Chart Top Makes Cozy 'Home' For Dixie Chicks

The Dixie Chicks' "Home" lodges its third-straight week atop The Billboard 200, despite suffering a 42% sales dip to 214,00 units, according to Nielsen SoundScan. The trio's Monument/Columbia set easi

The Dixie Chicks' "Home" lodges its third-straight week atop The Billboard 200, despite suffering a 42% sales dip to 214,00 units, according to Nielsen SoundScan. The trio's Monument/Columbia set easily beat the chart's No. 2 album, Avril Lavigne's "Let Go" (Arista), which moved an impressive 123,000 units. The one position move is a new peak for the latter album, which is in its 15th week on the tally.

Retail activity was depressed last week as most labels avoided releasing major albums in the shadow of the first anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the U.S. As a result, album sales were down 9.4% to just under 10 million. This total is 13.8% under last year's comparable week; year-to-date album sales are 10.6% behind last year.

"The Eminem Show" (Web/Aftermath/Interscope) slips to No. 3 after suffering a 31% sales slide to 122,000 units. Nonetheless, Eminem's third set has sold 5.2 million copies to date and is the year's top seller. The album's second single, "Cleanin' Out My Closet," holds firm at No. 4 on Billboard's Hot 100.

Nelly's "Nellyville"(Fo' Reel/Universal), the second-best selling album of the year at 3.3 million units, remains at No. 4 on The Billboard 200 despite a 12% sales drop to 120,000 units. Once again the rapper rules two major singles charts, as "Dilemma" notches its seventh week at No. 1 on the Hot 100 and sixth week atop Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks tally.

While "Nellyville" has a higher weekly sales total than Clipse, whose "Lord Willin'" (Star Trak/Arista) is up one to No. 9 on The Billboard 200 after moving 53,000 units, the duo replaces Nelly atop Billboard's Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart, outselling him in urban markets. In addition, Clipse's "When the Last Time" moves 29-24 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks chart.

Last week's patriotic mood spurred increased sales for Toby Keith's "Unleashed" (DreamWorks), which features the former No. 1 country hit, "Courtesy of the Red, White, and Blue." It moves up 11-5 on The Billboard 200 on an 8% sales gain to 69,000 units. Alan Jackson's "Drive" (Arista Nashville) also received a boost from the flag-waving spirit and cruises 57-15 on the chart following a 99% sales explosion to 38,000 units. The singer was part of NBC's Sept. 11 "Concert for America 2002" broadcast on which he performed the single "Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning)."

For the second week in a row, the top debut on The Billboard 200 arrives outside the top-10. Rebecca Lynn Howard has the honor of the week's best bow as "Forgive" (MCA Nashville) arrives at No. 29 and Ani DiFranco's "So Much Shouting/So Much Laughter" (Righteous Babe) strums its way to No. 32. The latter is the singer/songwriter's highest chart position since 1999.

Veteran Southern Gospel act Bill & Gloria Gaither score a career best with two top-50 entries recorded at New York's Carnegie Hall: "Let Freedom Ring" (Spring House) lands at No. 35, and "God Bless America" settles in at No. 44. The couple's high debuts were spurred by a cable television special aired heavily on PAX and Trinity Broadcasting Network. Neither has ever been higher than No. 86 on the chart.

"Work It," the latest single from Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliott, scoots 42-24 up the Hot 100 and is the chart's fastest-growing track at radio. The Hot 100's fastest-growing track at retail is "Gimme the Light," from reggae-bred DJ Sean Paul, which hurdles 70-51. The top debut on the Hot 100 is Montgomery Gentry's "My Town" at No. 69. Other notable entries include Disturbed's "Prayer" at No. 74, Kelly Rowland's "Stole" at No. 76, U2's "Electrical Storm" at No. 77, Norah Jones' "Don't Know Why" at No. 78, and India.Arie's "Little Things" at No. 92.

The Red Hot Chili Peppers' "By the Way" leads Billboard's Modern Rock Tracks chart for a 14th week. Over on the Mainstream Rock Tracks tally, System Of A Down's "Aerials" displaces "By the Way," which had reigned the chart for seven weeks. "Aerials" is System's first No. 1 single, and fifth overall to hit the chart.

Expect some major shakeups on the charts next week, as Disturbed's "Believe" (Warner Bros.) is expected to charge to No. 1 on The Billboard 200, with some estimations seeing the nu-metal act selling upward of 300,000 units. Over on the singles side, "American Idol"'s Kelly Clarkson could claim the pole position on the Hot 100, as a commercial single of "A Moment Like This" was released on Tuesday. The track rises 60-52 on the Hot 100, a position based solely on airplay.