Timberlake album's debut sales boom
Justin Timberlake's comeback album has sold nearly one million units in its first week.
Nielsen SoundScan said the singer's third album, The 20/20 Experience, had moved 968,000 units - the 19th in Nielsen's 22-year history that has sold more than 900,000 in its debut week.
The 20/20 Experience is Timberlake's third album and the follow-up to his multi-platinum, Grammy-winning 2006 album, FutureSex/LoveSounds. The new CD features the pop hit Suit & Tie.
"The numbers are pleasantly surprising," said Tom Corson, president and chief operating officer of RCA Records, which released Timberlake's album.
The label had projected that 20/20 would sell 500,000 to 600,000 units, Mr Corson said.
Timberlake, 31, was strategic about promoting his comeback effort. He performed at the Grammy Awards, hosted and hit the stage on the TV comedy show Saturday Night Live and spent an entire week on the TV talk show Late Night With Jimmy Fallon.
The singer also partnered with Target for the album's deluxe edition and 20/20 streamed on iTunes a week before it was released.
Timberlake came up with the idea of a week-long stint himself, Fallon said.
"I think he mentioned it to me like a year ago that he's working on something and wanted to do a week on our show," he said.
20/20 is an unconventional album that features a mesh of R&B, soul, pop and futuristic sounds. The 10 tracks average seven minutes each. Mr Corson believes Timberlake's key to promoting the album was "less is more".