Building on the success of the hit rock airplay single "Be Yourself," Audioslave finds itself on top of The Billboard 200 this week with its sophomore album, "Out of Exile." The Interscope/Epic set so

Building on the success of the hit rock airplay single "Be Yourself," Audioslave finds itself on top of The Billboard 200 this week with its sophomore album, "Out of Exile." The Interscope/Epic set sold 263,000 copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan, putting it ahead of new releases by Common, Gorillaz and Seether.

The No. 1 debut follows closely on the heels of a history-making performance last month in Havana, Cuba. The band's 2002 self-titled debut opened No. 7 with 162,000 copies and has sold 2.8 million to date.

Chicago-born rapper Common earns his highest position on the album chart and best sales week to date with "Be" (G.O.O.D./Geffen). The set enters at No. 2 on the strength of 185,000 copies. His 2002 effort "Electric Circus" stalled at No. 47 in 2002 with a 65,000-unit start and has sold 295,000. His best-selling disc remains 2000's "Like Water for Chocolate" at 753,000.

After scoring a career-best Hot 100 showing last week with the 74-17 leap of the De La Soul collaboration "Feel Good Inc," Gorillaz repeats the feat with its sophomore Virgin album, "Demon Days," which sold 107,000 copies to bow at No. 6. The virtual hip-hop act is a creation of "Tank Girl" creator Jamie Hewlett and Blur's Damon Albarn, who co-produced the latest set with Danger Mouse. The group's 2001 self-titled debut peaked at No. 14 and has sold 1.6 million to date.

Also new to the top 10 is South Africa's Seether, whose No. 8 entry with its third Wind Up effort, "Karma and Effect," is a career best. The 82,000-copy start is also the band's biggest sales week. "Karma" is the follow-up to last year's "Disclaimer II," which opened at No. 53 and has so far sold 500,000.

Beyond the debuts, a 4% increase to 179,000 keeps Mariah Carey's "The Emancipation of Mimi" (Island/Def Jam) at No. 3 for a third week. Also finding good fortune is Il Divo, whose self-titled Sony set rockets 21-9. The chart's greatest gainer saw sales increase 80% to 80,000.

Leading the top 10 tumbles is last week's No. 1, System Of A Down's "Mezmerize" (American/Columbia), which falls to No. 4 on a 63% slide to 169,000. Toby Keith's "Honkytonk University" (DreamWorks Nashville) sinks 2-5 on a 55% drop to 128,000. Dave Matthews Band's "Stand Up" (RCA) dropped 4-7 on a 36% decline to 101,000 and Gwen Stefani's "Love, Angel, Music, Baby" (Interscope) falls 8-10 on a 5% slump to 76,000.

Other debuts this week include Marques Houston's "Naked" (The Corna Boys/T.U.G.), which bows at No. 13 on sales of 65,000 copies, besting his 2003 debut, "MH," which opened at No. 18 with 51,000; it has sold 281,000 to date. Roc-A-Fella rap duo Young Gunz opens at No. 15 with "Brothers From Another," followed by Pretty Ricky's "Bluestars" (Atlantic, No. 16), B.G.'s "The Heart of Tha Streetz" (Koch, No. 21), "The Longest Yard" soundtrack (Universal, No. 22), the Alkaline Trio's "Crimson" (Vagrant, No. 25) and the Wallflowers' "Rebel, Sweetheart" (Interscope, No. 40).

Making a notable move on the chart is Rascal Flatts' Lyric Street/Hollywood set "Feels Like Today." The album jumps 19-12 on a 42% boost to 65,000 in its 35th week on the chart, following the country act's performance with season four "American Idol" winner Carrie Underwood on the Fox show's May 25 finale.

Overall U.S. album sales continued to rise, 0.4% above last week at 10.7 million units, which is 1% more than the same week last year. 2005 sales remain lower than those of last year by 8% at 228 million units.

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