Janet Jackson's new album is off to a strong start, but it fails to expose any weakness in fellow R&B artist Usher. Jackson's "Damita Jo" (Virgin) enters the Billboard 200 at No. 2, behind Usher's

Janet Jackson's new album is off to a strong start, but it fails to expose any weakness in fellow R&B artist Usher. Jackson's "Damita Jo" (Virgin) enters the Billboard 200 at No. 2, behind Usher's "Confessions," which cruises to a second straight week atop the chart.

"Confessions" sells 486,000 copies in the U.S., according to Nielsen SoundScan, down 56% from its record-breaking debut week.

"Damita Jo" leads five debuts in the top 10, bowing at No. 2 with 381,000 copies sold. Despite a flurry of media coverage in the wake of her Super Bowl incident, "Damita Jo" is Jackson's first album since 1989's "Rhythm Nation 1814" not to debut at No. 1. Her 2001 set "All for You" opened with 605,000 copies and has sold 3 million to date.

Texas rapper Lil' Flip follows the success of his breakthrough 2002 album "Undaground Legend" (Sony) with his first top-10 debut. His two-disc "U Gotta Feel Me" enters at No. 4 with 198,000 copies, his strongest showing yet on the chart. "Undaground Legend" entered at No. 12 with 68,000 copies and has sold 646,000 copies to date.

Veteran artists Aerosmith and Eric Clapton arrive in the top 10 this week with new albums that tap into their blues roots. Aerosmith's "Honkin' on Bobo" (Columbia), a collection of blues covers with one new track, lands at No. 5 with 160,500 copies, while Clapton's set of Robert Johnson covers, "Me and Mr. Johnson" (Duck/Reprise), enters at No. 6 with 128,000 copies.

Hip-hop newcomer J-Kwon lands at No. 7 with "Hood Hop" (Arista), debuting at No. 7 with 103,000 copies. First single "Tipsy" is No. 1 on Billboard's Hot Rap Tracks chart.

Other notable arrivals this week include Tracy Lawrence's "Strong" (DreamWorks) at No. 17, DJ Kayslay's "The Streetsweeper Vol. 2, The Pain from the Game" at No. 27, Bob Dylan's "The Bootleg Series Vol. 6" (Columbia/Legacy) at No. 28, Shakira's "Live and Off the Record" (Sony) at No. 45 and "Music From the OC, Mix 1" (Warner Bros.) at No. 52.

Despite all the action at the top of the chart this week, overall U.S. sales are down about 1.5% to 12.5 million, about 18% ahead of the comparable week last year, when albums from the White Stripes and Cher debuted in the top 10. Year-to-date sales are besting those of 2003 by 9.8%.

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