It takes a certain kind of artist to contend with the combined commercial might of Fergie, Nelly Furtado, Beyoncé, Nickelback and Daughtry — and country crooner Tim McGraw is one of 'em. While the aforementioned artists are all featured in the latest, star-studded edition of the long-running Now That's What I Call Music! franchise, McGraw won by a considerable margin.
In fact, with more than 325,000 week-one scans for his latest LP, Let It Go, McGraw creamed the 24th addition to the Now brood by some 95,000 copies, claiming the third chart-topping debut of his career. He previously claimed the chart's top spot with 2004's Live Like You Were Dying, which opened at #1 with 765,700 sold, and 1999's Place in the Sun, which sold 251,700 units.
According to the latest SoundScan figures, Now 24, which also boasts contributions from Rihanna, T.I., Ciara, Chris Brown and the All-American Rejects, generated sales of about 230,000, more than enough to earn the set a #2 opening. Following at #3 is another newcomer to the top 200: Buck the World, the sophomore offering from G-Unit soldier Young Buck, which closed out its first week at retail with 140,250 copies scanned. Buck is nothing if not consistent: His debut, 2004's Straight Outta Cashville, also opened at #3, selling about 261,500 units.
New York rapper MIMS' inaugural outing Music Is My Savior sold 77,600 copies, which was enough for a fourth-place finish; this week's chart marks the first in recent memory where the chart's four peak positions belonged to new releases, and in all, a total of seven fresh faces hold court in the top 10. Akon's Konvicted occupies the #5 slot, with 66,850 scans, while Daughtry, the eponymous first offering from "American Idol" season-five finalist Chris Daughtry's rock outfit, follows at #6, selling around 66,500.
Good Charlotte's latest, Good Morning Revival, opens at #7 with 66,000 scans — the band's weakest debut yet: 2004's The Chronicles of Life and Death bowed at #3 with 198,600 sold, while 2002's The Young and the Hopeless debuted at #7 with 112,200 scans. Joss Stone's Introducing Joss Stone suffered the usual second-week sales slump, dropping six spots to #8 with a reported 58,000 scanned.
Elton John's Rocket Man: Number Ones, a retrospective collection of some of the icon's biggest hits, opens at #9 with 49,000 sold, and rounding out the top 10 is Jennifer Lopez's first all-Spanish LP, Como Ama una Mujer, which sold 48,150 units during its debut week; Lopez has just one #1 album to her credit, 2001's J. Lo, which sold 272,300 copies.
Next week's top 200 will see 29 debuts, including Redman's Red Gone Wild, which opens at #13 with 44,400 scans, followed at #14 by Lil' Flip's I Need Mine, which scanned close to 43,300 copies. Crystal Visions: The Very Best of Stevie Nicks debuts at #20, selling 33,800 units, while Disneymania 5, a collection featuring the Cheetah Girls, Ashley Tisdale, Vanessa Hudgens, and others, opens at #27.
New artist Mika's Life in Cartoon Motion pops up at #29, while Mobb Deep rapper Prodigy's Return of the Mac follows at #32, selling 26,800 units. Macy Gray returns to the top 200 at #39, while the Kaiser Chiefs bow at #45, having sold 17,500 copies of their latest, Yours Truly, Angry Mob.
Following her appearance last week on "American Idol," Gwen Stefani's Sweet Escape experienced a 64 percent sales surge, raising the LP from #25 to #15 on next week's chart.