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Sales Slide for Beyonce's New Chart-Topper

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(Reuters) - R&B singer Beyonce went to No. 1 on the U.S. pop album chart with her fourth consecutive release on Wednesday, although its sales were the lowest of her solo career.

Her new album "4" sold 310,000 copies during the week ended July 3, according to tracking firm Nielsen SoundScan -- about the same amount as the next four albums combined.

Her previous release, the double-disc "I Am ... Sasha Fierce," sold 482,000 copies during its first week of sale in November 2010, fueled by the hits "If I Were a Boy" and "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)."

Her first solo outing away from Destiny's Child, "Dangerously in Love," started with 317,000 in 2003, while 2006's "B-Day" opened with 541,000.

The new album has not yet had the benefit of a hit single, with "Run the World (Girls)" stalling at No. 29 on Billboard magazine's Hot 100 singles chart. It is now at No. 84.

Executives at her Sony Music label have been on the counter-attack in recent days after the album leaked on June 7 and fans took to the Web to give it a lukewarm reception.

Elsewhere on the album chart, English pop singer Adele's "21" rebounded one place to No. 2 in its 19th week, with 91,500 copies. Its tally stands at 2.5 million copies, easily making it the biggest album of the year.

Rapper Big Sean's debut release "Finally Famous: The Album" came in at No. 3 with 87,000 copies.

Disney starlet Selena Gomez, currently in theaters with the teen comedy "Monte Carlo," arrived at No. 4 with sales of 78,000 for "When the Sun Goes Down," an album on which she shares credit with her band the Scene. Their previous set, "A Year Without Rain," opened at No. 4 with 66,200 last September.

Last week's champ, R&B singer Jill Scott, fell to No. 5 with "Light of the Sun" (54,800).

"American Idol" accounted for the two other newcomers in the top 10. Season 7 winner David Cook debuted at No. 7 with his second album "This Loud Morning" (45,800 copies). It marked a sharp drop from his self-titled debut, which arrived at No. 3 with 280,000 copies in the same week as Beyonce's previous album.

Reigning champ Scotty McCreery came in at No. 10 with the Walmart-exclusive EP "American Idol Season 10: Scotty McCreery" (40,400). A full-length album, released immediately after his victory in May, debuted at No. 12 with 23,000 copies.

Filling out the top 10, country singer Jason Aldean's "My Kinda Party" (47,800) rose four to No. 6 in its 35th week, talent contest winner Jackie Evancho's "Dream With Me" (43,900) fell four to No. 8 in its third week, and the Eminem side project "Hell: the Sequel" (42,200) fell three to No. 9, also in its third week.

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