It took a group effort by such heavy hitters as Outkast, Hoobastank, Beyoncé and D12 to boot Ashlee Simpson from the top of the Billboard 200 albums chart.
Contributions from those artists, as well as Jessica Simpson, Britney Spears, Lenny Kravitz, Christina Milian and Chingy, helped the 20-track compilation Now That's What I Call Music! 16 outsell all other albums last week. The latest edition in the 6-year-old series sold more than 504,000 copies, according to SoundScan, giving it the fifth-highest first-week total of any album released this year.
Only Usher's Confessions, Norah Jones' Feels Like Home, Kenny Chesney's When the Sun Goes Down and D12's D12 World had better opening weeks.
Ashlee Simpson's debut, Autobiography, takes a step back to #2, having sold more than 269,000 copies during its second week in stores, followed by the chart debut of Taking Back Sunday's Where You Want to Be. The upstate New York emo quintet's second album, the follow-up to 2002's Tell All Your Friends, sold more than 163,000 copies to secure its #3 position.
Where You Want to Be is the best selling and highest charting album released by Chicago indie label Victory Records after one week. The previous record holder was Atreyu's second album, The Curse, which landed at #34 in early July with more than 34,000 copies sold.
One of the sounds of summer has Fat Joe and his Terror Squad leaning back to #7. The second album by the hip-hop collective, True Story — currently getting love for the Lil Jon-produced "Lean Back" remix featuring Mase and Eminem — sold more than 96,000 copies last week.
Thanks to the hot single "Turn Me On," R&B singer Kevin Lyttle's self-titled debut trails Fat Joe's crew by less than 12,000 copies to come in at #8 and round out the chart's top-10 debuts.
Elsewhere in the top 10, Jimmy Buffett's country co-op License to Chill falls two to #4 (with more than 116,000 copies sold); Usher's Confessions drops one to #5 (106,000) while cracking the 5 million mark in total sales; Gretchen Wilson's Here for the Party takes a step back to #6 (97,000); Lloyd Banks' The Hunger for More slips three to #9 (76,000); and Big & Rich's Horse of a Different Color retreats one place to #10 (75,000).
Maroon 5's Songs About Jane has found renewed momentum as the band's tour with John Mayer gets into full swing. In the past month, the 2-year-old LP has been steadily rising up the chart, beginning with a #38 spot for the week ending July 4 and culminating in its current #17 position, a three-spot improvement from the previous week. The 21 percent jump in weekly sales comes as the disc's third single, "She Will Be Loved," picks up steam at radio.
Pearl Jam's latest concert album, Live at Benaroya Hall Oct. 22 2003, a benefit show for the YouthCare organization that featured covers of Bob Dylan's "Masters of War," Shel Silverstein's "25 Minutes to Go" and Victoria Williams' "Crazy Mary" bows at #18. Life After Cash Money, rapper B.G.'s second album for a new label, debuts at #22.
A rebroadcast of the "Oprah Winfrey Show" episode that featured George Michael helped his latest album, Patience, jump 93 spots to #51, the chart's greatest gainer. With a 166 percent rise in sales, the 11-week-old LP has now sold more than 278,000 copies.
Other notable debuts include Canadian country singer Terri Clark's Greatest Hits at #14; Gavin DeGraw's Chariot-Stripped, a reissue of his debut, Chariot, with bonus material, at #56; Otep's House of Secrets at #92; the Scissor Sisters' self-titled debut at #102; Kittie's Until the End at #105; the Old 97's' Drag It Up at #120; Marc Anthony's Valio La Pena at #122; and Letter Kills' The Bridge at #130.