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The Independent Albums chart (previously titled Top Independent Albums[when?]) ranks the highest-selling independent music albums and extended plays (EPs) in the United States, as compiled by Nielsen SoundScan and published weekly by Billboard magazine. It is used to list artists who are not signed to major labels. Rankings are compiled by point-of-purchase sales obtained by Nielsen, and from legal music downloads from a variety of online music stores. The chart began in the week of December 2, 2000.
The top 25 positions are currently published through the Billboard website, with further chart positions available through a paid subscription to Billboard.biz. As with all Billboard charts, albums appearing on the Independent chart may also concurrently appear on the Billboard 200, the main chart published based solely on sales, as well as any of the other Billboard chart. In addition, exclusive album titles which are only sold through individual retail sites may also be included in the chart, following a revised chart policy announced on November 7, 2007.
Since 2002, Billboard.biz has annually published an end-of-year list of the top 50 best selling independent albums. Billboard also independently announced the highest selling album for 2001. Lil Jon & the East Side Boyz have topped this chart three times since its inception, twice with their 2002 album Kings of Crunk.