'The Boss' Bows 'Devils' At No. 1

Bruce Springsteen notches his seventh No. 1 album this week as "Devils & Dust" (Columbia) bows on top of The Billboard 200. The set sold 222,000 copies in the United States, according to Nielsen S

Bruce Springsteen notches his seventh No. 1 album this week as "Devils & Dust" (Columbia) bows on top of The Billboard 200. The set sold 222,000 copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan, allowing "The Boss" to replace last week's top debut, Rob Thomas' "...Something To Be" (Melisma/Atlantic), at the summit.

Springsteen last debuted at No. 1 with 2002's "The Rising," which opened with sales of 525,000 and has sold 2.1 million to date. His first album to reach the top of the chart was 1980's "The River."

Just over a week ago, Springsteen launched a solo U.S. tour in support of "Devils & Dust" in Detroit. The outing next visits Oakland tomorrow (May 5). A European leg opens May 24 in Dublin.

Newcomer Bobby Valentino enters the chart at No. 3 with a 180,000-copy debut for "Disturbing Tha Peace Presents: Bobby Valentino." The first R&B act on the Ludacris-owned label, Valentino is No. 1 on Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs list with first single, "Slow Down."

Buoyed by the success of the former Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart-topper "1 Thing," Amerie's sophomore Rise/Columbia/Sony Urban Music set, "Touch," opens at No. 5 on The Billboard 200 with sales of 124,000. The singer's 2002 debut, "All I Have," started at No. 9 with 89,000 and has sold 623,000 to date.

Jo Dee Messina's "Delicious Surprise" lands at No. 7 to give her the first Billboard 200 top 10 title of her career. The Curb set, which sold 99,000 copies, also becomes her third Billboard Top Country Albums chart-topper. Messina's last album, 2000's "Burn," opened at No. 19 on the big chart with 61,000 units; it has sold 1.2 million to date.

Mariah Carey's "The Emancipation of Mimi" (Island/IDMJ) is the only top 10 disc to hold its position, remaining entrenched at No. 2 despite a 13% drop to sales of 197,000 copies.

After making history last week as the first male artist from a pop or rock group to bow at No. 1 on The Billboard 200 with his debut solo effort, Thomas' "... Something To Be" tumbles to No. 4 on a 42% decrease to sales of 145,000 copies. 50 Cent's "The Massacre" (Shady/Aftermath/Interscope) falls one to No. 6 on a 10% slide to sales of 114,000 copies.

Mike Jones' "Who Is Mike Jones?" (Swishahouse/Asylum/Warner Bros.) drops 3-8 on a 55% slide to 81,000 copies and Il Divo's self-titled Sony bow falls 4-9 due to a 49% slip to 74,000. Despite a sales gain of 10% to 71,000, Gwen Stefani's "Love, Angel, Music, Baby" (Interscope) falls four positions to close out the top 10.

Among other notable debuts on the chart is Ben Folds' "Songs for Silverman" (Epic), which moved 50,000 copies to give the artist his career-best debut on The Billboard 200 at No. 13. First season "Nashville Star" winner Buddy Jewell scores a No. 31 entry with his sophomore Columbia effort "Times Like These," which opens with 26,000 units.

After a six-year absence, Mint Condition returns to The Billboard 200 with "Livin' the Luxury Brown" (Image) at No. 45. Sales of 20,000 copies give the group its highest placement on the list, as well as on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart, where it enters at No. 11. The album also bows at No. 1 on Billboard's Top Independent Albums tally.

Just one slot back on The Billboard 200, New Order debuts at No. 46 with "Waiting For the Sirens' Call" (Warner Bros.), which also shoots straight to No. 1 on Billboard's Top Electronic Albums tally.

Overall U.S. album sales were up 3.6% over the previous week at 10.6 million units, about 0.5% lower than the same week last year. Sales for 2005 trail last year by about 9% at 186 million units.


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