Norah Jones Reclaims Billboard #1 From Fall Out Boy

Gerald Levert's posthumous disc debuts at #2; Grammy nominees enjoy sales boost.

Last week, Fall Out Boy’s Infinity on High usurped Norah Jones’ Not Too Late — the previous week’s #1 — as the nation’s top-selling LP, relegating the jazzy songstress to the chart’s #2 position and scoring the Chicago rockers the first chart-crowning debut of their careers. This week, Jones returned the favor.

With nearly 211,000 copies of Not Too Late sold during the album’s third week of release, Jones reclaims Billboard’s coveted throne, leaving Fall Out Boy in the proverbial dust. Sales of Infinity on High dipped by more than 50 percent, dropping FOB to the chart’s #5 slot with second-week sales reported at close to 119,000, according to the latest SoundScan results.

But the bigger news is the windfall from the 2007 Grammy Awards, handed out early last week. Whether you took home a statuette or not didn’t matter much to consumers — even albums by nominees who didn’t win experienced major sales boons.

The biggest spike in retail interest came for the Dixie Chicks, whose Taking the Long Way was honored with five Grammys, including Record of the Year, Album of the Year and Song of the Year prizes (see “Timberlake Rocks; Blige Weeps; Chicks, Chilis Clean Up At Grammys” ). Sales of the LP rose a whopping 714 percent to top 103,000, landing the Chicks in the chart’s #8 slot; during the previous week, Taking the Long Way sold nearly 13,000 units, and occupied the #72 position.

Likewise, nominee Corinne Bailey Rae’s self-titled album experienced a 132 percent sales surge, scanning another 120,000 copies — enough to help the disc hop four places to #4. Even the 2007 Grammy Nominees compilation — featuring 23 tracks from this year’s contenders — enjoyed a 116 percent increase in sales, climbing from #7 to #3 with more than 131,000 copies sold.

Sales of FutureSex/LoveSounds by Justin Timberlake — who walked off with the Best Dance Recording and Best Rap/Sung Collaboration awards — soared 123 percent for a total of 108,000, earning JT the #7 spot. John Mayer’s Continuum, winner of the Best Pop Vocal Album, was the beneficiary of a 182 percent sales jump, ending the week with more than 80,000 scans at #10 — up from #29 the week before. The Best Rock Album winner, the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Stadium Arcadium, climbs to #12 from #39, selling 67,000 units — a sales increase of 194 percent. Big winner Mary J. Blige’s The Breakthrough sold more than 43,000 — a 161 percent sales spike — and ends up at #21, climbing more than 30 chart positions.

Gnarls Barkley’s Best Alternative Album-winning St. Elsewhere soars 192 percent to finish at #44 — up from #111 — with 27,000 scans, and James Blunt’s Back to Bedlam closes out the week at #47 after experiencing a 152 percent increase in sales.

Elsewhere on the chart, Robin Thicke’s The Evolution of Robin Thicke continues selling like hotcakes, holding at #6 with around 116,000 units scanned; sales of the disc jumped 90 percent. And ending the week at #9 — down six spots from #3 but still up 34 percent in sales — is Daughtry, the self-titled debut from “American Idol” finalist Chris Daughtry’s rock act, with 102,000 copies sold.

When it comes to new releases, a mere four pop up on the latest chart, including the late Gerald Levert’s In My Songs. The first posthumous release from the singer, who died in November at age 40, In My Songs is Levert’s highest-charting debut, opening at #2 with 165,000 copies sold. Further down the chart is Lucinda Williams’ West, bowing at #14 with 57,000 scans, while Van Morrison’s Van Morrison at the Movies follows at #35 with week-one sales of 29,000-plus. And finally, debuting at #84 with 13,000 sold is the latest solo mixtape by the Dipset’s JR Writer, JR Writer: Writer’s Block 4; the album was largely produced by the Diplomats’ Dukedagod.