second most successful female artist of all time across the Atlantic, with only Barbra Streisand having achieved more number one albums, with eight to her name.

With a reported 280,000 copies sold - 26 per cent of which were digital downloads, according to monitoring body Nielsen SoundScan - Madonna knocked last week's number one, Mariah Carey's E=MC2, into second spot.

Leona Lewis' Spirit continued to perform impressively, with only a 12 per cent drop in sales, while the majority of the top ten was made up of new entries.

R 'n' B artist Lyfe Jennings - who served nine years in jail for arson - enters at number four with Lyfe Change and Def Leppard achieved the 11th consecutive US top 20 album of their career with Songs from the Sparkle Lounge, which entered in fifth.

Hip-hop group The Roots grabbed sixth and Portishead's eagerly-awaited Third claiming the group's highest-ever US chart position in seventh.

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

1 Madonna: Hard Candy (-)
2 Mariah Carey: E=MC2 (1)
3 Leona Lewis: Spirit (2)
4 Lyfe Jennings: Lyfe Change (-)
5 Def Leppard: Songs from the Sparkle Lounge (-)
6 Roots: Rising Down (-)
7 Portishead: Third (-)
8 Mudcrutch: Mudcrutch (-)
9 Various Artists: Now 27 (6)
10 Tim Mcgraw: Greatest Hits Limited Edition (-)

08/05/2008 09:31:07