Toby Keith's fans were "Unleashed" at retail last week, snatching up 338,000 copies of his new DreamWorks album, according to Nielsen SoundScan, more than enough to debut at the top The Billboard 200
Toby Keith's fans were "Unleashed" at retail last week, snatching up 338,000 copies of his new DreamWorks album, according to Nielsen SoundScan, more than enough to debut at the top The Billboard 200 and Billboard's Top Country Albums tally. A personal best for Keith, "Unleashed" is one of five top-10 entries on The Billboard 200.
Keith's previous best came when "Pull My Chain" entered The Billboard 200 at No. 9 in September 2001 on sales of 120,000 units, following six albums that all peaked below No. 40 on the chart. "Unleashed" is the best entry for a country title since Alan Jackson's "Drive" (Arista Nashville) roped in 423,000 units in January. Keith's new album features "Courtesy of the Red, White, and Blue," a former No. 1 country hit which has generated media attention for its controversial lyrics. This week it's at No. 2 on Billboard's Hot Country Singles & Tracks tally, behind Kenny Chesney's "The Good Stuff."
The 10th edition in the "NOW That's What I Call Music!" (Sony/Universal/EMI/Zomba) series opens at No. 2 on The Billboard 200 on sales of 288,000 units. While total sales for the 11 "NOW" volumes released so far, which includes a Christmas set, have topped 26 million copies, opening-week sales have been trending down for the last four entries. "NOW! 6" holds the series' record at 621,5000 first week units sold last April.
The rest of the top-10 entries on The Billboard 200 belong to the hip-hop and R&B crowd. Rapper Lil' Wayne leads the onslaught, opening at No. 6 with "500 Degreez" (Cash Money/Universal). With sales of 141,000 units, the album also debuts at No. 1 on Billboard's Top R&B Hip-Hop Albums tally. The single "Way of Life" is No. 27 on Billboard's Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks chart.
New teen artist Mario sees his debut self-titled J Records album enter at No. 9 on The Billboard 200 and No. 3 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart on sales of 91,000 units. Mario's first single, "Just a Friend 2002," moves 7-5 on Billboard's Hot 100, already surpassing the No. 9 peak of the original version by Biz Markie in 1990.
Bowing at No. 10 on The Billboard 200 after selling 83,000 units is "Full Circle," the Arista debut for Boyz II Men. The album opens at No. 5 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums count. Although a strong debut, "Full Circle" fails to top the entry of 2000's "Nathan Michael Shawn Wanya," which sold more than 100,000 units to land at No. 3 on The Billboard 200.
Arriving just outside the top-10 of The Billboard 200 is the first album from nu-metal act TRUSTCompany, "The Lonely Position of Neutral" (Interscope), which moved 78,000 units and lands at No. 11. The single "Downfall" is at No. 12 on Billboard's Modern Rock Tracks tally.
Other Billboard 200 newcomers this week include Razor & Tie's "Monster Jams" compilation at No. 22, Mack 10's "Presents Da Hood" (Hoo-Bangin') at No. 40, Joe Nichols' "Man with a Memory" (Universal) at No. 107, and Public Enemy's "Revolverlution" (Slam Jamz/In the Paint/Interscope) at No. 110. Additionally, Solomon Burke earns his first appearance on The Billboard 200 in 33 years with "Don't Give Up on Me" (Fat Possum/Anti-/Epitaph), which debuts at No. 138.
Dave Matthews Band's "Busted Stuff" (RCA) saw a steep 66% second-week sales fall-off to 212,000 units, triggering a drop from 1-4 on The Billboard 200. "The Eminem Show" (Web/Aftermath/Interscope), by contrast, dipped only 8% to 193,000 units and slips 3-5 on the chart.
The Red Hot Chili Peppers, meanwhile, slip 4-9 on a 35% sales slide to 91,000 units, but own the No. 1 single on Billboard's rock airplay charts. On Modern Rock Tracks, the album's title cut is No. 1 for a seventh-straight week, while on the Mainstream Rock Tracks tally, the tune replaces Puddle Of Mudd's "Drift & Die" in the pole position.
Nelly has the No. 1 and No. 2 singles on the Hot 100, with "Hot in Herre" and "Dilemma," the latter of which is the chart's fastest-growing track at radio. The cuts are at No. 1 and No. 3, respectively, on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks chart. It's no surprise that "Nellyville" (Fo' Reel/ Universal) maintained strong sales this week, with a modest 11% to slip to 271,000 units causing a 2-3 slide on The Billboard 200.
Nelly's top challenger on the Hot 100 of late has been teen pop sensation Avril Lavigne, whose single "Complicated" slips 2-3 this week. The Hot 100's fastest-growing track at retail is the Clipse's "Grindin'," which moves 34-30. The single jumps two rungs to No. 10 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks chart.
The Hot 100's top debut is Monica's "All Eyes on Me" at No. 70. Other notable entries include Mark Chestnutt's "She Was" at No. 74, Diamond Rio's "Beautiful Mess" at No. 78, and Nivea's "Don't Mess with My Man" featuring Brian & Brandon Casey at No. 99.