R. Kelly's 'Chocolate Factory' Produces No. 1 Debut
A string of sexual allegations failed to turn U.S. music consumers away from R. Kelly's latest album, as "Chocolate Factory" sold an impressive 532,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan, and putA string of sexual allegations failed to turn U.S. music consumers away from R. Kelly's latest album, as "Chocolate Factory" sold an impressive 532,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan, and put the set on top of The Billboard 200. Sales of the Jive album narrowly edged out those of rapper 50 Cent's "Get Rich or Die Tryin'" (Shady/Interscope), which falls to No. 2 on a 37% sales slide to 520,000 copies.
"Chocolate Factory" is Kelly's third No. 1 on The Billboard 200. First single "Ignition" has already become a top-15 hit on Billboard's Hot 100 and top-3 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks chart.
While Kelly's 2000 album "TP-2.com" had a larger opening week, with sales of 543,000 copies, its total benefited from a November release, when retail traffic is traditionally higher. The singer's last effort, "The Best of Both Worlds" with Jay-Z, moved 223,000 copies in its ill-timed first week, just after accusations of sexual misconduct against Kelly stormed the media.
Norah Jones holds steady at No. 3 with her debut Blue Note album "Come Away With Me." Sales of the album fell a minuscule 3% to 144,000 units, but a major boost is expected in next week's figures, which will reflect retail activity following her five Grammy wins. Since its Feb. 26, 2002, release, the set has sold 3.6 million copies.
The Dixie Chicks' "Home" (Monument/Columbia) slips 2-4 on The Billboard 200 on a 25% sales slide to 127,000 copies. Nonetheless, the set remains No. 1 for the 13th week on Billboard's Top Country Albums roundup. With three Grammy wins of their own, the Chicks will also likely see a boost in next week's sales figures.
Kid Rock's "Cocky" (Lava/Atlantic) slips one to round out the top-5 of The Billboard 200 on sales of 102,000 units, a 21% dip from the previous week.
The Def Jam "Cradle 2 the Grave" soundtrack, featuring DMX, 50 Cent, Eminem, and Clipse, lands at No. 6 on sales of 98,000 copies. It knocks Avril Lavigne's Arista set "Let Go," which suffered a 17% sales hit to 85,000 copies, down one to No. 7.
Epic's soundtrack to "Chicago" falls 5-8 on a 31% dip to sales of 81,000 copies, while Wind-Up's soundtrack to "Daredevil" benefited from the film's strong U.S. box office performance to gain 15-9 on a 7% rise to 70,000 copies. Warner Bros.' "Grammy Nominees 2003" compilation rounds out the top-10. Despite suffering a 2% sales decline to 64,000, the set moves up 16-10 on The Billboard 200.
Elsewhere on the chart, "200 KM/H in the Wrong Lane," the debut album by t.A.T.u., blasts 36-13 on a 24% sales burst to 51,000 copies. The Russian teen duo's single, "All the Things She Said," recently reached the top-30 of the Hot 100. The pair's Interscope album has sold 216,000 units to date. With a performance this week on NBC's "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno," the girls have a strong chance of making it into the top-10 next week.
Right behind t.A.T.u. at No. 14 is Sean Paul's "Dutty Rock" (VP/Atlantic), which also saw a 24% sales gain. The album, which sold 49,000 copies in its 15th week on the chart, benefited from the artist's appearance on the syndicated "Showtime in Harlem" television show.