Comedian Dane Cook debuts at No. 4.
The 19th installment of the "Now That's What I Call Music!" hits compilation series, featuring acts like Destiny's Child and Gwen Stefani, remains atop The Billboard 200 for a second consecutive week. Despite a 46% fall to sales of 236,000 copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan, the multi-label disc staves off a slew of top tier debuts by Young Jeezy, Jason Mraz, Babyface and comedian Dane Cook.
At No. 2, rapper Young Jeezy scores his first solo spot on The Billboard 200 with "Let's Get It: Thug Motivation 101" (Def Jam), which sold 172,000 copies. Last month, the Atlanta-based artist enjoyed a No. 5 opening as part of Boyz N Da Hood. The quartet's self-titled Bad Boy South/Bad Boy effort bowed with sales of 101,000 copies.
Not since the classic Steve Martin album "A Wild and Crazy Guy" (Warner Bros./WEA) reached No. 2 in 1979 has The Billboard 200 seen a comedy disc break the top 5. That all changes this week as Dane Cook's "Retaliation" (Comedy Central Records) bows at No. 4 to become the highest-charting comedy effort in 26 years. The position and first week sales of 86,000 copies are especially impressive feats for Cook, whose first set, "Harmful if Swallowed," never made it to the big chart and sold just 3,000 copies in its debut week in 2003; it has moved 255,000 to date.
Jason Mraz dodges the sophomore slump with "Mr. A-Z" (Atlantic), which opens at No. 5 with a career-best sales week of 81,000 units. It took five months for the singer/songwriter's 2002 debut, "Waiting for My Rocket To Come," to enter The Billboard 200, where it peaked at No. 55. That album, which has sold 935,000, was propelled by the hit single "Remedy," a No. 4 hit on Billboard's Adult Top 40 list. His latest single, "Wordplay," is currently climbing that chart's top 20.
"Grown & Sexy," Babyface's first studio album in four years, sold 56,000 copies to bow at No. 10 on The Billboard 200. The Arista disc is the highest-charting effort for the R&B producer/singer/songwriter since 1996's "The Day" (Epic), which reached No. 6 and has sold 1.5 million to date. His last effort, 2001's "Face2Face," debuted and peaked at No. 25 with a 55,000 copy first-week; it has sold 371,000 to date.
In the midst of the top 10 debuts, Mariah Carey's "The Emancipation of Mimi" (Island/Def Jam) suffers a 2-3 fall despite a 13% gain to 102,000 copies. Coldplay's "X&Y" (Capitol) slips 6-4 on a 10% slip to 73,000, while the Black Eyed Peas' "Monkey Business" (A&M/Interscope) drop 6-7 even though sales boosted 13% to 68,000. Gorillaz's "Demon Days" (Parlophone/Virgin) saw sales gain 5% to 59,300 for a corresponding 9-8 chart climb, while R. Kelly's "TP.3 Reloaded" (Jive) takes a 3-9 tumble thanks to a 29% drop to 59,200 units.
Other notable debuts on this week's Billboard 200 include Trey Songz's "I Gotta Make It" (Atlantic, No. 20), Lil Rob's "Twelve Eighteen: Part I" (Upstairs Records, No. 31), Jason Aldean's self-titled Broken Bow album (No. 37), Ruff Ryders/Artemis' "Ruff Ryders: Redemption, Volume 4" (No. 40), and Alanis Morissette's "Jagged Little Pill (Acoustic)" (Maverick) (No. 50).
Overall U.S. album sales were up 2% over the previous week at 10.4 million units, but about 10% lower than the same week last year. Sales for 2005 are behind 2004 by about 8% at 324 million units.