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While J. Cole's Born Sinner was initially blocked from No. 1 on the Billboard 200, he celebrates his second No. 1 this week. In its third week on the chart, Born Sinner rises 2-1 with 58,000 sold (down 32%, according to Nielsen SoundScan).
The set spent its first two weeks at No. 2--first stuck behind an also-debuting Yeezus from Kanye West, and then lodged behind Wale's The Gifted a week ago. To date, Born Sinner has sold 439,000 copies, this week surpassing the cumulative sum of his original competition, Yeezus (431,000).
Albums rarely climb to No. 1, as opposed to debuting in that slot. Since the chart started using more exact Nielsen SoundScan sales data on May 25, 1991, the vast majority of No. 1 albums were chart-toppers because they debuted there. It's unusual for an album to rise to the top, as most titles have their best sales weeks during their debut frame. And many albums cannot sustain momentum after their debut--at least not enough to compete with newer albums.
Since SoundScan started powering the chart, there have been 583 albums that reached No. 1. Of those, only 13% (76 titles) did not debut at No. 1, including J. Cole's Born Sinner.