DMX Proves 'Grand Champ' On Album Chart

With what is being hyped as his last release, DMX has become the only artist in the history of The Billboard 200 to reach No. 1 with his first five albums. The rapper's latest Def Jam set, "Grand Cham

With what is being hyped as his last release, DMX has become the only artist in the history of The Billboard 200 to reach No. 1 with his first five albums. The rapper's latest Def Jam set, "Grand Champ" bows at the No. 1 with first week sales of 312,000 copies in the U.S., according to Nielsen SoundScan leading six albums into the top-10.

DMX's last, 2001's "The Great Depression," topped the chart with debut week sales of 440,000 copies. Earlier albums, 1999's "...And Then There Was X" and 1998's "Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood," both sold more than 600,000 units in their opening weeks.

"Thirteenth Step," from hard rock group A Perfect Circle, enters at No. 2 with 231,000 copies. Driven by the success of "Weak and Powerless," a top-3 airplay single on Billboard's Modern Rock Tracks chart, "Thirteenth Step" bests the opening week of the band's 2000 debut, "Mer de Noms." That album entered The Billboard 200 at No. 4 with 188,000 copies.

The latest from R&B superstar Erykah Badu, "World Wide Underground" (Motown) bows at No. 3 with 144,000 copies. The debut beats the entry of her 2000 album, "Mama's Gun," which opened at No. 11. Current single "Danger" is a top-40 hit on Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks chart.

Last week's No. 1, John Mayer's "Heavier Things" (Aware/Columbia), drops to No. 4 on a 57% sales slide to 137,000 copies. In two weeks, the set has sold 453,000 copies. Close behind Mayer is Hilary Duff's Buena Vista debut "Metamorphosis," which falls 2-5 despite a 17% sales increase to 126,000 copies. The Disney-associated star has sold 566,000 copies of her first offering since its release.

Beyonce's "Dangerously in Love" also saw a slight sales hike. The Columbia album falls 5-6 even though sales rose 15% to 86,000 units.

New Jersey hardcore act Thursday arrives at No. 7 with its major-label debut, "War All the Time." The Island album sold 74,000 copies for the group's career-best week on the chart. The subject of a major-label bidding war, the underground favorite was previously signed to Chicago's Victory Records. The group's 2001 album, "Full Collapse," peaked at No. 178 in April 2002.

Alan Jackson's "Greatest Hits Volume II" (Arista Nashville) is down 4-8 on a 10% sales decrease to 72,000 copies. Jackson and Mayer are the only artists in the top-10 whose albums experienced a sales decrease.

Hip-hop artist Sheek Louch makes a smashing arrival on The Billboard 200 with his solo debut, "Walk Witt Me" (Universal). The album enters at No. 9 with 65,000 copies. Sheek Louch first found mainstream success with the L.O.X., whose 2000 album "We Are the Streets" (Interscope) entered the chart at No. 5.

Southern rapper Bubba Sparxxx rounds out the top-10 with his sophomore effort "Deliverance" (Interscope), which sold 64,500 copies in its first week. His 2001 debut, "Dark Days, Bright Nights," opened at No. 3.

"Me & My Brother," the third album from party rappers the Ying Yang Twins, lands just outside the top-10 at No. 11 (TVT). The duo has gained notoriety recently with an appearance on the Lil Jon & the East Side Boyz hit "Get Low." Previously the Twins hadn't been higher than No. 58, a peak reached by 2002's "Alley: The Return of the Ying Yang Twins" (Koch).

Pop-punk group Saves The Day bows at No. 27 with "In Reverie" (Vagrant/DreamWorks). The album gives the New Jersey rock group its best week on the chart with a sales mark of 34,000 copies. The band's 2001 album, "Stay What You Are" (Vagrant), peaked at No. 100.

Rock chameleon David Bowie returns to The Billboard 200 with "Reality" (ISO/Columbia), which again finds him working with longtime collaborator Tony Visconti. The set bows at No. 29 on sales of 33,000 copies. Last year's "Heathen" entered at No. 14.

The latest from veteran soul singer Aretha Franklin, "So Damn Happy" (Arista), arrives at No. 33 with 28,000 copies sold. It's her first album since 1998's "A Rose Is Still a Rose," which debuted at No. 30.

Other notable entries on the big chart this week include the Steve Miller Band's "Young Hearts: Complete Greatest Hits" (Capitol) at No. 37 (26,000 copies sold) and MxPx's "Before Everything" (Interscope) at No. 51 (20,000).