Holds off new entries by Slim Thug, Bow Wow .
R. Kelly fends off competition to hold onto the top spot on The Billboard 200 for a second week with "TP.3 Reloaded" (Jive). Despite a 71.5% plunge to to sales of 139,000 copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan, the R&B veteran's latest holds on in the face of new top 10 entries by Slim Thug, Bow Wow and the All-American Rejects.
Houston rapper Slim Thug kicks off his major label debut in the second slot of the big chart this week with 129,000 copies of "Already Platinum" (Star Trak/Geffen/Interscope). The album also opens atop Billboard's Top Rap Albums list and at No. 2 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart, with interest boosted by the building radio hit, "I Ain't Heard of That," which is poised to enter the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart in the coming weeks.
This marks Slim Thug's fourth album on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart following three independently released titles between 2002 and 2004, each co-billed with a different artist. The highest of that bunch, "The Big Unit" with Lil' Keke, peaked at No. 37 and has sold 15,000 to date.
Fueled by the biggest radio hit of his career, Bow Wow enters The Billboard 200 at No. 3 with "Wanted" (Columbia). The set sold 119,000 copies in its first week, just shy of the rapper's previous effort, "Unleashed," which also started at No. 3 with 120,000 in 2003. That album has a to-date total of 754,000.
The set's first single, "Let Me Hold You" featuring Omarion, is the top song in several major U.S. markets and is likely to become the rapper's first top 10 hit on Billboard's Hot 100. "Wanted" also debuts at No. 2 on the Top Rap Albums list and No. 3 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart.
Coldplay's "X&Y" (Capitol) and Mariah Carey's "The Emancipation of Mimi" (Island/Def Jam) each slip one notch this week, landing at No. 4 and No. 5 respectively. Both sets come up shy of 100,000, with Coldplay (-21%) trumping Carey (-14%) by less than 300 units.
The All-American Rejects score their highest post on The Billboard 200 "Move Along" (Interscope) thanks to a career-best sales week. A No. 6 start based on 90,000 copies sold surpasses the opening of the band's 2003 self-titled debut, which bowed at No. 25 with 40,000 units and has sold 1 million units so far.
Rounding out the top tier, Missy Elliott's "The Cookbook" (Goldmine/Atlantic) tumbles 2-7 on a 63% fall to sales of 65,000; the Black Eyed Peas' "Monkey Business" (A&M/Interscope) slips one to No. 7 on a 13% drop to 65,000; Ying Yang Twins' "U.S.A.: United States of Atlanta" (TVT) slides 5-9 thanks to a 38% slump to 62,000; and George Strait's "Somewhere Down in Texas" (MCA Nashville) drops 6-10 on a 35% slide to 59,000.
Carole King nabs her highest charting effort in almost 30 years with "The Living Room Tour" (Rockingale Records/Concord Records/Hear Music), which opens at No. 17 on sales of 44,000 copies. Available at Starbucks as well as traditional retailers, the two-disc CD is a companion to her 26-date summer tour of the same name, which runs through Aug. 14.
"Living Room" ties King's "previous high water mark of No. 17 with Simple Things" (Capitol) in 1977. Between 1971 and 1974, the singer/songwriter scored her three Billboard 200 chart-toppers -- "Tapestry," "Music" and "Wrap Around Joy" -- all on the Ode label.
Other notable debuts include Dipset's "Diplomats & DukeDaGod Present: More Than Music, Vol. 1" (Diplomats/Koch; No. 22), the "Hustle & Flow" soundtrack (Atlantic, No. 31), Willie Nelson's "Countryman" (Lost Highway, No. 46), Luis Fonsi's "Paso A Paso" (Universal Latino, No. 62) and Fatty Koo's "House of Fatty Koo" (Sony, No. 64).