Despite Leaks, Lil Wayne Album Selling Strong

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The recently-released Lil Wayne album could push past 900,000 during its first week, according to projections circulating Wednesday.

First-day estimates landed at 423,000, per data compiled by Nielsen Soundscan.  That rivals broader, full-week totals from the top-selling albums of the year, specifically Mariah Carey’s E=MC2 (463,000) and Usher’s Here I Stand (433,000).  The Lil Wayne album, Tha Carter III, was leaked earlier this month by a member of the mixtape community.

The deliberate action was a retaliation for sharp comments Lil Wayne issued against mixtape deejays, a group the rapper accused of unfairly profiting from his music.  The leak was viewed as a blow to the rapper, though the strong first-day figures suggest minimal impact, and perhaps a pre-release boost.  Meanwhile, Wayne could surpass a recent sales tally accomplished by Kanye West, who sold 956,000 first-week copies of Graduation last year.

Story by news analyst Alexandra Osorio.