By Keith Caulfield
LOS ANGELES (Billboard) - Britney Spears is poised to score her sixth No. 1 album on the U.S. pop chart next week, although its sales will be sharply lower than for her previous release.
"Femme Fatale," released on Tuesday, is on course to sell between 280,000 and 300,000 copies by week's end on April 3, industry prognosticators suggest.
It will likely rank as the second-largest sales week of the year after English pop singer Adele's "21" bowed with 352,000 earlier in March.
The Billboard 200 chart will be published on Wednesday. Chris Brown is the current chart champ.
Spears' last studio release, 2008's "Circus," blasted in at No. 1 with 506,000 copies. In all, five of Spears' six studio albums have topped the chart; only her fifth, "Blackout," fell short, starting at No. 2 with 290,000 copies in 2007.
A sixth No. 1 album would place Spears in rare air, tying her for the third-most No. 1s among women with Mariah Carey and Janet Jackson. Only Barbra Streisand (nine) and Madonna (seven) have earned more No. 1 albums.
Spears won't be the only big news on the Billboard 200 next week. Rapper Wiz Khalifa is looking to enter at No. 2 with his first major label album, "Rolling Papers," with perhaps 200,000 to 225,000 copies. Other new entries will include Radiohead's "The King of Limbs," Snoop Dogg's "Doggumentary" and Mary Mary's "Something Big."