Linkin Park's Mike Shinoda. (Mark Davis / Getty Images )
Linkin Park, the hard rock band from Aguora Hills, has proved to have quite the staying power. The band's fifth studio album, "Living Things," has placed the group in a familiar spot: No. 1 on the U.S. pop charts. "Living Things" sold 223,000 copies in its first seven days of release, according to Nielsen SoundScan, to just narrowly become the country's bestselling album this week.
Linkin Park rose from the ashes of the dreaded rap-rock scene of the late '90s (think Limp Bizkit) and melded electronic atmospheres with hard rock. It's a sound that has gradually become more in vogue, thanks to dance music encroaching into the mainstream. "Living Things" is the band's fifth effort to top the chart, although Linkin Park had a little help with the 2004 EP-length release, "Collision Course," a MTV-commissioned mash-up with Jay-Z.
The sales figures for "Living Things" aren't all that removed from Linkin Park's prior effort, 2010's "A Thousand Suns," which opened with 241,000 copies sold. Go back a little further, however, and it's clear that returns for the band, as with many in the music business, are increasingly diminishing. In 2007, Linkin Park's "Minutes to Midnight" debuted at No. 1 with more than 623,000 copies sold.
Coming in just behind Linkin Park was the latest from Maroon 5, "Overexposed." The fourth from the ultra-slick L.A. pop band, whose frontman, Adam Levine, is a judge on NBC's "The Voice," sold 222,000 copies to land at No. 2. That's not the band's best sales ever week on the chart -- 2007's "It Won't Be Soon Before Long" opened with 429,000 copies sold, according to Billboard -- but marks an improvement over 2010's "Hands All Over," which bowed with 142,000 copies.
Last week's chart topper, teen superstar Justin Bieber, drifts to No. 3 with his latest, "Believe." The latter sold 115,000 copies, a 69% dip from the 374,000 it sold when it debuted at No. 1 last week. To date, Bieber's "Believe" has tallied 489,000 albums sold.
Bieber's pal and labelmate Carly Rae Jepsen, meanwhile, continues to have the country's top-selling download. Her "Call Me Maybe" is No. 1 again after selling 251,000 downloads. "Call Me Maybe" has been purchased via download more than 4 million times.
Two other newcomers land inside the top 10 this week, led by the hip-hop compilation set "Maybach Music Group Presents: Self Made 2." The collection, which features songs from Meek Mill, Wale and Rick Ross, among others, entered at No. 4 with more than 97,000 copies sold.
Crooner R. Kelly debuted at No. 5 with his latest, "Write Me Back." The title sold just shy of 68,000 copies. While this is the 14th album of Kelly's to make the top 10 on the Billboard charts, it represents something of a low for the artist. It is his first effort to sell fewer than 100,000 copies in its debut week since the early '90s, reports Billboard.
Also new this week is the Offspring's "Days Go By," at No. 12 with 24,000 copies sold, and reality show vocalists Pentatonic, whose "PTX. Volume 1" sold 18,000 copies.
Linkin Park rockets toward 'A Thousand Suns'