50 Cent Returns To #1 As Fabolous, Evanescence Debut High

Grammy girl Norah Jones falls to #2 after selling 330,000 copies of Come Away With Me.

Now that the Grammy glow has started to fade, this year’s winners have begun sliding back down the Billboard 200 albums chart, making way for Queens rapper 50 Cent to be king again.

His Get Rich or Die Tryin’ sold nearly 360,000 copies last week to reclaim the top spot on the new chart, according to SoundScan data released Wednesday (March 12). Though those numbers reflect a sales dip of more than 50,000 copies from the previous week, it was more than enough to oust last week’s #1, Grammy-sweeper Norah Jones (see “It’s Norah’s Night — Jones’ Music Earns Eight Grammys” ).

Jones may be settling back to reality, but she’s not about to go away. Her elegant jazz-pop album, Come Away With Me, sold another 330,000 copies — about half as many as the previous week — to take the #2 slot.

Brooklyn rapper Fabolous is right behind her with the chart’s highest debut. His second record, Street Dreams, sold more than 180,000 copies, thanks in no small part to the hit single “This Is My Party” (see “Fabolous Gets Payback From Missy, Lil’ Mo For New Album” ).

R. Kelly’s Chocolate Factory slides one notch to #4 after selling around 168,000 copies in its third week. The singer’s strong chart position seems to indicate that fans are standing behind him despite sexual abuse and child pornography charges. Right behind him on the chart is Lil’ Kim, whose first disc in three years, La Bella Mafia, debuts at #5 after moving more than 166,000 copies last week.

Grammy winners the Dixie Chicks drop two slots to #6 on sales of nearly 146,000 copies — a more than 55,000-unit decline from the week before. Other Grammy notables will experience comparable slumps. John Mayer drops seven places to #15 (55,500 copies sold), Coldplay dip three to #16 (55,000), Eminem tumbles nine to #21 (48,000), Nelly drops 12 to #30 (40,000) and Bruce Springsteen plummets 32 to #59 (20,000).

One of the biggest surprises on the chart comes from the female-fronted Little Rock, Arkansas, band Evanescence, whose heavy, atmospheric debut, Fallen, bows at #7 with more than 141,000 copies sold.

Kid Rock’s Cocky clocks in at #8 on sales of more than 104,000 copies — not bad for a record that’s been out for 68 weeks and was considered dead before being revived by his duet with Sheryl Crow, “Picture,” which is the top-selling single in the country.

Two soundtracks round out the top 10, with “Chicago” at #9 (83,000) and “Cradle 2 the Grave” at #10 (70,000).

The largest climbers on the new chart include the Bee Gees’ Their Greatest Hits: The Record, which jumps 30 spots to #100 thanks to interest generated by the Grammys tribute performed by ‘NSYNC, and Floetry’s Floetic, up 28 positions to #112; the group is currently on tour with Common and Gang Starr.

Other albums of note include pop-punks the Ataris’ fifth disc, So Long Astoria, which debuts at #24 on sales of more than 33,000 copies, and Hootie & the Blowfish’s self-titled comeback bid, which bows at #46 on sales of more than 25,000 copies.

The largest drop of the week belongs to American Hi-Fi, whose second disc, The Art of Losing, plummets 86 positions to #168.

For a feature interview with 50 Cent, check out “50 Cent: Money To Burn.”