By Piya Sinha-Roy
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Country singer Garth Brooks stormed to the top of the weekly U.S. Billboard 200 album chart to claim top spot on Wednesday, ahead of a new debut from Britney Spears.
Brooks' boxed set, "Blame It All On My Roots," climbed from No. 3 to No. 1 with second week sales of 146,000 copies according to figures from Nielsen SoundScan. The box set contains six CDs and two DVDs and was released as an exclusive set at retailer Walmart over the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday weekend at a discounted price.
In comparison, Spears' latest album "Britney Jean" notched opening week sales of only 107,000 and came in at No. 4, her lowest album debut in a career spanning more than a decade and below industry projections of 115,000 to 120,000, according to Billboard. "Britney Jean" is the singer's eighth studio album, and features the lead single "Work B**ch."
Spears' album came behind last week's chart-topper, "Midnight Memories" by British boy band One Direction, which dropped to No. 2 this week with 117,000 copies, and Kelly Clarkson's holiday album "Wrapped in Red" at No. 3.
Spears was the only debut in the top ten of the Billboard 200 this week.
Overall album sales for the week ending December 8 rounded out to 7.1 million, down 16 percent from the comparable week in 2012, according to Billboard. Justin Timberlake's March release of the first part of "The 20/20 Experience" is the year's top-selling album, with more than 2.3 million copies sold.
(Reporting by Piya Sinha-Roy; Editing by Mary Milliken and David Brunnstrom)