Ailing Vandross Dances Atop Album Chart
Despite being hospitalized, Luther Vandross scores his first No. 1 on The Billboard 200 with "Dance With My Father." The J Records set sold 442,000 copies in the U.S., according to Nielsen SoundScan,Despite being hospitalized, Luther Vandross scores his first No. 1 on The Billboard 200 with "Dance With My Father." The J Records set sold 442,000 copies in the U.S., according to Nielsen SoundScan, to give the R&B singer his best sales week in the SoundScan era.
Vandross suffered a stroke on April 16 and has been hospitalized in New York ever since. Last week he was moved out of the intensive care unit at Weill Cornell Medical College, and his business manager reported that his health was improving.
The first-week numbers for "Dance With My Father" more than double the opening week total of his 2001 self-titled J debut. That album opened with 135,000 copies and peaked at No. 6. "Dance With My Father" is the sixth album from Vandross to reach The Billboard 200's top-10. His previous chart high was No. 4 with 1994's "Songs" (Epic).
In a strong week for new releases, Vandross leads six albums into the top-10, including impressive first week sales for Radiohead, Annie Lennox and George Strait. But none were able to best the first full week of Metallica's "St. Anger" (Elektra). After racking up sales of 418,000 copies during a four-day sales period and debuting last week at No. 1, the album sold an additional 363,000 copies in its first full week in stores, and is No. 2 in its second week on the chart.
Radiohead's latest effort for Capitol, "Hail to the Thief," enters at No. 3 with sales of 300,000 copies. This bests the first-week sales totals of 2000's "Kid A" and 2001's "Amnesiac," despite the fact that "Hail to the Thief" was illegally available online 10 weeks prior to hitting stores. "Kid A" entered at No. 1 with 207,000 copies, and "Amnesiac" arrived at No. 2 with 231,000 copies.
"Bare" (J Records), the first solo album in eight years from Eurythmics principal Lennox, lands at No. 4 on sales of 153,000 copies. Her 1995 set "Medusa" debuted and peaked at No. 11 with 73,000 copies sold.
Strait's "Honkytonkville" (MCA) bows at No. 5 with sales of 143,000 copies. That beats the first-week sales total of his last studio effort, "The Road Less Traveled," which entered at No. 9 with 121,000 copies. In February, "For the Last Time: Live From the Astrodome," entered at No. 7 with sales of slightly more than 100,000 copies.
Although sales of the Murder Inc./Def Jam soundtrack to "2 Fast 2 Furious" were up 11% to 98,000 copies, the album falls one to No. 6. 50 Cent's "Get Rich or Die Tryin'" (Shady/Interscope) suffered a small 2% sales dip to 97,000 copies, and drops 3-7.
The self-titled Def Jam debut from Joe Budden pulls in at No. 8 on 94,000 copies sold. The album was preceded by the hit single "Pump It Up," which last week reached a new Hot 100 peak position at No. 43.
The latest from Steely Dan, "Everything Must Go" (Reprise) enters The Billboard 200 at No. 9 with sales of 91,000 copies. The tally falls short of the 141,000 copies the duo's 2000 comeback album "Two Against Nature" generated in its first week.
Norah Jones' "Come Away With Me" move up 11-10 to round out the top-10. Sales of the Blue Note/Capitol album were up 21% to 90,000 copies.
Other new entries on the chart include a greatest hits set from the Beach Boys, "Sounds of Summer" (Capitol), which surfs in at No. 16 on 69,000 copies sold. Justin Guarini's self-titled RCA effort enters at No. 20 (57,000), while Sarah Brightman's "Harem" (Nemo Studio/Angel) arrives at No. 29 (40,000).
A Kenny G collection from Arista is new at No. 42 (29,000), and the self-titled Maverick/Warner Bros. album from Chicago pop-punk act Mest lands at No 64 (20,000) to give the group its first entry on The Billboard 200.