Perhaps it's fitting that Omarion's left bicep is covered with a giant tattoo of an "O" capped by a crown ... after all, he is the king of the charts.
The former B2K heartthrob's debut solo album, O, sold more than 182,000 copies to take the top spot on next week's Billboard albums chart, according to SoundScan. While his debut managed to best the opening numbers of his former group's self-titled first album, which came in at #2 and sold more than 108,000 copies in March 2002, he wasn't able to beat the first-week numbers of B2K's final studio LP, Pandemonium!, which sold more than 194,000 copies when it bowed in December 2002.
Coming in a distant second on next week's chart is Ray Charles' Genius Loves Company, the duets album that earned the legendary soul singer eight Grammy awards. Last week's #1 record still managed to ride whatever remains of that Grammy buzz — selling more than 109,000 copies — but it did suffer a 51 percent drop in sales from the previous week.
Green Day are next at #3, selling more than 108,000 copies of American Idiot, and right behind them is 50 Cent's former buddy the Game, whose album The Documentary sold more than 104,000 copies in its sixth week of release.
Scoring the week's second-highest debut is Tori Amos, whose eighth album, The Beekeeper, sold more than 82,000 copies to open at #5. John Legend is next at #6 (as he lately often is), selling more than 79,000 copies of his Get Lifted album. The kiddie-core comp Kidz Bop 7 opens at #7, providing more than 73,000 screaming kids with the soundtrack to their next minivan excursion. Coming in at #8 is the more adult-friendly Eminem, whose Encore sold more than 69,000 copies and moved well past the 4-million mark in total sales.
Everyone's favorite rock quartet from Escatawpa, Mississippi — 3 Doors Down — finish at #9, selling more than 67,000 copies of their album Seventeen Days. And for the second week in a row, Kelly Clarkson rounds out the top 10, selling more than 64,000 copies of her Breakaway album.
Other notable debuts on next week's albums chart include No Limit Records supergroup Tru (featuring Master P, Silkk the Shocker and C-Murder) at #54 with their album Truth; Southern revivalist rockers Kings of Leon at #55 with Aha Shake Heartbreak; and Grammy winners Los Lonely Boys' live set, Live at the Fillmore, at #69.
And hey, next week 50 Cent will be back on the chart — his Massacre album is set to drop on Thursday.
Way back in September 2004, Nelly released two albums simultaneously: Sweat and Suit. In their first week out of the gates, Suit — spurred on by the single "My Place" — took #1, outselling Sweat by more than 54,000 copies. And in the six months since both albums dropped, not much has changed. Suit sits at #36 on next week's chart, selling more than 28,000 copies (and more than 2.7 million overall), while Sweat barely remains on the charts — at #142 — selling a bit above 8,000 copies (and 1.2 million overall). What's the reason for the sales disparity? Probably Tim McGraw. "Over and Over," the country crooner's duet with Nelly, appears on Suit, and has achieved massive crossover success: It's been on Billboard's Hot 100 singles chart for more than five months now, and the video was spun so much on Country Music Television that Nelly's been nominated for two CMT Awards. Meanwhile, "Tilt Ya Head Back," his duet with Christina Aguilera and the last single released from Sweat, has all but disappeared from the public eye. More proof that there's big money to be made from the 10-gallon-hat set.
In the Blink of an Eye
Last week's announcement that pop-punkers Blink-182 were going on indefinite hiatus was met with sadness and a whole bunch of exclamation-filled postings on the band's Web site. But it apparently also got fans out to the record store — more than 17,000 of them bought the compilation Atticus: Dragging The Lake 3, good enough to give it the #63 spot. The comp, sponsored by the clothing line/record label co-owned by Blink-182's Mark Hoppus and Tom DeLonge, features one Blink tune ("Not Now") as well as songs from Death Cab for Cutie, Taking Back Sunday and Gratitude.