The 16th installment of the "Now That's What I Call Music!" series leads The Billboard 200 this week with U.S. sales of 504,000, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

The 16th installment of the "Now That's What I Call Music!" series leads The Billboard 200 this week with U.S. sales of 504,000, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

With 16 of its 20 songs culled from albums still found on the big chart, the set experiences the series' best sales week since 2001, when "Now 8" came in at No. 2 with 550,000 copies sold. This is also the first No. 1 bow for the collections since "Now 9" in March 2002.

The Universal/EMI/Sony Music/Zomba/UME compilation pushes last week's chart-topper Ashlee Simpson to second place. The star of MTV's "Ashlee Simpson Show" suffers a 32% drop to 270,000 in sales of her Geffen debut "Autobiography."

Amityville, N.Y.'s Taking Back Sunday are the champions of Victory Records, as their sophomore studio set scores a No. 3 debut and Nielsen record for the label with 163,500 sold. The emocore band's 2002 debut "Tell All Your Friends" appeared for just one week on the Billboard 200 at No. 183 almost a year after its opening. The album has moved 400,000 copies to date.

With 97,000 units, East Coast rap group Terror Squad's sophomore turn "True Story" (Universal) comes in at No. 7. The group's latest bow is fueled by the hit single "Lean Back," which -- climbing 3-2 this week -- is a steady contender for the top of Billboard's Hot 100. The Fat Joe-led group's Mystic/Atlantic debut entered at No. 22 of the Billboard 200 in 1999 with 54,000 copies and has sold 231,000 to date.

Fellow Hot 100 climber Kevin Lyttle bows right behind at No. 8 of the Billboard 200 with his Atlantic self-titled debut. The St. Vincent-based Soca/R&B artist jumps 6-4 on the Hot 100 this week with his first single "Turn Me On" featuring Spragga Benz. With 84,000 units sold, Lyttle becomes the first Soca artist to reach the top 10 of the Billboard 200 and also enters at No. 1 on the Top Reggae Album chart.

Country songstress Terri Clark earns the highest-charting album of her career with "Greatest Hits." Spanning a decade since 1994 and including "Better Things to Do," "When Boy Meets Girl" and "If I Were You," the Mercury Nashville set comes in at No. 14 with 62,000 sold in its first week. Clark's last studio set "Pain to Kill" bowed at No. 27 in 2003 with 33,000 units and has sold 277,000 to date.

Pearl Jam's latest performance set "Live at Benaroya Hall" (BMG Distribution) comes in at No. 18 with 52,000 copies sold. The group's last studio set "Riot Act" opened at No. 5 with 166,000.

Overall U.S. album sales were up 6.4% to 12.2 million, about 15% ahead of the comparable week last year. Sales for the year are ahead of those of 2003 by about 7%.

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