Sales of Timberlake’s new album beat expectations in first week

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Justin Timberlake’s first album since 2006 made a bumper U.S. debut, selling an unexpectedly better 968,000 copies in the first week since its release, according to figures on Tuesday from Nielsen SoundScan.

“The 20/20 Experience” gave Timberlake, 32, the top spot on this week’s Billboard 200 album chart and marked the singer’s best solo effort yet.

The heavily-promoted release from the former N’Sync boy band singer had been expected to sell about 750,000 copies in its first week.

But after warm reviews and fan fever, the album sold almost 300,000 copies more than the first week sales for Timberlake’s last release – 2006’s hit album “FutureSex/LoveSounds” – despite an overall decline in album sales in recent years.

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