Leads chart for second week in a row.
As the sole album to sell more than 100,000 copies this week, the "NOW 22" compilation sits at No. 1 on The Billboard 200 for a second week in a row. The BMG/Zomba/EMI/UME collaboration moved 207,000 units, according to Nielsen SoundScan, enough to maintain the lead despite a 48% dip in sales.
This week is particularly slow on the big chart, with overall album sales at 8,908,000 -- the lowest number seen since the week ending Jan. 23, 1994, when 8,853,000 albums were sold.
Los Lonely Boys' sophomore studio set "Sacred" (One Haven/Or) earns the Garza brothers their best chart position yet, entering at No. 2 with 67,000. The album features the single "Diamonds," which reached No. 6 on Billboard Radio Monitor's Triple-A chart. The group's self-titled effort achieved a better single-week tally, moving 76,000 over the 2004 Christmas holiday.
Country singer Rodney Atkins has his best week ever on both The Billboard 200 and the Hot Country Albums chart, as his second album, "If You're Going Through Hell," enters at No. 3 and No. 1, respectively. The Curb release sold 55,000 copies; Atkins' 2003 set, "Honesty," only reached No. 50 on the Country Albums chart and never appeared on the 200.
Back on the big chart, Gnarls Barkley's Downtown/Atlantic release "St. Elsewhere" bumps up a notch 5-4 with 53,000, a slip of 6%. The soundtrack to Disney's "High School Musical" ascends 7-5 in its 28th week on the chart, with 52,000 copies and a gain of 4%. Rascal Flatts' "Me and My Gang" (Lyric Street) climbs 8-6 with 50,000 and a +2% change.
Nelly Furtado's Mosley Music/Geffen album "Loose" continues its descent 4-7 with 47,000 (-18%), while Rihanna gains some footing, moving 10-8 with 45,000 (-4%). The Dixie Chicks' "Taking the Long Way" (Columbia) re-enters the top tier 11-9 with 44,000 copies and a 6% decline in sales. After 45 weeks on the chart, the Pussycat Dolls also re-emerge in the top 10 to round out the group, moving 13-10 with 43,000 (+3%).
The debut full-length from the Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, "Don't You Fake It" (Virgin), scores a No. 25 entry on the Billboard 200 thanks to an opening frame of 25,000 units. Eric Church's Capitol Nashville set "Sinners Like Me" arrives at No. 29 with 24,000. No other albums debuted this week in the top 50.
Overall CD sales were down 4% from the previous week and down 13% compared to the same week a year ago. Sales for 2006 are down 5% compared to 2005 at 197.8 million units.