Linkin Park and Trey Songz race for chart honors

Rock band Linkin Park is in a close race with R&B singer Trey Songz for top honors on next week’s U.S. pop album chart.

Industry prognosticators suggest that Linkin Park’s fourth studio set, “A Thousand Suns,” could sell as many as 250,000 to 260,000 copies by week’s end on Sunday. Songz’s “Passion, Pain & Pleasure” is looking to move between 230,000 and 250,000.

Sales data will be released on Wednesday. The current chart champ is pop singer Sara Bareilles, who sold 89,500 copies of her second album “Kaleidoscope Heart,” during the week ended September 12.

Linkin Park reached the top on three other occasion: with 2003’s “Meteora,” its 2004 “Collision Course” mash-ups set with Jay-Z, and its last studio effort, 2007’s “Minutes to Midnight,” which kicked off with 623,000 units.

Songz’s last album, 2009’s “Ready,” debuted and peaked at No. 3 with 131,000 units; it has so far shifted 807,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

Other albums in the hunt for a top 10 debut next week include country singer Jamey Johnson’s “Guitar Song,” Weezer’s Epitaph Records label debut “Hurley,” the Killers frontman Brandon Flowers’ “Flamingo” and former Led Zeppelin frontman Robert Plant’s “Band of Joy.”