Moves 301,000 copies.
In a hot week for new albums in the top 10, R&B singer Ne-Yo's debut solo release flies straight to No. 1 on The Billboard 200. "In My Own Words" (Def Jam) sold 301,000 copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan, more than 170,000 more than its closest competition.
The album also debuts at No. 1 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart, knocking Jaheim's "Ghetto Classics" (Divine Mill/Warner Bros.) from a two-week stint in the lead.
"In My Own Words" got a boost in sales from the popularity of the single, "So Sick," which is No. 9 on the Billboard Hot 100. The young performer was previously best known for co-penning Mario's smash hit "Let Me Love You," which sat at the top of the Hot 100 for nine weeks in 2004.
The soundtrack to Disney's television movie "High School Musical" falls 2-1 this week, despite a 26% increase in sales to 128,000 copies.
At No. 3, rock quintet Hawthorne Heights enjoys its highest charting position ever on The Billboard 200. The band's Victory Records release "If Only You Were Lonely" moved 114,000 copies, which put it at No. 1 on Billboard's Top Independent Albums and Top Rock Albums charts. The band's 2004 debut, "The Silence in Black and White," peaked at No. 56 on the big chart.
Country superstar Alan Jackson's "Precious Memories" (Arista) debuts at No. 4 but enters the Top Country Albums and Top Christian Albums charts at No. 1. The inspirational release is Jackson's first studio set since 2004's "What I Do," which peaked at No. 1 on The Billboard 200.
Even with a 5% sales increase to 81,000 copies, Mary J. Blige's Matriarch/Geffen release "The Breakthrough" slides 4-5.
The retrospective "The Legend of Johnny Cash" bolts 20-6 after a spike to sales of 80,000, an 88% increase. The sales came in advance of Reese Witherspoon's best actress Oscar on Sunday (March 5) for her role as Cash's wife, June Carter Cash, in the biopic "Walk the Line."
Jack Johnson and Friends' companion album to "Curious George" (Brushfire) falls 3-7 with 73,000 copies (-18%). In the week she returned to perform on "American Idol," last season's champ Carrie Underwood's Arista debut, "Some Hearts," enjoyed an 18% increase to 73,000 and climbs 9-8.
James Blunt's Custard/Atlantic release "Back to Bedlam" tumbles 5-9 with 67,000 units (-7%), while Andrea Bocelli's "Amore" (Sugar/Decca/Universal) caps the top 10, dipping 7-10 with 59,000 copies (-10%).
Kid Rock & the Twisted Brown Truckers' concert set "Live Trucker" (Atlantic) bows at No. 12 on The Billboard 200 with 56,000 copies. The set features guest vocals from Gretchen Wilson on "Picture" and an unlikely cover of the Gap Band's "Outstanding."
At 11 million units, overall CD sales were down by 1% from the previous week and down 9% compared to the same week a year ago. Sales for 2006 are down 3% compared to 2005 at 97.8 million units.