By Piya Sinha-Roy
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Justin Timberlake held onto the top spot of the Billboard 200 album chart on Wednesday, beating competition from new albums by rapper Lil Wayne and country singer Blake Shelton.
Timberlake's chart-topping "The 20/20 Experience," which features the hit single "Suit & Tie," sold 318,000 copies in its second week, according to figures from Nielsen SoundScan.
Since its March 19 debut, Timberlake's album has sold 1.29 million copies in the United States, making it the biggest-selling album of 2013 so far.
Timberlake, 32, held off rapper Lil Wayne's latest record "I Am Not a Human Being II," which sold 217,000 copies.
The Easter holiday, which gave people more time to shop, bolstered the strong sales of this week's top three albums on the Billboard 200 chart, said Jim Donio, president of the National Association of Recording Merchandisers.
"While albums and tracks both remain down year-over-year, Timberlake's continued strong performance, the infusion of new blood toward the top of the chart, and the upcoming Record Store Day event on April 20th bode well for the weeks ahead," Donio said in a statement.
Overall album sales for the week ending March 31 topped 6.5 million, up 6 percent from the same week in 2012, and bringing 2013's cumulative U.S. album sales tally to more than 74 million.
This week's top 10 albums include seven new debuts. "The Voice" judge Shelton landed at No. 3 with "Based on a True Story" with sales of 199,000, logging his best sales week in his career.
Pop group OneRepublic came in at No. 4 with its third studio album "Native," while veteran country music singer Alan Jackson rounded out the top 5 with his gospel album "Precious Memories Volume II."
British electro-rock group Depeche Mode entered the chart at No. 6 with "Delta Machine" and New York rockers The Strokes capped off the top 10 with "Comedown Machine."
On the Digital songs chart, which monitors sales of digital single downloads, pop singer Pink landed at No. 1 with "Just Give Me a Reason," featuring FUN. frontman Nate Ruess, selling 286,000 copies.
Rapper Macklemore and producer Ryan Lewis' "Thrift Shop" held at No. 2 with 282,000 copies and indie rockers Imagine Dragons soared to No. 3 with their latest single, "Radioactive."
(Reporting By Piya Sinha-Roy; Editing by Jill Serjeant and Mohammad Zargham)
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