SOURCE: Atlantic Records

Atlantic Records

March 16, 2011 14:04 ET

Lupe Fiasco Beams to the Top of the Billboard 200; "LASERS" Debuts at #1 Earning Major Acclaim While Becoming the Chicago MC's Highest Chart Debut to Date; "LASERS" Is Available Everywhere Now

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - March 16, 2011) -  1st & 15th/Atlantic recording artist Lupe Fiasco's highly anticipated third studio album, "LASERS" has debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 with 204,294 units sold. The album -- which includes the RIAA gold certified hit single, "The Show Goes On" -- becomes the rapper's highest selling and chart-ranking debut to date.

The Hip-Hop phenom, who won a Grammy Award in 2009 for "Best Urban/Alternative Performance" for "Daydreamin'", will celebrate the long awaited release of "LASERS" with a series of upcoming TV appearances in April. Lupe ushered in the album with two blockbuster performances of "The Show Goes On" on both Late Night With Jimmy Fallon and Lopez Tonight, as well as an in-depth interview with Tavis Smiley.

An extraordinarily gifted performer, Lupe heralded the release of "LASERS" with a long-sold-out show at New York City's Webster Hall on Monday, March 7th. Furthermore, he has just scheduled a number of additional live dates, including a series of concerts at colleges across the country and a two-night headlining set at New York City's famed Roseland Ballroom on April 24th and April 25th. Also on the itinerary is a performance at the annual New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, slated for May 6th.

Lupe's third full-length collection, "LASERS" has quickly received a bounty of glowing critical acclaim. Rolling Stone praised Fiasco by placing him "in a tradition that runs from Marley to M.I.A.: the soul rebel who refuses to believe righteous struggle has to be a grind," going on to applaud "his athletic, whiplash flow and rich imagination." The Chicago Tribune's Greg Kot praised such "layered, evocative tracks" as "the call-to-activism 'Words I Never Said,' the potent daydream 'All Black Everything,' the shattering 'Beautiful Lasers'" for "(blending) wrenching introspection and an undercurrent of anger with beautifully down-tempo music, perched somewhere between melancholy and despair." Perhaps Entertainment Weekly said it best in its "A-"-graded rave: "Simply put, 'LASERS' beams."

"LASERS" -- which also includes the provocative single, "Words I Never Said (Feat. Skylar Grey)," as well as such upcoming hits as "Never Forget You (Feat. John Legend)" and "Outta My Head (Feat. Trey Songz)" -- proved a pre-order sensation in the weeks leading up to its release. In collaboration with RedLaser, Lupe made the album available using leading mobile barcode scanning application RedLaser and a special QR Code featured on Lupe's website and official Twitter feed (@LupeFiasco). In addition, a viral event last month saw the QR Code projected onto a building at the world famous corner of Hollywood and Vine in Los Angeles as well as in New York City's Union Square. Thousands of fans were able to download the RedLaser application to their smartphones and scan the QR Code to order "LASERS," which allowed them to receive exclusive music and bonus content only available when pre-ordering the album with a mobile device. The program landed Lupe Fiasco's "LASERS" with the most successful urban pre-order campaign Atlantic Records has ever seen.

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