Jay-Z, Linkin Park 'Mash-Up' Tops Album Chart

The seemingly odd pairing of a multiplatinum artists from the rap and rock worlds takes an underground concept to the pinnacle of the mainstream as "MTV Ultimate Mash-Ups Presents Jay-Z/Linkin Park: C

The seemingly odd pairing of a multiplatinum artists from the rap and rock worlds takes an underground concept to the pinnacle of the mainstream as "MTV Ultimate Mash-Ups Presents Jay-Z/Linkin Park: Collision Course" bows atop The Billboard 200 this week. The Warner Bros./Roc-A-Fella CD/DVD set sold 368,000 copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan, more than enough displace U2's "How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb" (Interscope) from its perch.

As one of the first legally released full albums of mash-ups, the set earns Jay-Z his second No. 1 on the big chart this year, following "Unfinished Business" (Jive/Def Jam/IDJMG), his collaboration with R. Kelly, which topped The Billboard 200 just last month.

As last year's "The Black Album" (Roc-A-Fella/Def Jam) was released in November Jay-Z just misses scoring three No. 1 albums in one year. As it stands, the retiring rapper boasts eight Billboard 200 chart-toppers and a U.S. sales total of 21 million.

"Numb/Encore," the first single from the blend of Linkin Park and Jay-Z songs, earned Linkin Park the first crossover hit of its career with last week's No. 94 entry on Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks list. The group's latest studio album, "Meteora" (Warner Bros.), debuted last year at No. 1 with 810,000 and has sold 4.7 million to date.

After just one week on top, U2's "How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb" slides to No. 2 on a 66% dip to sales of 288,000 units. Kelly Clarkson's second RCA effort "Breakaway" earns the No. 3 slot with 250,000 units. The original "American Idol" winner opened at No. 1 last year with 297,000 copies of her debut "Thankful," which has moved 2.1 million to date.

New York rapper Nas, who has three chart-topping Billboard 200 albums to his credit, enters at No. 5 with "Street's Disciple." The Sony Urban Music/Columbia set sold 232,000 copies, an improvement over 2002's "God's Son," which bowed at No. 18 with 156,000 copies in 2002; the set has sold 1.2 million to date.

Rapper T.I. represents the South with a No. 7 bow for "Urban Legend" (Grand Hustle/Atlantic) on sales of with 193,000 copies. Despite entering behind on the big chart, the Atlanta-bred artist's set beats Nas and "Collision Course" for the No. 1 spot on Billboard's Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. Last year, T.I.'s "Trap Muzik" opened at No. 4 with 109,000 copies; it has a to-date total of 903,000.

Amidst the flush of new entries, the rest of the top 10 survivors suffered an average 50% slip in sales.

Eminem's "Encore" (Shady/Aftermath/Interscope) falls 2-4 in its fourth week on the chart on a 47% tumble to 248,000 units, while Shania Twain's Mercury Nashville greatest hits collection came up 49% shorter at 195,000 copies, causing a 3-6 drop on the chart.

The 17th installment of "NOW That's What I Call Music!" (Sony BMG/Universal/EMI/Zomba/Capitol) dips 6-8 on a 47% drop to 169,000 and Destiny's Child's "Destiny Fulfilled" (Sony Urban Music/Columbia) slips 4-9 after a 51% decline to 164,000.

And Toby Keith's "Greatest Hits 2" still hangs on to a top 10 berth despite a 57% dip to 142,000 units. The DreamWorks Nashville/Interscope set drops five slots to No. 10.

Josh Groban's "Live at the Greek" (Reprise/Warner Bros.) gathered 84,000 copies in its first week to debut at No. 24. His last studio set, "Closer," gets a 20-slot boost to No. 51 on a 24% increase to sales of 36,000. The 2003 album debuted at No. 4 with 375,000 copies and peaked at No. 1 two months later; it has sold 4 million to date.

Gerald Levert's "Do I Speak for the World?" (Atlantic) rounds out the week's top 50 debuts at No. 29 with 66,000 copies. His "Stroke of Genius" (Elektra) entered at No. 6 last year with 97,000 copies and has a to-date total of 384,000 copies.

Overall U.S. album sales dipped 8.5% from the previous week to 17.8 million units and about 5.3% from the same week last year. With 583 million units, sales for 2004 are beating those of last year by about 2.3%.

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