2Pac grabs his third posthumous Billboard 200 chart-topper, as "Loyal to the Game" (Amaru/Interscope) debuts with U.S. sales of 330,000 units, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

2Pac grabs his third posthumous Billboard 200 chart-topper, as "Loyal to the Game" (Amaru/Interscope) debuts with U.S. sales of 330,000 units, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

The rapper's last full-length, "Better Dayz," debuted at No. 5 with 366,000 copies in 2002 and has sold 1.6 million to date. Total U.S. album sales for 2Pac, who boasts five career No. 1s, are 24.4 million units, of which 18 million came after his death in 1996.

Last week's chart-topper, Ludacris' "Red Light District" (Disturbing Tha Peace/Def Jam South), plunges to No. 12 on a 34% sales decline to 214,000.

Holiday sales boost almost all of the acts on The Billboard 200. Leading the pack is "Now 17" (Sony BMG/Universal/EMI/Zomba/Capitol), which rises 5-2 on a 33% gain to 323,000 units.

A 15% increase keeps Eminem's "Encore" (Shady/Aftermath/Interscope) at No. 3 for a second week, with 315,000 copies. Shania Twain's Mercury Nashville hits set moves 6-4 on a 31% jump to 311,000.

Though its sales rise 7% to 297,000 units, U2's "How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb" (Interscope) drops to No. 5, after two weeks at No. 2. Destiny's Child's "Destiny Fulfilled" (Sony Urban/Columbia) is up 7-6 on a 25% gain to 267,000.

At No. 7, Ashanti earns the only other top-10 debut this week, with "Concrete Rose." The songstress' third studio set for The Inc./Def Jam is her first not to debut at No. 1. Last year's "Chapter II" entered at the top with 326,000 copies and has sold 1.5 million to date.

Sales of Toby Keith's "Greatest Hits 2" (DreamWorks Nashville/Interscope) rise 25% to 238,000, but the album spends a second week at No. 8. A 41% increase to 237,000 units pushes Usher's "Confessions" (LaFace/Zomba) up 11-9. "MTV Ultimate Mash-Ups Presents Jay-Z/Linkin Park: Collision Course" (Roc-A-Fella/Def Jam/Warner Bros.) brings up the top-10 rear, down from No. 9 despite a 27% increase to 236,000 copies.

Xzibit debuts this week at No. 43 with "Weapons of Mass Destruction" (Columbia), which sells 81,000. The rapper's 2002 predecessor, "Man vs. Machine," started at No. 3 with 156,000 and has sold 596,000 to date.

Overall U.S. album sales are up 27.6% from last week at 27.8 million units. This is down 13.4% from the comparable week in 2003. Sales for the year to date are beating those of 2003 by 1.2%, at 633 million units.