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Ed Sheeran scores first No. 1 album on U.S. Billboard chart

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - British singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran's scored his first top album on the weekly U.S. Billboard 200 chart on Wednesday as "x" easily lapped the competition selling 210,000 copies, according to figures from Nielsen SoundScan.

"x" is the 23-year-old's second album and sales have been helped by the success of the single "Sing," which was produced by Pharrell Williams and features the "Happy" singer as well.

The No. 2 album this week, "In the Lonely Hour" from fellow British singer-songwriter Sam Smith, sold 67,000 copies.

The last time two British solo artists were No. 1 and 2 on the U.S. album chart was in 1993, when albums by Eric Clapton and Sting were in the top spots, Billboard said.

Rapper G-Eazy's "These Things Happen" sold 46,000 copies to debut at No. 3 on the chart. Last week's top album, pop singer Lana Del Rey's "Ultraviolence," fell to fourth, while the soundtrack to the animated Disney film "Frozen" was fifth - its 28th consecutive week in the top five.

Two other new releases in the top 10 this week were rockers Mastodon's "Once More 'Round the Sun" at No. 6 and veteran jam-rock band Phish's "Fuego" at No. 7.

Sam Smith's song "Stay with Me" topped the digital songs chart with 211,000 downloads, beating out last week's top song "Rude" from Canadian reggae fusion band Magic! by 1,000 downloads.

Total album sales for the week ended June 29 were 4.3 million, a 14 percent decline compared with the same week last year, Billboard said. Overall year-to-date album sales are 120.9 million, a 15 percent decrease from the same period last year.

(Reporting by Eric Kelsey; Editing by Mary Milliken and Lisa Shumaker)

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