Ciara, Eminem, Stefani Overtake The Billboard 200

Ciara's "Ciara: The Evolution" leads three new titles onto the top three spots on The Billboard 200, bowing at No. 1 with 338,000 copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan. The compi

Ciara's "Ciara: The Evolution" leads three new titles onto the top three spots on The Billboard 200, bowing at No. 1 with 338,000 copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan. The LaFace set achieves the R&B starlet's best charting position and sales week ever. Ciara's debut effort, 2004's "Goodies," entered at No. 3 with 125,000 and has sold 2.63 million to date.

The Shady/Aftermath/Interscope compilation "Eminem Presents: The Re-Up" lands at No. 2 with 309,000. Featuring a host of new Eminem tracks plus appearances from 50 Cent and members of the Shady Records roster, the album comes a year after Eminem's "Curtain Call: The Hits" opened at No. 1 with 441,000.

Gwen Stefani one-ups the peak position of her smash 2004 Interscope solo debut "Love.Angel.Music.Baby" with "The Sweet Escape," which debuts at No. 3 with 243,000. Its predecessor opened at No. 7 but eventually climbed to No. 5 thanks to the success of singles like "Hollaback Girl."

The soundtrack to Disney's "Hannah Montana" falls 2-4 in its seventh week on the chart despite a 47% increase in sales to 243,000. The Sony BMG Strategic Marketing Group/EMI/Universal/Zomba hits compilation "NOW 23" slips 4-5 with 185,000 (+20%).

Il Divo's "Siempre" (SYCO/Columbia) experiences a 128% sales boom, re-entering the top 10 with a 16-6 surge. Fueled in part by a Dec. 6 appearance on "The Oprah Winfrey Show," the group's "Ancora" also rockets forward 161-87, a 174% increase, while "The Christmas Collection" moves 3-1 on the Top Pop Catalog chart with a nearly 200% boost in sales.

Chris Daughtry's 19 Recordings/RCA debut "Daughtry" falls 3-7 with 155,000, a flat sales change, while the new Beatles collection "Love" (Apple Corps Ltd./Capitol) drops 5-8 with 152,000 (+3%). Sarah McLachlan's Arista holiday album "Wintersong" dips 7-9 with 137,000 and an 18% sales increase. Carrie Underwood, who won two Billboard Music Awards last week, inches up 13-10 with "Some Hearts" (Arista Nashville) on a 50% sales boost to 126,000.

Most of the performers from the event see increases for their albums that are larger than the 27.8% uptick of the overall market. Fergie's "The Dutchess" is up 62% at No. 19 while Nickelback (No. 21, up 42%), the Fray (No. 33, up 52%) and Mary J. Blige (No. 134, up 95%) also see gains. Even winners that accepted their trophies on the show but didn't perform also saw some spikes, including the soundtrack of "High School Musical" (No. 27, up 33%), Nelly Furtado (No. 49, up 64%), Chris Brown (No. 98, up 39%), Three Days Grace (No. 106, up 44%) and Kenny Chesney (Nos. 118 and 121, both up more than 30%).

Last week's chart-topper, Incubus' "Light Grenades," sets an undesirable record on The Billboard by dropping to No. 37, the biggest position drop ever from No. 1. Previously, Marilyn Manson's 2003 album "The Golden Age of Grotesque" held the record after sliding to No. 21 in its second week.

The Music World Music/Sony Urban Music/Columbia/ Sony Music Soundtrax soundtrack to "Dreamgirls," the single-disc "highlights" version," bows at No. 20 with 92,000. The longer two-disc version enters at No. 132. Other big debuts this week include Lil Scrappy's "Bred 2 Die -- Born 2 Live" (BME) at No. 24 with 82,000 units and R&B veteran Brian McKnight's "Ten" (Warner Bros.) at No. 32 with 63,000.

Besides Daughtry's, the only other album in the top 25 to experience a sales decrease was Jay-Z's "Kingdom Come" (Roc-A-Fella/Def Jam), which slides 6-15 in its third week on a 27% sales decline to 101,000.

Overall, album sales are up 27.8% from last week's count and are down 1.9% compared to the same week a year ago at 18.86 million units. Sales for 2006 are down 5% compared to 2005 at 519.4 million units.


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