Would Christina Aguilera's Back to Basics preserve its rank as America's best-selling album, or would Outkast come along and send her traveling down Billboard's album sales chart with their "Idlewild" soundtrack? Could a pair of newcomers to the business — celebutante Paris Hilton and Diddy-backed Danity Kane — prove that being a veteran act doesn't always assure a #1?
With a trio of well-publicized albums hitting stores last week and Aguilera's double-LP still fresh in the minds of consumers, no one knew for sure how the upcoming chart would play out. But go ahead and give yourself a gold star if you'd put your money on "Making the Band" quintet Danity Kane to bring the upset.
It was Danity Kane's time to shine, as more than 234,000 fans rushed out to grab a copy of the group's self-titled debut. According to the latest SoundScan figures, the Kane outsold Outkast's latest by more than 38,000.
The "Idlewild" soundtrack earned the chart's #2 position with sales reported at just over 196,000 units. That means Big Boi and Andre 3000 failed to replicate the success of 2003's Speakerboxxx/ The Love Below — which sold 510,000 to debut at #1 — though they matched the ranking of 2000's Stankonia, 1998's Aquemini and 1996's ATLiens, which all opened at #2.
After a second-week sales decline of 61 percent, Christina Aguilera's Back to Basics slides to #3 with 135,000-plus scans. Aguilera's offering is one of just three albums to remain in top 10, sharing space with seven newcomers to the chart. The #4 spot belongs to Latin rock superstars Maná and their latest, Amar Es Combatir, which racked up week-one sales of nearly 87,000. Meanwhile, the soundtrack to the Disney Channel movie "Cheetah Girls 2" holds at #5 with 81,000 scans.
A finish in the top five just wasn't in the cards for Paris. Hilton's music debut opens at #6, with sales reported at close to 77,000. The 22nd installment in the Now That's What I Call Music! compilation franchise slips one spot to #7, selling 68,000 copies during its seventh week in stores. And there's a dose of brutality in this week's top 10, as Virginia metal act Lamb of God's Sacrament debuts at #8 with 63,000 units scanned — a nice move up for the band, who opened at #27 in 2004 after selling 35,000 copies of Ashes of the Wake.
Right behind the Lamb is a Luther — Vandross, of course. The Ultimate Luther Vandross puts the late R&B icon's music back on the chart at #9 with more than 59,000 sales. Rounding things out at #10 is Kelis Was Here, which fell just short of 58,000 sales. Kelis' latest didn't match the sales of her 2003 release Tasty, but it did chart higher — Tasty sold 94,000 copies to open at #27.
A total of 22 fresh releases penetrate the top 200, including that lovable little Crazy Frog. It seems that close to 23,000 Americans needed to hear the Frog's rendition of "Cotton Eyed Joe," as More Crazy Hits debuts at #40. Meanwhile, Crunk Hits Vol. 2, featuring cuts from Pitbull, Lil Jon, Mike Jones, Lil Wayne, Ying Yang Twins, Paul Wall and more, opens at #48 after selling more than 18,000 units.
DJ Kay Slay and Greg Street's The Champions: The North Meets the South debuts at #57, with sales of the collaborative hip-hop disc topping 15,000. Prince's Ultimate, a two-disc set boasting the singer's biggest hits, claims the #61 slot with sales nearing 14,000, followed at #62 by Gov't Mule's High & Mighty, which sold just 61 fewer discs. Cursive are back with Happy Hollow, which bows at #96 with nearly 10,000 copies leaving stores, while the late J Dilla's The Shining lands at #103 with close to 9,000 scans.
Deadsy's latest, Phantasmagore, debuts at #176 with more than 4,000 sales, 148 copies ahead of Razorlight, who open at #180 with their self-titled disc. Also debuting with 4,000-plus sales are Alexisonfire's Crisis (#189), the Mountain Goats' Get Lonely (#193) and the Casualties' Under Attack (#200).
Check out "MTV News RAW: Outkast" to get up close and personal with the duo that holds #2.