Beyoncé Knowles has made it as an independent woman.
The Destiny's Child singer graces the top spot on the new Billboard 200 albums chart with her long-awaited solo debut, Dangerously in Love (see "Beyonce Pushes Up Release Date Of Solo Debut"). Driven by the hit single "Crazy in Love," featuring Jay-Z, the album sold more than 316,000 copies last week, according to SoundScan figures released Wednesday (July 2).
If Michelle Branch could have just one more birthday wish (she turned 20 on Wednesday), it might be to place one notch higher on the chart — though she isn't exactly complaining about Hotel Paper's #2 debut (see "Michelle Branch Ignores Sophomore Jinx Like She Ignored Death Threats"). The singer's second album fared far better than her debut, The Spirit Room, which came in at #97 with only 15,000 copies sold in its first week two years ago. The Spirit Room went on to sell more than 1.8 million copies.
It looks like Southern rappers the Three 6 Mafia have a hit with Da Unbreakables. The collective's latest album debuts at #4 with more than 94,000 copies sold on the heels of the single "Ridin' Spinners."
The rest of the top 10 includes: Luther Vandross' Dance With My Father, which has sold nearly three-quarters of a million copies in just three weeks, at #3 (119,000); Metallica's St. Anger dropping two spots but cracking a million, at #5 (87,000); 50 Cent's Get Rich or Die Tryin' holding at #6 (78,000); Monica's After the Storm forfeiting its #1 position and dropping to #7 (78,000); Evanescence's Fallen sticking to its #8 slot (69,000); Norah Jones' Come Away With Me dropping three to #9 (67,000); and Annie Lennox's Bare dropping five spots to bringing up the rear (66,000).
While Beyoncé's LP is #1 with record buyers, her "Crazy in Love" is tops with downloaders, logging 1,497 transactions from legit Internet sites iTunes, PressPlay, MusicNet, Listen.com and Liquid Audio, according to SoundScan's new online tracking data. Coldplay also appear to be hot among digital-music mavens, with 13 tracks in the top 200, followed by Steely Dan, who have nine.
Perhaps people bringing their iPods to the pool or beach are responsible for Sir Mix-a-Lot's "Baby Got Back" receiving 168 downloads; and apparently 10 more people prefer Supertramp's "Take the Long Way Home," downloaded 130 times, to their "The Logical Song," which only had 120. Complete albums downloaded through those sites are now also calculated by SoundScan, and the results contribute to an album's total sales.
The soundtrack to "Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle," featuring the single "Feel Good Time" by Pink and new collaborations from Nas and Pharrell Williams as well as Nickelback and Kid Rock, lands at #14 after selling just under 50,000 copies (see "New Tracks From Nas, Pink, Nickelback On 'Charlie's Angels' Disc"). And after 14 years in the game, influential hip-hop duo Gang Starr's sixth album places at #18 with more than 48,000 copies sold.
With remix help from Busta and Fabolous, Lumidee is indeed Almost Famous with her debut album landing at 22, and former indie-rock queen Liz Phair, toting a reinvented image and a saccharine pop single written by Avril song-scripters the Matrix, finds herself at #27 with her self-titled fourth album (see "Gang Starr Returning With Snoop Dogg, Jadakiss, Fat Joe").
Other notable debuts include socially conscious rappers Black Eyed Peas' Elephunk at #33 (see "Black Eyed Peas Exhibit New Breed Of Elephunk On Upcoming LP"); campus faves Guster's Keep It Together at #37; Blu Cantrell's second melancholically titled LP, Bittersweet, at #37; De-Loused in the Comatorium, the debut album by the post-At the Drive-In project the Mars Volta, at #39; Seattle rockers Vendetta Red's Between the Never and the Now at #101; Selena's Greatest Hits at #117; and KRS-One's Kristyles at #186 (see "Angry At 'Devious' Record Label, KRS-One Halts Sales Of New LP").