Winning Game Tops Chart

'Documentary' tops 580K.

Playing with his first major-label release, the Game wins the top slot of The Billboard 200 by a landslide this week, as “The Documentary” (Aftermath/G-Unit/Interscope) debuts with U.S. sales of 587,000 units, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

“The Documentary” beats its closest contender, Green Day's "American Idiot" (Reprise), by more than 500,000 units: The latter set slips 1-2 on a 15% sales decline from last week to 85,000.

The Game's first single, “How We Do” featuring 50 Cent, jumps 9-6 on Billboard’s Hot 100. In addition to 50 Cent, the album features appearances by Dr. Dre, Nate Dogg, Kanye West and Just Blaze.

“The Documentary” is the Game's second album in just a few months. The Compton, Calif.-born rapper's indie debut, “Untold Story” (Get Low), started at No. 146 on The Billboard 200 in November and this week re-enters the chart at No. 191.

Sales for most of the top 10 albums continue to decline.

Eminem’s “Encore” (Shady/Aftermath/Interscope) gets pushed 2-3 on an 11% drop to 75,000 units, while Lil Jon & the East Side Boyz’s “Crunk Juice” (TVT) gains one spot to No. 4 despite a 10% slide to 63,000. John Legend’s “Get Lifted” (Sony Urban Music/Columbia) slips 4-5 on a 15% fall to 62,000.

The only top-10 set to show a sales gain is Kelly Clarkson’s “Breakaway” (RCA), which holds at No. 6 for a second week on a 1% increase to 61,000 units.

A 7% slide to 52,000 is enough to keep Usher’s “Confessions” (LaFace/Zomba) at No. 7 for a second week. Ludacris’ “Red Light District” (Disturbing Tha Peace/Def Jam South) moves 9-8 despite a 6% dip to 52,000.

The 17th installment of “NOW That’s What I Call Music!” (Sony BMG/Universal/EMI/Zomba/Capitol) moves 10-9 on a 7% slope to 49,000, and Destiny’s Child’s “Destiny Fulfilled” rises 11-10 on an 11% fall to 47,000.

Greatest gainer honors go to Time Life Record’s “I Can Only Imagine: Ultimate Power Anthems of the Christian Faith,” which leaps 190-49 on a 226% boost. The set features songs by popular Christian acts like MercyMe, Amy Grant and Point of Grace.

Overall U.S. album sales are down 7% from the same week last year, at 9.6 million units, which is down 0.7% from last week. With a 29.8 million unit total, sales for the year to date are down 16% from 2004.