Kenny Chesney's "When the Sun Goes Down" gives 2004 its first blockbuster opening week, debuting atop The Billboard 200 after selling 550,000 copies in the U.S., according to Nielsen SoundScan. The BN

Kenny Chesney's "When the Sun Goes Down" gives 2004 its first blockbuster opening week, debuting atop The Billboard 200 after selling 550,000 copies in the U.S., according to Nielsen SoundScan. The BNA set is the country star's second No. 1 on the big chart, and leads a charge of three top-10 debuts.

Chesney's 2002 release "No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problem" bowed at No. 1 with 235,000 copies, and has sold 3.1 million to date. "No Shoes" is entering its 94th week on The Billboard 200, and gains this week 82-81. Meanwhile, Chesney has two top-20 hits on Billboard's Hot Country Singles & Tracks roundup. His "There Goes My Life" logged seven weeks at No. 1, and is down this week 3-6, while follow-up "When the Sun Goes Down" featuring Uncle Kracker jumps 23-17.

The latest from rock act Incubus enters The Billboard 200 at No. 2. "A Crow Left of the Murder" (Epic) sold 332,000 copies, besting the first-week totals of the group's 2001 album "Morning View." The latter also landed at No. 2 on sales of 266,000 copies. To date, it has sold 2.1 million copies. The band's "Megalomaniac" jumps 3-1 on the Modern Rock Tracks chart this week.

Last week's chart topper, Twista's "Kamikaze" (Atlantic), falls to No. 3 on a 44% sales slide to 174,000 copies. In two weeks on the chart, "Kamikaze" has sold 486,000 copies.

Josh Groban returns to the top-10 of The Billboard 200 this week, benefiting from his appearance at the Super Bowl on Feb. 1. His "Closer" (Reprise) soars 12-4 on a 209% sales burst to 172,000 copies. In its 13 weeks on the chart, the former No. 1 album has sold 2.3 million copies.

Harry Connick Jr. has the best debut of his career with "Only You" (Columbia). The set arrives at No. 5 with 140,000 copies. His previous chart peak came in December when his "Harry for the Holidays" hit No. 12, and prior to this week, his top debut was way back in 1991 with "Blue Light, Red Light," which entered at No. 23.

OutKast's Arista set "Speakerboxxx/The Love Below" (Arista) falls 2-6, yet earns a 32% sales burst to 111,000 copies. Fellow Grammy winner Evanescence has a similar fate: sales of the group's debut Wind-Up album "Fallen" are up 36% to 100,000 copies, yet the set suffers a 4-7 dip on the chart. Both acts should reflect a big Grammy-fueled boost in next week's charts.

"The Very Best of Sheryl Crow" (A&M) earns a 6% sales gain to 85,000 copies, yet the album dips 3-8. Sales of Toby Keith's "Shock'n Y'all" (DreamWorks/Interscope) are up 35% to 81,000 copies, but the album also suffers a chart dip, falling 7-9.

Ruben Studdard's J Records debut "Soulful" is down 5-10, declining on a small 2.4% sales dip to 68,000 copies.

Outside the top-10, the Interscope soundtrack to "Barbershop 2: Back in Business," featuring selections from Mary J. Blige, Sleepy Brown, G-Unit and Mya, bows at No. 18 with 53,500 copies.

The sophomore effort from pop act Five for Fighting, "The Battle for Everything" (Aware/Columbia), enters at No. 20 with 50,000 copies. Further down, Lostprophets' "Start Something" (Epic) bows at No. 33 with 36,000 copies.

Overall U.S. album sales are up 19.1% from last week to 12.71 million units, about 10.7% ahead of the comparable week last year.

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboardbiz

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