*Michael Jackson’s first posthumous studio album is in a tight race for the No. 1 spot on Billboard next week against reigning champ Susan Boyle and former queen Taylor Swift, according to early industry prognostications.

Jackson’s “Michael” could move around 200,000 to 225,000 by week’s end on Sunday, Dec. 19. But Boyle’s “The Gift” could also sell as many copies (if not more), as could Swift’s “Speak Now,” which is currently at No. 2. The Billboard 200 chart will be published on Wednesday.

Next week’s second-biggest debut will probably come from R. Kelly’s “Love Letter,” which is aiming for a start around 160,000 units. A year ago, the R&B star arrived at No. 4 with “Untitled,” shifting 114,000.

Diddy Dirty Money’s “Last Train to Paris” might roll into the top 15 with possibly 60,000 to 70,000. Diddy last took a bow on the list back in 2006 when his “Press Play” entered at No. 1 with 170,000.

Other new albums on tap for a significant debut next week include 2010 “American Idol” runner-up Crystal Bowersox’s “Farmer’s Daughter” (45,000 to 50,000), Tank’s “Now Or Never” (perhaps 40,000 to 45,000), and Ciara’s “Basic Instinct” (30,000 to 40,000).