Sells 88,000 copies in the United States.

Even in death, Johnny Cash is still mighty enough to top The Billboard 200. "American V: A Hundred Highways" earns the Man in Black his first No. 1 album since 1969's "Johnny Cash at San Quentin" with 88,000 copies sold in the United States, according to Nielsen Soundscan.

The American Recordings/Lost Highway effort also crowns the Top Country Albums tally, knocking the Dixie Chicks' "Taking the Long Way" (Columbia) to No. 2 after seven weeks on top.

Though the top debut is a great posthumous achievement, the Rick Rubin-produced "American V" sold the fewest copies of a No. 1 debut since Nielsen SoundScan began tracking data in 1991. The previous low for a No. 1 debut belonged to Destiny's Child's "#1's" in 2005, which started with 113,000.

Nelly Furtado's "Loose" (Mosley Music/Geffen) climbs 3-2 on The Billboard 200 with 81,000 copies, despite a 18% slip in sales. After scoring her first No. 1 last week, India.Arie's Universal Motown release "Testimony: Vol. 1, Life & Relationship" falls to No. 3 with 69,000 copies after a 57% sales hit. The Chicks' "Taking the Long Way" holds tight at No. 4 with 57,000 (-27%).

Gnarls Barkley's "St. Elsewhere" (Downtown/Atlantic) continues a gradual ascent to a new peak position, moving 6-5, with 56,000 (-6%). Switching places with the effort is Rihanna's SRP/Def Jam album "A Girl Like Me," shifting 5-6 with an 11% sales slip to 55,000. Rascal Flatts' Lyric Street album "Me and My Gang" sells just a small percentage fewer, keeping the No. 7 spot warm (55,000; 6%).

The soundtrack to Disney's "High School Musical" continues to sell strongly in its 26th week on the chart, moving down 8-9 with 52,000 (-10%). Dashboard Confessional's "Dusk and Summer" (Vagrant) falls to No. 9 after debuting at No. 2 last week, with 50,000 units and a 63% sales dropoff.

Rise Against lands its best sales week and chart position ever with the Geffen album "The Sufferer & the Witness," which debuts at No. 10 with 48,000. The group's last release, "Siren Song of the Counter Culture," debuted and peaked at No. 136 in 2004.

In a slow week for new releases during the July 4 holiday, only two other albums debuted in the top 200: the soundtrack to Disney's "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest" at No. 24 (30,000) and the Diana Reyes hits collection "Las No. 1 De La Reyes" (No. 143, 6,000).

At 9 million units, overall CD sales were down 6% from the previous week and down a whopping 15% compared to the same week a year ago. Sales for 2006 are down 5% compared to 2005 at 179.6 million units.

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboardbiz

Print