Beyonce, Branch Albums Storm The Chart

The solo debut from Destiny's Child singer Beyonce Knowles leads three albums into the top-10 of The Billboard 200. Knowles' "Dangerously in Love" (Music World/Columbia) may have fallen well short of

The solo debut from Destiny's Child singer Beyonce Knowles leads three albums into the top-10 of The Billboard 200. Knowles' "Dangerously in Love" (Music World/Columbia) may have fallen well short of the first-week numbers of the last Destiny's Child set, but it still manages to sell an impressive 317,000 copies in the U.S., according to Nielsen SoundScan.

Destiny's Child's "Survivor" opened at No. 1 with 663,000 units in its first week in 2001, and while no one expected Knowles to match that tally, she cruises by the best weeks of the solo efforts from her bandmates. Kelly Rowland's "Simply Deep" (Columbia) racked up 77,000 units in its strongest week, and "Heart to Yours" (Columbia) from Michelle Williams sold 17,000 copies in its top week. "Dangerously in Love" has already spawned a top-10 single on the Hot 100 with "Crazy in Love" featuring Jay-Z.

Michelle Branch's "Hotel Paper" (Maverick) lands at No. 2 on The Billboard 200, with its 157,000 copies sold giving the singer her best sales week ever. Her 2001 debut "The Spirit Room" peaked at No. 28 on the tally, and sold 68,000 units during its strongest week. The new album's "Are You Happy Now?" is a top-20 hit on Billboard's Adult Top 40 Tracks chart.

The entries force "Dance With My Father" (J) from Luther Vandross down one slot to No. 3. In its third week on the chart, the album sells 120,000 units, a 34% decline from last week.

The latest from rap act Three 6 Mafia, "Da Unbreakables" (Hypnotized Minds), enters at No. 4 with 95,000 copies. The group's 2000 effort "When the Smoke Clears" opened at No. 6 with 157,000 units and has sold 1.2 million to date.

Metallica's "St. Anger" (Elektra) suffered a 37% decline to 87,000 copies in its fourth week of release, and drops 3-5 on the chart. 50 Cent's "Get Rich Or Die Trying" (Shady/Interscope) maintains its No. 6 position with 79,000 units sold, a small 7% dip from last week.

Last week's No. 1, Monica's "After the Storm" (J), falls to No. 7 in its second week on the chart. Sales are down 57% to 79,000 units. Wind-Up act Evanescence holds at No. 8 on sales of 69,000 units, a 10% drop from last week. Norah Jones' "Come Away With Me" (Blue Note/Capitol) slips 7-9 on a 12% sales dip to 68,000 units.

"Bare" from Annie Lennox (J) rounds out the top-10 with 66,000 units. It's a 28% sales dip from last week, and forces the album down 5-10.

Twelve other albums debut inside the top-50, led by the "Charlies Angels: Full Throttle" soundtrack (Columbia Records/Sony Music Soundtrax). The set arrives at No. 14 with 50,000 units sold. The soundtrack to the first "Charlies Angels" film has sold 1.76 million units to date.

"The Ownerz," the first Virgin studio album since 1998 from veteran rap duo Gang Starr, arrives at No. 18 with 48,000 units. The group's last album, "Moment of Truth," debuted at No. 6 and has sold 472,000 copies to date.

The Universal debut from R&B singer Lumidee, "Almost Famous," arrives at No. 22 with 37,000 units. First single "Never Leave You -- Uh Ooh, Uh Oooh!" reached the Hot 100's top-20 last week.

Despite a hit on the Adult Top 40 Tracks chart and a glossy new power-pop sound, the self-titled new album from singer Liz Phair falls short of the first-week sales total of 1998's "whitechocolatespaceegg" (Capitol). The latter sold 39,000 when it debuted, and the new release tops off at 35,000 units, landing at No. 27.

L.A. rappers Black Eyed Peas enter at No. 33 with 31,000 units for their latest A&M effort "Elephunk." The group's 2000 album "Behind the Front" has sold 259,000 units to date.

Rock act Guster has its best week ever on The Billboard 200 with its latest set, "Keep It Together" (Palm/Reprise). The album lands at No. 35 with 29,000 units. The group had never been higher than No. 169 on the chart; its 1999 release "Lost and Gone Forever" has sold 232,000 copies to date.

R&B singer Blu Cantrell enters at No. 37 with 29,000 units for her sophomore Arista effort "Bittersweet," while the debut from the Mars Volta, "De-Loused in the Comatorium" (Strummer/Universal), sells 28,000 to arrive at No. 39.

Willie Nelson's live effort "Live & Kickin'" (Lost Highway) enters at No. 42 with 27,000 units. It's Nelson's best sales week since SoundScan began tracking releases in 1991.