Mariah Carey's two-week reign as the music industry's leading lady has come to an end, thanks to the Queen of Pop.
With sales totaling nearly 280,000 — by no means her strongest opening — Madonna's 11th studio offering, Hard Candy, becomes the nation's newest #1 and the seventh chart-topping debut of the Material Girl's illustrious, 26-year career.
Hard Candy, tracks from which she performed last week during an intimate gig at New York's Roseland Ballroom, will also become the singer's fourth-consecutive LP to open on top, following the successes of 2000's Music (which generated week-one sales of 419,600), 2003's American Life (241,000) and 2005's Confessions on a Dance Floor (350,000).
Madonna's latest pummeled Carey's E=MC2, which, according to the latest SoundScan totals, suffered a 48 percent drop in retail interest to end the week with 95,400 scans. Mariah's record falls to the chart's #2 position on next week's Billboard albums sales chart.
Hard Candy was the highest-charting (duh!) new release of the week, but was one of almost 30 records that will be impacting next week's top 200 — and among seven to enter the chart in the top 10.
Following Carey at #3, selling close to 84,000 copies during its fourth week of commercial availability, is Leona Lewis' Spirit. The next five albums on the chart are all newcomers: R&B hunk Lyfe Jennings' Lyfe Change enters at #4 with 80,000 scans, while antiquated hair-metallers Def Leppard's Songs from the Sparkle Lounge bows at #5 with 54,800 copies sold. The Roots' Rising Down debuts at #6 with sales reported at 53,700, and Portishead's Third follows at #7, scanning close to 53,000 units. The self-titled LP from Mudcrutch — Tom Petty's pre-Heartbreakers band, which has reunited more than 30 years after splitting — sold 38,000 copies, which was good enough for a #8 debut, and Tim McGraw's Greatest Hits 1 & 2 rounds things out at #10, selling 29,300 copies.
Wedged in between Mudcrutch and McGraw, we find a top-10 mainstay: Now That's What I Call Music!'s 27th installment falls three chart positions to #9, with week-eight sales of 30,800.
Elsewhere on the chart, Steve Winwood's Nine Lives enters at #12 with 26,400 sold, while Carly Simon's This Kind of Love follows at #15 with 23,000 scans. Augustana's Can't Love, Can't Hurt opens at #21 with 21,400 copies snatched up, while Lil Mama's VYP: Voice of the Young People claims the #25 slot, scanning 18,600 units. Mindless Self Indulgence's If follows at #27 with 17,700 in sales, and Estelle's Shine enters the chart at #38 with 14,800 sold. "American Idol" alum Phil Stacey's self-titled new one bows at #43 with sales reported at 13,100 and change, while Forever the Sickest Kids' Underdog Alma Mater can be found two chart positions down, thanks to sales of 13,000-plus.
Thrash titans Testament return at #59, selling 11,400 copies of their latest, The Formation of Damnation, while Santogold's self-titled debut enters at #74 with 9,500 sold. Robyn's self-titled offering debuts at #100 with 7,200 sold, and New Found Glory's two-disc Tip of the Iceberg/ Takin' It Ova! opens at #136 with 5,000 copies sold.