Breaking & Entering: A look at acts breaking at radio and retail and entering Billboard charts. This week: Linkin Park and Ruben Studdard.

Profiling acts breaking at radio and/or retail and entering Billboard's charts.

LINKIN LOGS A NEW GENRE: A No. 94 entry with "Numb/Encore" on Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks chart gave modern rock darling Linkin Park the first such hit of its career last week.

Though the Los Angles-based group's fusion of old-school rap beats and alternative rock has earned six No. 1 songs on the Modern Rock Tracks list so far, the quintet stretches further outside the rock realm with the first single from its CD/DVD collaboration with Jay-Z, "Collision Course" (Warner Bros./Roc-A-Fella).

Produced by Linkin Park's Mike Shinoda, the album features studio recordings of songs mixed together at a July 18 Linkin Park/Jay-Z concert at L.A.'s Roxy, while the DVD covers the live show and a behind-the-scenes look at the process of blending songs like "Points of Authority" and "One Step Closer" with Jay-Z's "99 Problems."

While the mash-up approach to song-making is mainly underground -- the most notorious being Danger Mouse's bootleg "Grey Album," an unauthorized splicing of Jay-Z's "Black Album" with the Beatles' "White Album" -- "Collision Course" marks the first of MTV's commercialization of the practice as the first installment of "MTV Ultimate Mash-Ups."

The album -- which debuted atop The Billboard 200 this week -- also includes the blends "IZZO/In the End" and "Dirt Off Your Shoulder/Lying From You."

Linkin Park recently completed a 157 show tour behind its latest Warner Bros. studio set, "Meteora," and is currently working on the follow-up.

Links:
Artist: www.linkinpark.com
Labels: www.rocafella.com and www.warnerbrosrecords.com



Ruben StuddardRUBEN'S GOSPEL ROOTS: With his second album and first foray into the contemporary gospel genre, Ruben Studdard made his first appearance last week on Billboard's Top Gospel Albums chart, debuting at No. 1 with the J Records set "I Need an Angel."

With tracks produced by R. Kelly, Eric Dawkins and Warren Campbell, the second season "American Idol" winner joins third season finalist George Huff, who moved 23-11 last week with his five-song EP, "My Christmas" (Word-Curb/Warner Bros).

Studdard, who debuted at No. 1 on The Billboard 200 last year with "Soulful," entered at No. 20 on the big chart with his sophomore effort. "Soulful" has sold 1.8 million copies to date, while the "Angel" has a 96,000 start.

As stated in this week's "Chart Beat Bonus" column, "Angel" is the 23rd No. 1 for the "American Idol" franchise on the Billboard charts -- a total that began in October 2002 with first season winner Kelly Clarkson's "A Moment Like This" and includes albums and singles by Clay Aiken, Kimberley Locke, Fantasia, Diana DeGarmo and even series reject William Hung.

Studdard will perform the new album's title track on TNT's Dec. 31 special "Christmas in Washington."

Links:
Artist: www.rubenstuddard.com
Label: www.jrecords.com

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