Rob Thomas makes Billboard 200 history this week as the first male artist from a pop or rock group to bow at No. 1 with his debut solo effort since the chart's realization in 1955. The matchbox twenty

Rob Thomas makes Billboard 200 history this week as the first male artist from a pop or rock group to bow at No. 1 with his debut solo effort since the chart's realization in 1955. The matchbox twenty frontman's "...Something To Be" (Melisma/Atlantic) sold 252,000 copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan, to put it at the head of this week's chart.

Thomas, whose single "Lonely No More" is in its sixth week at No. 2 on Billboard's Adult Top 40 airplay list, fares better on the album chart than his band ever has. Matchbox twenty has peaked as high as No. 3 with 2000's "Mad Season" (Atlantic). The group's best-selling album to date at 8 million copies, its 1996 debut "Yourself or Someone Like You," peaked at No. 5 on the tally.

The arrival of Thomas' "...Something" replaces Mariah Carey's "The Emancipation of Mimi" (Island/IDMJ) at the top of The Billboard 200. Her album falls to No. 2 on sales of 226,000, a 44% decline from the previous week.

Following the established acts are two artists making their Billboard 200 debuts. With 181,000 copies, rapper Mike Jones' major label debut "Who Is Mike Jones?" (Swishahouse/Asylum/Warner Bros.) pops on at No. 3, while pop/classical quartet Il Divo bows at No. 4 with its self-titled Sony debut, which sold 147,000.

50 Cent's "The Massacre" (Shady/Aftermath/Interscope) dips 3-5 on a 9% slip to 127,000 copies, but that's still well ahead of its closest competition. A 14% increase to just 65,000 is enough to move Gwen Stefani's "Love, Angel, Music, Baby" (Interscope) 9-6 on the chart.

The Killers' "Hot Fuss" (Island) leaps 10-7 on a 15% boost to 63,000, as Green Day's "American Idiot" (Reprise) holds steady at No. 8 after a 5% rise to 60,000. The 18th installment of "NOW That's What I Call Music!" dipped 6% to 57,000 units and takes a 6-9 fall.

Rounding out the top 10 is Sony's CD/DVD soundtrack "Three 6 Mafia Presents: Choices II: The Set Up." The title, the DVD portion of which features the rap collective's full-length film, sold 56,000 copies to land at No. 10.

Other notable debuts include Motown's "Diary of a Mad Black Woman" soundtrack, which enters at No. 19 with 38,000 units. The set features several cuts by Cheryl Pepsi Riley, as well as artists like Angie Stone, Natalie Cole and Patti LaBelle.

Columbia newcomer Anna Nalick opens at No. 20 with "Wreck of the Day," which sold 37,000 copies in its first week. The singer/songwriter's first single, "Breathe (2 A.M.)" climbs 9-7 on the Adult Top 40 chart this week.

At 10.2 million units, overall U.S. album sales were up 4% over the previous week, just 1% shy of the same week last year. Year-to-date sales continue to trail those of 2004 by about 10% at 175 million units.

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