Rascal Flatts Wins Billboard 200 Country Battle
Two high-profile country acts go head to head on The Billboard 200 this week, with Rascal Flatts holding onto the lead despite a strong challenge from Toby Keith. The former's "Me and My Gang," whichTwo high-profile country acts go head to head on The Billboard 200 this week, with Rascal Flatts holding onto the lead despite a strong challenge from Toby Keith. Rascal Flatts' "Me and My Gang," which debuted last week at No. 1, sold nearly 345,000 copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Although the tally for the Lyric Street release was down 52%, it was enough to keep the set at No. 1 on the big chart and on the Top Country Albums list.
Keith's Show Dog Nashville disc "White Trash With Money" came up approximately 15,000 short, moving about 330,000 to bow at No. 2 on The Billboard 200 and the country chart.
"White Trash with Money" is Keith's fourth consecutive top 5 bow on The Billboard 200. Sales were aided by the success of the album's first single, "Get Drunk and Be Somebody," which moved up to No. 3 last week on the Hot Country Songs list and has reached No. 47 on the Billboard Hot 100 thus far.
The 21st volume of the hits compilation "NOW That's What I Call Music" (BMG/Zomba/EMI/UME) falls a single slot to No. 3 with 293,0000 units (-12%), while the Walt Disney Records' "High School Musical" soundtrack holds tight at No. 4 for a second week with 256,000 (+41%). Although T.I.'s Grand Hustle/Atlantic release "King" slips 3-5 as sales fell 26% to 136,000, it is ruling the roost on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums and Top Rap Albums charts for a third week.
LL Cool J's "Todd Smith" (Def Jam) enters the chart at No. 6 with 116,000. The album is the veteran artist's 11th and his eighth top 10 title on The Billboard 200. The set also opens at No. 2 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums and Top Rap Albums charts.
Racking up nearly identical, but slightly less, sales as "Todd Smith," Tim McGraw's "Greatest Hits Vol. 2 -- Reflected" (Curb) slides 5-7 on The Billboard 200 due to a 9% slip. Pink's LaFace set "I'm Not Dead" moved 90,000 (-29%), and drops 6-8.
Fueled by his No. 1 Hot 100 single "Bad Day," Daniel Powter's self-titled Warner Bros. debut opens at No. 9 with 89,000 copies. The single continues to gain exposure each week as the music accompanying a flashback montage for exiting contestants on "American Idol."
Even though sales of James Blunt's "Back to Bedlam" increased 29% to 83,000 copies, the Custard/Atlantic set closes out the top tier with a 7-10 fall in its 28th week on the chart.
The Queen retrospective "Stone Cold Classics" (Hollywood) debuts at No. 45 on sales of 27,000. The band backed the contestants rehearsing a variety of Queen songs on a recent "American Idol" episode.
Other top 50 debuts include the Beatles' "The Capitol Albums Vol. 2" (No. 46; 27,000) and Buckcherry's Eleven Seven set "15" (No. 48, 26,000), the band's best sales week and chart position to date.
At 11.8 million units, overall CD sales were up 6% from the previous week and up 20% compared to the same week a year ago. Sales for 2006 are down 1% compared to 2005 at 163.4 million units.