Between the release of Ashlee Simpson's chart-topping debut — 2004's Autobiography — and I Am Me came the infamous "Saturday Night Live" lip-synch incident, an embarrassment that could have crippled her career. Though Simpson recovered from the mistake, new releases from legendary artists Stevie Wonder and Rod Stewart made the run to #1 on the Billboard albums chart a tough one.
According to the latest SoundScan figures, Simpson pulled it off, claiming Billboard's blue ribbon for a second time. While Ashlee failed to repeat the sales of Autobiography (which sold over 398,000 to I Am Me's 220,000), she is two-for-two in the sibling-rivalry race. I Am Me trumps big sis Jessica's second disc, 2001's Irresistible, which landed at #6 with close to 120,000 copies sold. Jessica Simpson's 1999 debut, Sweet Kisses, opened at #65 with sales of 45,000.
Ashlee Simpson's latest was one of six new discs to make the coveted top 10, and one of four to surface in the top five. Simpson's closest competitor, Stewart's Thanks for the Memory ... The Great American Songbook, Volume IV, racked up sales nearing 193,000 for a second-place finish. Country star Martina McBride's Timeless takes #3 with over 185,000 copies sold while R&B icon Wonder finishes at #5 with A Time to Love selling nearly 121,000 copies. The only repeat in the latest top five is All the Right Reasons from Canadian rockers Nickelback, which sold 132,000 copies to take #4.
UGK's Bun B goes the solo route — as cohort Pimp C deals with legal entanglements — with Trill, which debuts this week at #6 with sales of 117,000 and change. Right behind Trill is Depeche Mode's Playing the Angel, which sold 99,000 copies to come in at #7. The Black Eyed Peas fall four spots to #8 with Monkey Business, followed at #9 by last week's #1, Alicia Keys' Unplugged, which sold fewer than 83,000 copies, a 58 percent slip. Kanye West rounds out the top 10 with 78,000 copies of his Late Registration leaving stores.
Country singer/songwriter Billy Currington's Doin' Somethin' Right moved more than 54,000 units to open at #11. California rockers Thrice notched the highest-charting debut of their career with Vheissu's #15 finish — the result of 46,000 in sales. Contemporary jazz trumpeter Chris Botti's To Love Again opens at #18 with 44,000 copies sold.
There were several other debuts of note this week. Black Rob's The Black Rob Report opens at #40 with nearly 27,000 in sales.Bryan Adams' Anthology — which features a duet with Pamela Anderson — takes #65 with close to 17,000 scans. Punk troupe Mest hit #116 with sales of nearly 11,000 for their newest, Photographs. The soundtrack to "Tony Hawk's American Wasteland," featuring My Chemical Romance, Thrice, Fall Out Boy and others covering classic punk tunes, opens at #148 with nearly 8,000 copies sold. And the soundtrack for the Showtime series "Masters of Horror" — which includes contributions from Mudvayne, Shadows Fall, Thursday and Avenged Sevenfold — takes #161 with sales of 7,300 plus.
Check out the feature"Ashlee Simpson: Everybody Has Moments" for more on Simpson's latest album.