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Cole outsells Kanye, album climbs to No. 1 on Billboard chart

By Piya Sinha-Roy

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Hip-hop artist J. Cole's album "Born Sinner" outsold rapper Kanye West's "Yeezus" and Wale's "The Gifted" to climb to No. 1 on the Billboard 200 album chart on Wednesday, notching Cole's second chart-topping record.

"Born Sinner," released on June 18, sold 58,000 copies last week, according to figures from Nielsen SoundScan, and made the relatively rare climb from No. 2 to No. 1 this week.

Billboard said there have been only 76 albums in chart history that did not debut at No. 1 but rose to the top in subsequent weeks on the album chart.

"Born Sinner" has sold 439,000 copies to date, outselling West's "Yeezus," which debuted at No. 1 three weeks ago but has only amassed cumulative sales of 431,000 copies.

Wale's "The Gifted," which knocked West off the top spot last week, dropped to No. 2 this week with sales of 50,000. "Yeezus" fell to No. 3, selling 39,000 copies.

Only one new album cracked the Top 10 in the Billboard 200 this week. R&B singer Joe landed at No. 6 with his latest "Doubleback: Evolution of R&B."

Overall album sales for the week ending July 7 totaled 4.9 million, down 16 percent from the comparable week in 2012, according to Billboard.

Next week's chart is likely to get a shake-up from Jay-Z's new album "Magna Carta... Holy Grail," which is expected to top the Billboard 200 with sales projections of 350,000 to 400,000 copies in its first week.

(Reporting by Piya Sinha-Roy; Editing by Mary Milliken and Xavier Briand)

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