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Black Keys beat Michael Jackson to Billboard 200 peak

Black Keys' singer-guitarist Dan Auerbach
Photo by Janette Pellegrini/Getty Images

Michael Jackson may have a hit song called “Beat It,” but this time around it was the Black Keys who did the beating. The duo’s latest album, Turn Blue, outsold the King of Pop’s posthumous release, Xscape, last week to claim the No. 1 spot on the new Billboard 200 album chart. Nielsen SoundScan says the Keys opened with 164,000 copies sold, while Jackson started with 157,000 – good enough for the No. 2 spot.

This marks the Black Keys’ very first chart topper. But Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney have been headed in that direction ever since they released their breakout disc Brothers in 2010. That album debuted at No. 3, while their last studio effort – 2011’s El Camino – bowed at No. 2. El Camino, however, did outsell Turn Blue, moving 206,000 copies in its opening frame.

But the Black Keys’ visit to the top of the charts isn’t expected to last too long. Industry sources say Coldplay should easily take over the No. 1 slot next week with Ghost Stories, which is expected to sell between 350,000 and 375,000 copies before the tracking week comes to an end this Sunday (May 25). That would be the biggest debut of 2014 so far, and would give Chris Martin and company their fourth consecutive chart-topping studio album.

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