Rascal Flatts becomes only the second country <I>group</I> to top The Billboard 200 , as its third Hollywood set, "Feels Like Today," debuts at No. 1 with U.S. sales of 201,000 copies, according to Ni

Rascal Flatts becomes only the second country group to top The Billboard 200 , as its third Hollywood set, "Feels Like Today," debuts at No. 1 with U.S. sales of 201,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan. The set leads an avalanche of debuts this week, including top-10 placements for Hilary Duff, Ciara, the Used and Marilyn Manson.

"Feels Like Today" -- Rascal Flatts' second No. 1 title on Billboard's Top Country Albums chart -- is the follow-up to 2002's "Melt," which debuted at No. 5 on The Billboard 200 and has sold 2.2 million.

The Dixie Chicks are the only other country group to reach No. 1 on The Billboard 200. The Monument/Columbia act has done it twice: in 1999 with "Fly" and in 2002 with "Home."

Duff bows at No. 2 with her self-titled Buena Vista/Hollywood sophomore album, which moves 192,000 units -- giving the Disney-owned Hollywood label control of the chart's top two positions. Duff's 2003 debut, "Metamorphosis," opened in the same spot with 204,000, then moved to No. 1 the following week; it has sold 3.4 million to date.

Hip-hop newcomer Ciara enters at No. 3 with 125,000 units sold of her Sho'nuff/Music Line/LaFace debut, "Goodies." The title track featuring Petey Pablo has been on top of Billboard's Hot 100 for five consecutive weeks.

The Used's "In Love and Death" (Reprise/Warner Bros.) opens at No. 6 with 93,000. The group's self-titled debut didn't appear on The Billboard 200 until four months after its June 2002 release, when it peaked at No. 63.

Boasting a new cover of Depeche Mode's "Personal Jesus," Marilyn Manson's hits compilation "Lest We Forget: The Best Of" (Nothing/Interscope) bows at No. 9 with 80,000 copies. Manson's 2003 studio effort, "The Golden Age of Grotesque," debuted at No. 1 and has sold 455,000.

Last week's No. 1, Green Day's "American Idiot" (Reprise/Warner Bros.), falls to No. 4 on a 54% decline from last week to 124,000 units.

Just outside of the top tier, Joss Stone enters at No. 11 with her full-length S-Curve/EMI debut, "Mind, Body & Soul." The 17-year-old's 2003 introductory EP, "The Soul Sessions," barely snuck onto the chart in its first week at No. 199, but peaked at No. 39 this year. It has sold 623,000 units so far.

The newly completed version of a 1967 Beach Boys project gives Brian Wilson his highest Billboard 200 ranking as a solo artist. "Brian Wilson Presents Smile" opens at No. 13 on sales of 65,000 copies. The Beach Boys last saw the upper reaches of the chart in 1976, when "15 Big Ones" (Capitol) peaked at No. 8.

Also debuting in the top 20 are Talib Kweli's Rawkus set "The Beautiful Struggle" (No. 14, 63,000), Interpol's Matador album "Antics" (No. 15, 62,500), Queen Latifah's Vector set "The Dana Owens Album" (No. 16, 61,000) and Guerilla Black's Virgin release "Guerilla City" (No. 20, 46,000).

The big debuts lead to an increase in overall U.S. album sales of about 5% from last week, to 10.8 million units. This is about 7.5% lower than the comparable week last year. Year-to-date sales are beating 2003 by about 5.8%, at 462 million units.