Jay-Z Scores 5th Chart-Topper With 'Blueprint'

Jay-Z snares his fifth No. 1 this week on The Billboard 200 with "The Blueprint 2: The Gift & the Curse" (Roc-A-Fella/Def Jam). The album sold a mighty 545,000 copies in the U.S., according to Nie

Jay-Z snares his fifth No. 1 this week on The Billboard 200 with "The Blueprint 2: The Gift & the Curse" (Roc-A-Fella/Def Jam). The album sold a mighty 545,000 copies in the U.S., according to Nielsen SoundScan, and knocks the Eminem-heavy soundtrack to "8 Mile" (Shady/Interscope) down to No. 2 on the chart. Jay-Z's latest, one of five top-10 debuts on The Billboard 200, also arrives at No. 1 on Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart.

"The Blueprint 2" bests the first-week total of last year's "The Blueprint," which sold 426,500 units when it came out last September and has sold 2.2 million units to date. The rapper's best sales week came during the holiday season of 2000, when "The Dynasty: Roc La Familia" opened with sales of 558,000 copies.

Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliott's "Under Construction" (The Gold Mind/Elektra) hammers its way to No. 3 on sales of 259,000 copies. The total just edges out the first-week total of her "Miss E ... So Addictive," which landed at No. 2 in June 2001 with 251,000 copies sold; the album has since moved 1.6 million copies. "Under Construction" fared slightly better in urban markets, and opens at No. 2 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart.

Veteran Seattle rock act Pearl Jam sold 166,000 units of its latest Epic album, "Riot Act," to roll onto The Billboard 200 at No. 5. Although hyped by a number of interviews, as well as two appearances last week on "The Late Show With David Letterman," the album sold less in its first week than the band's last, "Binaural," did in June 2000. That set shot to No. 2 on sales of 226,000 copies, and has since sold more than 700,000.

"3D," TLC's first Arista album since the death of Lisa "Left Eye" Lopez, sold 143,000 copies to land at No. 6 on The Billboard 200. That's less than half of the first-week total racked up by the group's "Fanmail" in March 1999. That album opened at No. 1 on the chart with 318,000 units, and has since sold 4.7 million copies. "3D" lands at No. 4 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums tally.

Rock act 3 Doors Down scores its best sales week on The Billboard 200 with "Away From the Sun" (Universal/Republic). The album sold 115,000 copies to rocket to No. 8 on The Billboard 200, a bountiful increase over the No. 104 entry of the band's last, "The Better Life." However, the new set has a long way to go to equal the latter, which has sold 4.7 million copies.

Even with all the new releases, the "8 Mile" soundtrack remained a strong force, suffering a 21% sales drop to 400,000 units and falling 1-2 on The Billboard 200. Justin Timberlake's "Justified" took a 57% hit in its second week and falls 2-4 on the chart, while Christina Aguilera's "Stripped" (RCA) falls 4-7 on a 30% dip to 119,000. Eminem's "The Eminem Show" (Shady/Interscope) slides two positions to No. 9 on sales of 115,000 copies, and Santana's "Shaman" (RCA) rounds out the top-10 with another 110,000 copies sold.

Opening just outside the top-10 at No. 12 is Elton John's "Greatest Hits 1970-2000" (UME/Universal), which sold 100,000 copies, fueled in part by an aggressive TV direct-marketing campaign. Koch's latest World Wrestling Entertainment compilation lands right behind John at No. 13 after selling 86,000 units.

Other notable entries on The Billboard 200 include Saliva's "Back Into Your System" (Def Jam) at No. 19, Sean Paul's "Dutty Rock" (VP/Atlantic) at No. 26, O-Town's "O2" (J Records) at No. 28, Phil Collins' "Testify" (Atlantic) at No. 30, and Fat Joe's "Loyalty" (Atlantic) at No. 31.

The new Billboard 200 chart will be posted tomorrow (Nov. 21) on Billboard.com.