Eminem scores biggest debut of 2009 with Relapse

How big is Eminem? Big enough that his new album, Relapse, nabbed the No. 1 spot previously held by Green Day's 21st Century Breakdown.

In its debut week in the US, Relapse sold 608,000 copies, making it the strongest sales week of the year for any album, and the best since AC/DC's Black Ice bowed with 784,000 copies last October.

Relapse is the rap superstar's fifth album to debut atop the Billboard chart, and his first release since 2004's Encore - that set scored a whopping 711,000 in a truncated sales week after its release was pushed back to combat online leaks.

Big debuts are nothing new for Em

In 2000, The Marshall Mathers LP sold a jaw-dropping 1.76 million copies in its lead-off week.

While these figures are no doubt impressive - and Eminem is bound to hit No. 1 again this year when he drops Relapse 2 later this year - they pale in comparison to the good ol' days of 2000, before internet leaks and illegal downloading eroded CD sales.

In May of 2000, Eminem's second album, The Marshall Mathers LP, sold a jaw-dropping 1.76 million copies in its lead-off week.

Even so, 608,000 copies is nothing to sneeze at. Slim Shady is bound to be cracking a bottle to celebrate - we just hope it's ginger ale.

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