R&B star sells 194K for ninth week at No. 1.

Usher's LaFace/Zomba album "Confessions" returns to the top seat of The Billboard 200, jumping from No. 3 to spend a ninth week at No. 1. Usher is the first artist to have nine weeks at the top since Santana accomplished the feat with "Supernatural," which ended up reigning for 12 weeks in 1999-2000. Despite a 1% decline from last week, "Confessions" sells 194,000 copies, bringing its U.S. total to 3.9 million, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

After knocking Usher from the top slot last week with her sophomore return, Avril Lavigne's "Under My Skin" (Arista) drops 55% this week to No. 2 with 170,000 copies. Also dropping significantly after last week's impressive No. 2 bow, Slipknot's "Vol. 3: The Subliminal Verses" (Roadrunner/IDJMG) falls 65% to 85,000 copies to land at No. 5.

Prince continues to benefit from his current tour -- he is the only artist in the top 10 to see a sales increase this week. Following a 41% jump last week after two performances, the Sony artist does it again: "Musicology" shoots 8-4 on a 35% gain to 96,000 following four major Southern California dates. The sales total includes copies given away with the purchase of each concert ticket.

The EMI/Universal/Sony Music/Zomba/Capitol compilation "NOW! That's What I Call Music 15" climbs back into the top 10, moving 13-9 despite a 3% drop to 54,000.

The other albums in the top 10 are Gretchen Wilson's "Here for the Party" (Epic), up 4-3; Hoobastank's "The Reason" (Island), which holds at No. 6, D12's "D12 World" (Shady/Interscope); steady at No. 7; Geffen's "Shrek 2" soundtrack, up 9-8; and Method Man's "Tical 0: The Prequel" (Def Jam), down five spots to No. 10.

Dean Martin's Capitol compilation "Dino: The Essential Dean Martin" enters the chart at No. 28 with 32,000. This is the former Rat Packer's first solo effort to chart on The Billboard 200 since 1972, when "Dino" peaked at No. 117.

Labelmate Kenny Rogers bows at No. 39 with "42 Ultimate Hits." With 29,000 copies, this is country veteran's highest debut on The Billboard 200 since 1983's "Eyes That See in the Dark" entered at No. 7. He also returns to the top 10 on Billboard's Top Country Albums chart after four years, at No. 6.

Following a May 31 appearance on "The Today Show," Renee Olstead enters The Billboard 200 at No. 95 with a 395% sales increase to 12,000 copies. The "Still Standing" star's self-titled Warner Bros. debut bowed at No. 4 on Top Jazz Albums last week with 2,500 copies.

Overall U.S. album sales are down 4.3% from last week to 11 million, about 5% ahead of the comparable week last year. Sales for the year are beating those of 2003 by 7.5%.

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