It took one of country music's top earners to unseat the 19th installment in the Now That's What I Call Music! franchise from Billboard's albums-chart throne after two weeks of domination. With opening-week scans of 329,000, Faith Hill outsold the singles compilation — featuring Eminem, Gwen Stefani, Ludacris, Destiny's Child and Coldplay — by over 150,000 copies, leading the chart charge for the third time in her 12-year career.
Hill's #1 debut comes as little surprise considering the diva's imposing track record, but the next-highest debut belongs to a newcomer. Signed by L.A. Reid and approved by Jay-Z, the Detroit-born "Princess of the Roc," Teairra Marí, bows at #5 with nearly 69,000 copies of Roc-A-Fella Presents Teairra Marí scanned during its first week in stores.
With Faith Hill on top, Now 19 falls to the chart's #2 slot, earning week-three sales of more than 177,000 discs. Holding strong at #3 is Mariah Carey's comeback offering, The Emancipation of Mimi, which sold 99,000 copies during its 17th week on record-store shelves for a grand total of more than 2.8 million scans. Atlanta rapper Young Jeezy's Let's Get It: Thug Motivation 101 falls two spots to #4, thanks to a 50 percent second-week sales slump; more than 85,000 copies of the disc moved this past week.
The chart's #6 spot belongs to a collection of hit songs performed by a group of children dubbed the Kidz Bop Kids. The eighth edition in the Kidz Bop series achieved sales of 67,000, scoring the third-best debut on this week's chart. The record features pint-sized covers of Maroon 5's "She Will Be Loved," Stefani's "Rich Girl," Franz Ferdinand's "Take Me Out," U2's "Vertigo," and Green Day's "Boulevard of Broken Dreams."
Coldplay's X&Y comes in at #7 with sales of more than 65,000, followed by Monkey Business, the latest from the Black Eyed Peas, which recorded scans of 61,000 plus to grab #8. Kelly Clarkson's Breakaway climbs two spots back into the top 10 to #9, selling over 60,000 this time out. Eclectic animated act Gorillaz take #10 with Demon Days, which netted scans of 53,000 and change during its 11th week of retail availability.
Rascal Flatts earn the chart's #11 post, selling more than 50,000 copies of their newest LP, Feels Like Today. Bow Wow's Wanted, follows at #12 with scans of nearly 50,000. Stefani's Love, Angel, Music, Baby finishes as the chart's #13 album with sales of close to 47,000, followed by TP.3 Reloaded, R. Kelly's latest offering, which falls five positions to #14 with nearly 46,000 copies scanned. Falling 11 spots is no laughing matter for comedian Dane Cook, who checks in at #15 with his disc, Retaliation; the album earned second-week sales of 44,000 and then some, a 48 percent drop.
New Zealand-born Natasha Bedingfield, a hit-maker in the U.K., invades this week's chart at #26 with her U.S. debut, Unwritten. The album achieved opening-week sales of more than 34,000, making it one of the week's biggest debuts. Melodic hardcore act Emery opens at #45 on the chart, with Question earning sales of 21,000, while Public Enemy's Power to the People and the Beats: Public Enemy's Greatest Hits, debuts at #69, moving close to 17,000 copies. Rockers Blindside return to the top 200 with Great Depression, which takes #89 with opening week scans of close to 12,000, while Alice Cooper sold nearly 6,500 copies of his latest LP, Dirty Diamonds, to open at #169.
Check out "Jay-Z Ready To Unleash Three New Roc-A-Fella Artists" to learn more about Teairra Marí. For a feature on Young Jeezy, check out "Young Jeezy: Putting His Mouth Where His Money Is."
TLC's Tele-Search Boosts Sales
Since its debut two weeks ago on UPN, the TLC-centric reality series, "R U the Girl With T-Boz & Chilli," in which the remaining members of the R&B trio search for a woman to fill the shoes of the late Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes, has been pulling in its fair ratings share. At the same time, sales of the group's recently re-released best-of collection, Now & Forever: The Hits, seem to be rising slowly but steadily. This week the disc grabs the chart's #159 spot (up from #195 the week before), with scans of 6,700 and change; sales rose 21 percent, compared to the previous week's totals.
While Kelly Clarkson's #9-finishing Breakaway experienced a small, 7 percent sales spike after news of her dual nominations for "Since U Been Gone" (for Best Female Video and Best Pop Video) broke, two other MTV Video Music Awards nominees benefited from a slight increase in retail interest. The chart's #23 album, Green Day's American Idiot, climbed nine chart positions thanks to a 17 percent sales jump, accounting for more than 38,000 scans; the band received eight nominations, including Video of the Year, Best Group Video and Viewer's Choice. U2's How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb rose 27 spots on the chart to #164, after sales of their disc surged 16 percent to end the week with 6,500-plus scans; the video for "Vertigo" was nominated for Best Group Video and Breakthrough Video.
Boy Falling Up, Not Out
Being in Billboard's top 20 isn't anything new for Fall Out Boy. After all, the week after the Chicago band's From Under the Cork Tree hit stores, the album debuted at #9, with sales of about 68,000. Since then, the disc has hovered in the mid-40s range, falling only as far as #54. That was three months ago, before Fall Out Boy had one of TRL's hottest videos and one of rock and pop radio's most-wanted cuts in "Sugar, We're Goin Down."
Much like genre contemporaries My Chemical Romance, whom they've passed on the chart (MCR's Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge claimed up to the chart's #42 slot, but has been on record store shelves for more than a year), Fall Out Boy's been ascending the chart at a sloth's pace, and this week, with a #16 showing, inches another three chart positions closer to the top 10. Last week Cork was the chart's #19, while the week before, it checked in at #25. If the last few weeks are any indication, it's plausible Fall Out Boy could continue this upward mobility trend and return to the top 10.
Catch all the sizzlin', star-packed VMA action direct from Miami on August 28. MTV News' preshow kicks things off at 6 p.m. ET/PT, followed by the big show at 8 p.m.