Rick Ross has a big bow on the Billboard 200 with ‘God Forgives, I Don’t’

Rick Ross makes his fourth trip to the summit of the Billboard 200 as “God Forgives, I Don”t” bows at No. 1 with sales o f 218,000, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

In this era of overall declining album sales, Ross is one of the few artists who has seen his opening week sales grow increasingly larger.  As Billboard notes, Ross got a hand from Amazon, which priced the title at $5, deeply discounting it, but still pricing it above the $3.99 cut-off SoundScan requires to could as a sale.

The only other debut in the Top 10 belongs to Joss Stone with “The Soul Sessions, Vol. 2,” which sells 24,000. Check out our review here.

Zac Brown Band”s “Uncaged,” which logged two weeks at No. 1, slips to No. 2 with sales of 39,000.  Justin Bieber”s “Believe” soars 6-3, while One Direction”s “Up All Night” jumps 7-4.

Amazon factors into some other albums we see on the chart in the Top 10:The Bee Gees” “Number Ones” reenters the chart at No. 5 based on a 99 cent promotion by the retailer (SoundScan allows deeply discounted album sales to count more than six weeks after release). The title sells 32,000 copies, up a whopping 3,049% from the previous week.  It also means the Bee Gees are back in the Top 10 for the first time since 1983.

On the bottom half of the Top 10, Nas”s “Life is Good” drops 2-6, “Kidz Bop 22” drops 5-7, Adele”s 21 moves up one spot to No. 8 as does Maroon 5″s “Overexposed” to No. 9.

Overall album sales were 5.24 million units, up 7% from last week, but down 8% compared with the same week in 2011.  Year-to-date sales are down 3%.