'Nellyville' Too Hot For Chili Peppers

The Red Hot Chili Peppers' latest Warner Bros. release, "By the Way," leads three top-10 debuts onto The Billboard 200, shooting to No. 2 after selling 280,000 units, according to Nielsen SoundScan. B

The Red Hot Chili Peppers' latest Warner Bros. release, "By the Way," leads three top-10 debuts onto The Billboard 200, shooting to No. 2 after selling 280,000 units, according to Nielsen SoundScan. But the stellar debut for the group still falls short of Nelly's "Nellyville" (Fo' Reel/Universal), which remains at No. 1 for a third-straight week after posting sales of 340,000 copies.

"By the Way" beats the Peppers' previous best by nearly 100,000 units, topping 1999's "Californication," which shot to No. 3 on sales of 189,000 units. The new album's title track rules Billboard's Modern Rock Tracks count for a sixth-straight week and hops 48-37 on Billboard's Hot 100. In addition to the single's strong performance, the Peppers can thank heavy MTV airplay, Web support via an AOL promotion, and hefty discounts at budget retailers like Best Buy for the new album's strong opening week.

"Nellyville" crossed the 1.5 million mark and has no trouble sticking it out on top of Billboard's Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums count for a third week as well. Additionally, the single "Hot in Herre" continues its No. 1 dominance on the Hot 100, Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks chart, and the Hot Rap Tracks tally. As if that wasn't enough, the rapper now has a second song in top-10 of the Hot 100, as "Dilemma" featuring Destiny's Child's Kelly Rowland rockets 26-8, and is the chart's fastest-growing track at radio.

"Hard Candy" by the Counting Crows (Geffen/Interscope) debuts at No. 5 after opening-week sales of 138,000 copies. Although not their highest debut -- they entered at No. 1 in 1996 with "Recovering the Satellites" -- it does beat the No. 8 debut of the band's last studio album, 1999's "This Desert Life." That album landed with 129,000 units, and has sold 1.1 million copies to date.

"A Gangster and a Gentleman," the solo bow for rapper Styles of the Lox, soars to No. 6 on sales of 135,000 units. The Ruff Ryder/Interscope album fared even better in urban markets, and scores the No. 2 slot behind Nelly on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart, while album cut "Good Times" is No. 23 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks roundup. The Lox's 2000 Interscope set "We Are the Streets" bowed at No. 5 on The Billboard 200.

E-40's "The Ballatician: Grit & Grind" (Sick Wid It/Jive) flies to a No. 13 opening on The Billboard 200, and cruises to No. 5 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks tally. Other notable entries on The Billboard 200 include Onyx's "Bacdafucup: Part II" (Other People's Money/In the Paint/Koch) at No. 46, Dolly Parton's "Halos & Horns" (Blue Eye/Sugar Hill) at No. 58, Andy Griggs' "Freedom" (RCA) at No. 77, and Glassjaw's "Worship & Tribute" (Warner Bros.) at No. 82.

"The Eminem Show" (Web/Aftermath/Interscope) crossed the 4 million sales mark, but its 12% drop to sales of 231,000 units causes a 2-3 slip in the album's eighth week on The Billboard 200. The set is No. 3 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums tally, and single "Without Me" maintains its No. 2 position on the Hot 100.

"Let Go" by Avril Lavigne (Arista) keeps intact its perfect record of increasing sales every week since its release. In its sixth week, the album was up 17% to 147,000 copies, and ties its best rank as it rebounds 5-4 on The Billboard 200. Lavigne's single "Complicated" moves 4-3 on the Hot 100.

Josh Groban received a boost from his recent appearance on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" and sees his self-titled album scoot 25-8 on The Billboard 200, while the Epic soundtrack to the Mandy Moore vehicle "A Walk to Remember" returns to the chart at a respectable No. 64 thanks to the film's release on video.

Kenny Chesney's "No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems" (BNA) continues its reign on Billboard's Top Country Albums tally for an 11th-straight week. His "The Good Stuff" becomes the top single on Billboard's Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart after 13 weeks on the tally, knocking Toby Keith's "Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (The Angry American)" down to No. 2.

The remix of Bryan Adams' "Heaven" from DJ Sammy & Yanou is the Hot 100's fastest-growing track at retail for the third week in a row, and maintains its No. 15 position on the chart. The Hot 100's top debut is Ashanti's "Baby" at No. 74. The cut has been a mainstay in urban markets, and accordingly bounces up 31-25 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks tally.

Other newcomers on the Hot 100 include Daniel Bedingfield's former U.K. chart-topper "Gotta Get Thru This" at No. 77 and Filter's "Where Do We Go From Here" at No. 98. The latter jumps 19-16 on Billboard's Mainstream Rock Tracks tally, where Puddle Of Mudd's "Drift & Die" cruises to a fifth-straight week at No. 1.


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