Michael may be king and Britney his princess in the pop realm, but when it comes to selling records, Garth Brooks rules almighty.
The country superstar and best-selling solo artist of all time will land above all others on next week's Billboard 200 albums chart, with his Scarecrow selling in excess of 465,000 copies, according to SoundScan figures released Wednesday (November 21). The accomplishment gives Brooks a total of seven pop albums that have debuted at #1, a new chart record.
Britney Spears will drop a slot from this week's #1 position to accommodate Brooks' 10-gallon numbers, as Britney moved more than 336,000 copies, less than half of what it did the week before.
Shakira's Laundry Service will debut at #3 with more than 202,000 copies sold, making it the Latina songbird's highest debuting LP. The album's popularity is no doubt thanks to the single "Whenever, Wherever" and the hip-swaying/horse-playing video that accompanies it. Michael Jackson's Invincible will fall a place to #4, boosted in part by his CBS television special that aired last Tuesday (November 13).
The rest of next week's top 10 will be dominated by first-week appearances by Madonna, whose Vol. 2 — Greatest Hits will debut at #7 with more than 150,000 copies sold; Rob Zombie, whose second solo album, Sinister Urge, will land at #8 with more than 149,000 in sales; and Jewel, who finds herself at #9 after selling more than 140,000 copies of This Way, her first album of original music since 1998's Spirit.
The remainder of the top 10 is rounded out by Enya's A Day Without
Rain at #5, Enrique Iglesias' Escape at #6 and Nickelback's Silver Side Up at #10.
Songs of yuletide joy seem to be in high demand, as Christmas albums were the only LPs in the 11-20 slots to advance in chart position. The various-artists compilation Now That's What I Call Christmas! will move from #23 to #15 with a more than 40,000 spike in sales; while Mannheim Steamroller's new age collection Christmas Extraordinaire will return to the top 20 by skipping four spots to #17.
Elsewhere on the chart, Barbra Streisand's Christmas Memories will jump 13 places to #25, with a 24,000 increase in sales; while Garth Brooks & the Magic of Christmas: Songs From "Call Me Claus," the soundtrack to a Christmas special to air on TNN in December, rears its head on the chart for the first time at #186.
Dirty South rappers UGK, who backed Jay-Z on "Big Pimpin'," will make their chart debut with Dirty Money at #18.
Pink Floyd and DMX will each experience 10-spot slumps, as Echoes — The Best of Pink Floyd and The Great Depression will fall to #12 and #16, respectively.
The Backstreet Boys will fall the farthest of next week's top 20 artists, as their best-of collection, The Hits — Chapter One will dive 12 spots to #19.
Completing the top 20 will be Linkin Park's Hybrid Theory, holding at #11; Ja Rule's Pain Is Love, falling three spots to #13; Usher's 8701, slipping two places to #14; and Alicia Keys' Songs in A Minor, sliding two notches to #20.
Gift-giving season also means greatest-hits season, with six best-of collections slated to debut on next week's chart. Next week's #4 artist, Michael Jackson, will see his Greatest Hits HIStory — Volume 1 come in at #85; while Disc One: All Their Greatest Hits by those clever Canadians Barenaked Ladies will land at #38; Bay-area punks Green Day's International Superhits! at #40; the Cure's Greatest Hits at #58; Rod Stewart's Voice: The Very Best of Rod Stewart at #69; and Boys II Men's Legacy: The Greatest Hits Collection at #89.
A bunch of notable albums will also make their first-week appearance on the albums chart, among them Paul McCartney's first album of new music in four years, Driving Rain, at #26; Sevendust's Animosity at #28; Natalie Merchant's third studio album, Motherland, at #30; Radiohead's I Might Be Wrong — Live Recordings at #44; Kittie's Spit (1999) follow-up, Oracle, at #57; Keke Wyatt's debut, Soul Sista, at #60; Barry Manilow's Here at the Mayflower at #90; and Shelby Lynne's widely-hyped Love Shelby at #109.