AS the first anniversary of his sentence for murder approaches, deejay Vybz Kartel earns his best showing to date on Billboard's Reggae Album chart.

Viking (Vybz is King), an 11-track set produced by Linton 'TJ' White, debuts at number three on that table. It is the controversial artiste's fifth title on the Billboard chart.

White, who has produced hits for Kartel including Touch a Button, Business, Conjugal Visit (featuring Spice), Without Money and Ordinary Servant, is not surprised at reception to the album.

"All the songs are brand new and people want new songs. These are exclusive that have never been released," White told the Jamaica Observer, adding: "At one point we had six of the songs on the iTunes charts at the same time."

Tracks from Viking (Vybz is King) include Dancehall, Gon Get Better, Enchanting, Time, Volcano, Facebook People and Unstoppable.

It bears the TJ Records/Adidjahiem Records/Short Boss Muzik imprints and is distributed by 21st Hapilos.

Kartel's previous entries on the Billboard Reggae Album chart are 2011's Kingston Story which peaked at number seven; Vybz Kartel Roots & Culture: The Voice of the Jamaican Ghetto, which reached number six in 2013; Kartel Forever: Trilogy, which stalled at number 11 in 2013; and last year's Reggae Love Songs & Other Things which got to number seven.

The 39-year-old Kartel (Adidja Palmer) was sentenced to life in prison on April 4 2014 for the August 2011 murder of Clive 'Lizard' Williams. He will be eligible for parole after 35 years.

However, his popularity among the youth and hardcore dancehall fans remains strong. He won four awards at the recent Youth View Awards.

White has also had success on Billboard charts. His reworking of the Showtime 'riddim', called Unfinished Business, scored hits on the R&B Hop Hip Songs chart with Serani's No Games and Mavado's So Special.

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