50 Cent spotted the rest of the music industry two days ... and he still crushed all comers.
The beefy, beefing MC released his second album, The Massacre, on Thursday (everyone else stuck to the traditional Tuesday release date), but still managed to sell more than 1.1 million copies of the disc, scoring the biggest debut of 2005 and -- almost as an afterthought -- the top spot on next week's Billboard albums chart, according to SoundScan.
But selling 1 million out of the gate wasn't Fiddy's only accomplishment. Last week, he made chart history, becoming the first solo artist ever to have three singles in Billboard's top five in the same week, with "Candy Shop" coming in at #1 and "Disco Inferno" taking the #5 slot; he also appears on the #4 song, "How We Do," from former G-Unit member the Game's album The Documentary.
Coming in at a distant (way distant) #2 was Jennifer Lopez, who sold more than 260,000 copies of her Rebirth album. But the runner-up slot must be a somewhat uncomfortable seat for J. Lo: Her 2001 album, J.Lo, debuted at #1, and 2002's This Is Me ... Then sold more than 314,000 copies in its first week of release.
Jack Johnson is next, selling more than 228,000 copies of his third studio album, In Between Dreams. The surfer/acoustic dude tallied the biggest opening of his career with Dreams, almost doubling the first-week numbers of his last LP, 2003's On and On.
And proving that there's still a market for punk-prog-rock, the Mars Volta's Frances the Mute debuts at #4, selling more than 123,000 copies. To say that Frances' bow is a shock is a bit of an understatement: The band's first album, 2003's De-Loused in the Comatorium, opened at #39, selling just over 29,000 copies. Frances is also without a doubt the only album in the top 10 to feature a 32-minute closing track (beat that, 50 ...).
After all these debuts, it's good to see a familiar face near the top of the chart. The Game sold more than 99,000 copies of his album The Documentary to land in the #5 spot. Just behind him are Green Day, whose American Idiot sold more than 86,000 copies in its 24th week of release.
The late, great Ray Charles' final studio album, Genius Loves Company, comes in at #7, selling more than 80,000 copies and inching closer to the 3-million mark in total sales. Falling to #8 is last week's chart champ, Omarion, whose album O sold more than 76,000 copies in its second week of release, a sales dip of almost 60 percent.
Kelly Clarkson is next at #9, selling more than 62,000 copies of her Breakaway album. And rounding out the top 10 is Eminem, whose Encore sold more than 60,000 copies.
The New King of the Streets?
While 50 Cent's thuggery might rule the charts, it's important to give props to other gangstas out there ... like that squeaky-clean straight G Jesse McCartney. The former boy-band crooner's debut album, Beautiful Soul (now that's gangsta!), has been moving up the charts with the quickness, and will occupy the #24 slot next week. Spurred on by the title cut -- which has been a mainstay on the BillboardHot 100 Singles Chart for three months -- the album has leapt 15 spots in the past three weeks, and total sales have passed the 500,000 mark. Can beef records and shirtless album covers be far off?
Creatures of the Chart
My Chemical Romance continue to be the sleeper stars of 2005. As the video for their new single, "Helena," begins to gather spins on MTV2, their album Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge continues to gather steam. It's jumped 16 spots -- from #77 to #59 -- over the past three weeks, and total sales are inching closer and closer to 500,000. And the first single off the record, "I'm Not Okay (I Promise)," continues to move its way up Billboard's Hot 100 ... proving that good things can come to anyone, even gothic New Jersey dudes in makeup.