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Rick Ross's 'Mastermind' outfoxes Pharrell's 'GIRL' on Billboard 200

Rapper Rick Ross of the U.S. performs during the MTV Africa Music Awards in Lagos December 11, 2010 file photo. REUTERS/Akintunde Akinleye
Rapper Rick Ross of the U.S. performs during the MTV Africa Music Awards in Lagos December 11, 2010 file photo. REUTERS/Akintunde Akinleye

By Piya Sinha-Roy

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Rapper Rick Ross beat fellow hip-hop star Pharrell Williams to the top of the Billboard 200 album chart on Wednesday, despite Pharrell's high-profile performance with leading film ladies at the Oscars.

Ross's "Mastermind" became his fifth No. 1 album after selling 179,000 copies in its first week, according to figures from Nielsen SoundScan.

Pharrell's "G I R L" sold 112,000 copies in its first week and entered the chart at No. 2. The release came after a month of high-profile performances from the singer at intimate parties and awards events, culminating in his singing his Oscar-nominated song "Happy" and spontaneously dancing with the actress nominees on the live Oscars telecast.

"Happy," the lead song from Oscar-nominated animated feature "Despicable Me 2," did retain its hold at No. 1 on Billboard's Digital Songs chart this week, selling 490,000 downloads and bringing its cumulative digital sales to more than 2.6 million units.

Both "Mastermind" and "G I R L" came in ahead of Disney's soundtrack to the animated princess tale "Frozen," which placed third on the chart, with sales of 100,000 this week. The album has sold 1.3 million copies since its release in November.

Other new entries on the top 10 of this week's Billboard 200 include "Glee" star Lea Michele's debut record "Louder" at No. 4, country music group Eli Young Band at No. 5 with "10,000 Towns," and R&B star Ashanti's "Braveheart" at No. 10.

Cumulative album sales for the week ending March 9 totaled 5 million units, down 9 percent from the comparable week in 2013, Billboard said.

(Reporting by Piya Sinha-Roy; Editing by Mary Milliken and Mohammad Zargham)

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