Justin Holds Off Clay And Fergie To Keep His Billboard Throne

Aiken debuts at #2; Fergie opens at #3; Chingy bows at #8.

Based on the earliest sales projections, it seemed as though Justin Timberlake’s chart-topping tenure would be ended by a Clay Aiken coup. But reports of the “American Idol” runner-up’s triumph were a tad premature.

Aiken did give Timberlake a run for his money, with the collection of covers A Thousand Different Ways falling about 17,000 copies shy of the Billboard albums chart crown. Clay’s Ways netted 211,000 scans its first week in stores — but even with sales of Timberlake’s FutureSex/ LoveSounds taking a 67 percent hit, Aiken couldn’t hit the mark.

According to the latest SoundScan totals, Justin’s FutureSex/ LoveSounds sold more than 228,000 copies to spend a second-straight week at #1 on Billboard‘s albums sales chart. Aiken’s 2003 debut, Measure of a Man, opened at #1 with close to 613,000 sales, but he’ll settle for a #2 debut this time around.

In at #3 is The Dutchess, the inaugural solo offering from the Black Eyed Peas’ Fergie, which sold 158,000-plus copies its first week out. Country star Kenny Chesney’s latest, Live: Live Those Songs Again, debuts at #4 with sales of nearly 146,000. John Mayer’s Continuum slides three spots to #5 after moving 134,000 copies, a 55 percent drop from its first-week sales. Beyoncé’s B’Day follows at #6, selling 93,000 units.

Billboard‘s top 10 features six new releases in all, including Diana Krall’s From This Moment On, which finishes in the #7 spot with 85,000 in sales. Lupe Fiasco’s Food & Liquor bows at #8 with close to 81,000 scans, while St. Louis rapper Chingy’s Hoodstar opens at #9, with 77,000 copies sold during the disc’s first week in stores. Hinder’s Extreme Behavior falls three spots to #10 with 70,000 units scanned.

A total of 26 new releases will manage to crack Billboard‘s top 200, including Jesse McCartney’s Right Where You Want Me, which debuts at #15 with 53,000 copies sold; and Elton John’s The Captain & the Kid, which takes the #18 slot with 44,500 sales. New Found Glory’s Coming Home opens at #19 with sales reported at more than 38,000, just in front of Bone Thugs-N-Harmony’s Thug Stories, in at #25 with 30,000 copies sold.

Paulina Rubio’s Ananda debuts at #31 with 26,000 copies sold, while Jonny Lang’s Turn Around takes #35 with nearly 23,000 sales. Aaron Neville’s Bring It on Home … The Soul Classics opens at #37 after selling more than 22,000 copies, and Julio Iglesias returns to the chart at #43 with his Romantic Classics moving more than 19,000 units. The Indigo Girls bow at #47 with Despite Our Differences selling nearly 19,000 copies, while the latest offering from Mushroomhead, Savior Sorrow, ranks at #50 with 18,000 copies sold. DJ Shadow’s Outsider opens at #77, with more than 12,000 scans, while Kasabian’s Empire opens at #114 with 8,300 sales.

Ben Kweller’s self-titled disc debuts in the #115 spot with 8,200 sales, and Jedi Mind Tricks’ Servants in Heaven, Kings in Hell spends week one at #140 with 6,900 units scanned. Fear Before the March of Flames’ The Always Open Mouth, in the meantime, claims the #153 opening, with 6,200 week-one sales. Crunchy Black’s On My Own surfaces at #163 with more than 5,800 scans while Forever Diamondz, the new Bratz release, opens at #184. A collection of Jane’s Addiction’s biggest hits, Up From the Catacombs: The Best of Jane’s Addiction, opens at #188 at with 4,800, while Bonnie Prince Billy’s Letting Go follows at #194 with nearly 4,500 copies sold.

This week’s initial SoundScan totals reflected inaccurate sales numbers, which resulted in erroneous chart placement for several of the new releases appearing on the chart. The sales discrepancy was due to the omission of returns from an unnamed retailer that was unable to report earlier in the week. SoundScan amended the chart Friday afternoon (September 29).

Check out “Justin’s Future Shock” for more on Timberlake’s new sound. And watch “MTV News RAW: Fergie In L.A.” to get personal with the queen Pea.

This story was orignally published at 8:54 am ET on 09.27.2006