Chart-based stories on Alanis Morissette, Kylie Minogue, Cher, Will Young, and Tim McGraw.
TRIO: The top three debuts this week on The Billboard 200 are all by solo female artists. As expected, Alanis Morissette debuts at No. 1 with her third studio set and fourth album overall, "Under Rug Swept" (Maverick). It's the Canadian singer's third No. 1 album. "Jagged Little Pill" spent 12 weeks on top in 1995 and "Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie" had a lone frame at No. 1 in 1998. Only an "MTV Unplugged" album failed to make the top; that set went to No. 63 in 1999.
The second female debuting in the top-10 of the album chart is Kylie Minogue, whose "Fever" breaks at No. 3. It's only the second Minogue album to chart in the U.S.; her "Kylie" album stalled at No. 53 in 1989.
The third debuting album is by Cher, still strong 36 years and seven months after making her debut on this chart with the Sonny & Cher LP "Look at Us." Among Cher's solo albums, her latest, "Living Proof" (Warner Bros.) is only the third to make the top-10. "Heart of Stone" went to No. 10 in 1989 and "Believe" peaked at No. 4 in 1999. "Living Proof" is the highest-debuting album of Cher's career, opening at No. 9.
IF YOU'VE GOT THE WILL: It seems like everyone in the U.K. has the "Will" this week, as in the winner of the "Pop Idol" TV series, Will Young. The 23-year-old newcomer debuted at No. 1 with the two-sided single "Evergreen" / "Anything Is Possible" (S/RCA), which registered the biggest one-week sales figure in U.K. history, with 1.1 million copies sold.
"Evergreen" is a cover of a track on the latest album from Irish boy band Westlife, and it replaced the title track from that album, "A World of Our Own," at the top of the U.K. singles chart.
FOLLOW THE RULES: Just one week after Ja Rule performed the rare feat of succeeding himself at No. 1 on The Billboard Hot 100, Tim McGraw does the same thing on Billboard's Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart. "Bring on the Rain," McGraw's duet with Jo Dee Messina, falls 1-3 while McGraw's solo "The Cowboy in Me" advances 3-1. Both McGraw singles are on the Curb label.
McGraw is the first artist to replace himself at No. 1 on this chart since Willie Nelson did it in 1982. In May of that year, Nelson spent two weeks on top with "Always on My Mind." That song was succeeded by "Just To Satisfy You" by the team of Waylon (Jennings) and Willie.