Dixie Chicks 'Home' Again At No. 1

For a second week in a row, the Dixie Chicks continue their residency atop The Billboard 200. Despite a 53% decline in sales to 367,000 units, according to Nielsen SoundScan, the country trio's "Home"

For a second week in a row, the Dixie Chicks continue their residency atop The Billboard 200. Despite a 53% decline in sales to 367,000 units, according to Nielsen SoundScan, the country trio's "Home" (Monument/Columbia) once again holds Eminem's "The Eminem Show" (Web/Aftermath/Interscope) down at No. 2. Even though the rapper's album saw a 2% sales increase, 179,000 units was not enough to mount a serious challenge for the top slot.

In a slow week for releases -- only one debut cracks the top-20 -- the top four albums hold their positions. In fact, the Dixie Chicks, who are also No. 1 on Billboard's Top Country Albums tally, will probably continue their reign on The Billboard 200 for at least another week, as few major releases are planned in the weeks surrounding the anniversary of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

With the anniversary approaching, overall U.S. album sales declined 8.8% to 11 million units last week. The figure is about 9.4% below last year's comparable week. Year-to-date album sales are 10.5% behind 2001.

Along with continued strong performance from "The Eminem Show," the Detroit-based rapper's single "Cleanin' Out My Closet" moves 5-4 on Billboard's Hot 100 and 14-11 on Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks tally. The album has now sold 5.6 million units, and with pre-release buzz starting on the Eminem-starring filme "8 Mile," it likely won't slow down. Loosely based on the rapper's life, the film is due Nov. 8 in U.S. theaters.

Back on The Billboard 200, Avril Lavigne stays put at No. 3 with "Let Go" (Arista), on a slight 3% skid to 146,000 units. The album's second single, "Sk8er Boi," rolls 72-47 on the Hot 100, while debut track "Complicated" is still performing strongly, holding at No. 3. Lavigne has proven to be one of the year's strongest newcomers, as "Let Go" has sold 1.6 million copies.

Nelly's "Nellyville" (Fo' Reel/Universal) survives a 6% sales decline to 137,000 units to hold steady at No. 4 on The Billboard 200. The rapper once again rules two major singles charts, as "Dilemma" featuring Kelly Rowland is No. 1 for its sixth week on the Hot 100 and for a fifth week on Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks chart. Additionally, the cut is entering its fifth week in a row atop Billboard's Hot Rap Tracks tally.

The only new entry in the top-10 of The Billboard 200 is actually a re-entry: "Come Away With Me" by hot jazz vocalist Norah Jones (Blue Note/Capitol). After previously notching one week in the top-10, the album slipped to No. 11 last week, but bounces back to No. 6 this week on a 3% sales gain to 75,000 copies. The performance of single "Don't Know Why" -- which is up to No. 12 on Billboard sister publication Airplay Monitor's Adult Top 40 chart -- and discounted sales programs at two major retailers have aided the set's resurgence.

The lone newcomer in the top-20 of The Billboard 200 is teen pop singer Aaron Carter's "Another Earthquake" (Jive), rumbling its way to No. 18 on sales of 41,000 copies. His 2001 set "Oh Aaron" entered at No. 7 in August 2001, and two of his previous three albums have cracked the top-10. The only other newcomer inside the top-100 of the chart is the Divine/Columbia "Ozzfest Live 2002" compilation, which lands at No. 82.

Eva Cassidy's posthumous release "Imagine" (Blix Street) blasts 105-32, no doubt fueled by NBC's "Today" show airing of a Labor Day profile of the singer, who died of cancer five years ago. The set also tops Billboard's Top Independent Albums tally this week.

"American Idol" winner Kelly Clarkson wastes no time breaking into Billboard's charts, as her "A Moment Like This" is the Hot 100's top debut at No. 60. One day after Clarkson was named the winner last week, the song was detected at radio 476 times by Broadcast Data Systems. With a retail release slated for Sept. 17, look for Clarkson's single to quickly find its way to the upper echelon of the chart.

Other newcomers on the Hot 100 include Christina Aguilera's long-awaited new single, "Dirrty," at No. 67, and the Dixie Chicks' cover of Fleetwood Mac's "Landslide" at No. 76. The latter is also No. 22 on Billboard's Hot Country Singles & Tracks roundup, where Darryl Worley's "I Miss My Friend" replaces Tim McGraw's "Unbroken" in the top slot.

The Hot 100's fastest-growing track at radio is Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliott's "Work It," which shimmies 75-42, while the tally's fastest-growing track at retail is Bruce Springsteen's "The Rising," which rests at No. 78.

The Red Hot Chili Peppers' "By the Way" notches a 13th week atop Billboard's Modern Rock Tracks chart and a seventh at No. 1 on Billboard's Mainstream Rock Tracks tally. The track dips one position to No. 44 on the Hot 100, while the band's Warner Bros. album of the same name earns a 24-19 gain on The Billboard 200.

Right behind "By the Way" at No. 2 on both rock charts is "Aerials," the latest from L.A.'s System Of A Down. The success of the cut is having an impact on the band's "Toxicity," which receives a 31% sales boost to jump 42-24 in its 53rd week on the chart.