Linkin Park & Maroon 5 Aiming for Top of Billboard 200

Linkin Park's new "Living Things" album seems on course for a No. 1 debut on the Billboard 200 next week, with Maroon 5's "Overexposed" headed for a No. 2 arrival.

Industry sources suggest "Living Things" could sell around 220,000 by the end of the tracking week on Sunday, July 1, while "Overexposed" will shift around 190,000 to 210,000.

The new Billboard 200 chart's top 10 will be revealed on the morning of Wednesday, July 4.

"Living Things" could mark the fifth chart-topper for Linkin Park, who also hit the No. 1 slot with 2003's "Meteora," 2004's "MTV Ultimate Mash-Ups Presents: Collision Course" (with Jay-Z), 2007's "Minutes to Midnight" and 2010's "A Thousand Suns." Of the act's four previous studio efforts, the only one to miss the No. 1 slot was its debut, 2000's "Hybrid Theory," which peaked at No. 2.

Linkin Park's last studio set, "A Thousand Suns," bowed atop the list with 241,000, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

As for Maroon 5, "Overexposed" follows 2010's "Hands All Over," which debuted and peaked at No. 2 with 142,000. If "Overexposed" starts with the forecasted 190,000, it will mark the group's best sales week since 2007. That's when "It Won't Be Soon Before Long" launched at No. 1 with 429,000.

"Overexposed" is led by the single "Payphone," which rises 3-2 on the Billboard Hot 100 this week and holds its bullet at No. 3 on the Radio Songs tally.

Other albums aiming for top 10 debuts next week include R. Kelly's "Write Me Back" and the "Maybach Music Group Presents: Self Made, Vol. 2" compilation. R. Kelly's set may move around 70,000 to 80,000 while the "Self Made" set could sell 80,000 or so.

Peter Oberth
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