OutKast Retains Billboard 200 Crown

"Speakerboxxx/The Love Below" at No. 1 for fifth week

As overall sales expectedly plummet in the first post-Christmas sales week, OutKast's two-CD set "Speakerboxxx/The Love Below" (Arista) is able to maintain its position at the top for a fifth, non-consecutive week. The set holds at No. 1 despite a 60% sales dip in the U.S. to 151,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan. In its 15 weeks on the chart, the album has moved about 3.25 million units.

"The Diary of Alicia Keys" is also able to stand its ground. The J Records album rests at No. 2, withstanding a 69% drop to 116,000 copies. Close behind, suffering a 63% sales dive to 112,000 copies, is the 14th volume in the "NOW That's What I Call Music!" series (Universal/EMI/Zomba/Sony). The loss, however, doesn't prevent the compilation album from moving up one position to No. 3.

"The Very Best of Sheryl Crow" (A&M) also manages to earn a one-slot boost in the depressed sales week. In its ninth week on the chart, Crow's album sells 103,000 copies, about 60% behind its total last week, good for No. 4. No Doubt's "The Singles 1992-2003" (Interscope) jumps 8-5, surviving its 54% dip to 99,000 copies.

Jay-Z's "The Black Album" (Roc-A-Fella/Def Jam) jumps back into the top-10 with a 12-6 gain. Sales, however, are down 53% to 89,000 copies. Evanescence's Wind-Up debut "Fallen" has a similar increase in position, soaring 16-7, but it also takes a major sales hit. The album moves 85,000 copies in its 44th week of release, about 45% behind last week.

The 50 Cent-led G-Unit is back in the top-10. The act's debut, "Beg for Mercy" (Shady/Interscope), jumps 11-8, surviving a 45% sales dip to 85,000 copies. Country star Toby Keith falls 3-9 with his "Shock'n Y'all" (DreamWorks), taking a 74% hit to 84,000 copies.
Second-season "American Idol" winner Ruben Studdard rounds out the top-10 with his J Records bow, "Soulful." The set sells 83,000 copies in its fourth week on the chart, a 61% decline from last week.

No new releases reach The Billboard 200, and the only album on the chart to see any sort of sales boost is the DMZ./Columbia soundtrack to "Cold Mountain." Sales of the album are up about 2% to 16,000 copies, giving the set its first week on The Billboard 200 at No. 14. The release entered Billboard's Top Soundtrack Albums tally at No. 15 last week.