Creed Scores An Eighth Week At No. 1

Creed's "Weathered" has joined 'N Sync's "No Strings Attached" (Jive) and Eminem's "The Marshall Mathers LP" (Web/AftermathInterscope) as the only albums in the SoundScan era that have held No. 1 on T

Creed's "Weathered" has joined 'N Sync's "No Strings Attached" (Jive) and Eminem's "The Marshall Mathers LP" (Web/AftermathInterscope) as the only albums in the SoundScan era that have held No. 1 on The Billboard 200 for their first eight weeks of release. "Weathered" suffers a 17% sales dip to 138,000 units, but has no trouble holding off Linkin Park's "[Hybrid Theory]" (Warner Bros.), which is No. 2 for a third week in a row.

Next week, however, Creed will likely relinquish its reign of the top slot to Alan Jackson's "Drive" (Arista), which is expected to sell upwards of 300,000 units. His single, "Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning)" is No. 1 on Billboard's Hot Country Singles & Tracks tally for a fifth straight week. Jackson's "Drive" will probably also knock the Mercury soundtrack to "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" from No. 1 on Billboard's Top Country Albums chart, a position it's currently holding for a 26th non-consecutive week.

The top-4 on The Billboard 200 carry over from last week, with Ludacris' "Word of Mouf" (Disturbing Tha Piece/Def Jam) at No. 3 after selling 83,000 units and Nickelback's "Silver Side Up" (Roadrunner) at No. 4 with 81,000 units.

While no album in the top-20 saw a sales increase, a number perform well enough to boost their chart positions. Nas' "Stillmatic" (Ill Will/Columbia) had a relatively minor 15% decrease and climbs 9-5 on the chart, while Pink's "M!ssundaztood" (Arista) sees an 8-6 bump. Alicia Keys' "Songs in A Minor" re-enters the top-10 at No. 8, the beneficiary of her two-trophy showing at the American Music Awards (AMAs) last week.

The AMAs also had an influence on Yolanda Adams, Brooks & Dunn, and Michael Jackson. Adams' "Believe" (Elektra) soars 80-46 on a 19% sales hike and Brooks & Dunn's "Steers & Stripes" (Arista Nashville) cruises 157-105 with a 24% sales rise. Jackson's "Greatest Hits: HIStory -- Volume 1" (Epic) re-enters the tally at No. 115.

The top debut this week is the V2 soundtrack to "I Am Sam," which blasts its way to No. 25. The set features Beatles covers from a number of artists, including Eddie Vedder, Ben Harper, Paul Westerberg, Sarah McLachlan, Nick Cave, and the Black Crowes. The soundtrack is the only album to debut in the top-100 of the chart.

Elsewhere on The Billboard 200, hard rock act Hoobastank blasts 72-37, thanks to a 17% sales increase. The group's "Crawling in the Dark" reaches a new peak position on Billboard's Modern Rock Tracks tally at No. 8. U2's "All That You Can't Leave Behind" (Interscope) is once again moving into the upper reaches of The Billboard 200, this week rocketing 58-39 and still riding a buzz from its eight Grammy nominations.

Nas has control of Billboard's Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums list for a fourth straight week, again fending off crossover favorite Ludacris in urban markets. IMX has a nice gain on that chart with its sophomore set, "IMX" (Tug/New Line), flying 74-42.

Usher's "U Got It Bad" is No. 1 on The Billboard Hot 100 for the second week in a row and third overall. The cut has been caught in a six-week duel with Nickelback's "How You Remind Me," which is at No. 2 again this week. Usher has Nickelback beat with a slightly higher number of spins at radio.

Usher, however, loses some ground in urban markets, falling 2-3 on Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks tally, where Ja Rule's "Always on Time" featuring Ashanti is No. 1 for a fourth straight week. Michael Jackson's "Butterflies" flutters in-between Ja Rule and Usher to No. 2. Meanwhile, Brandy's "What About Us?" zooms 44-14 in its second week, in anticipation of the March 5 release of the artist's next Atlantic album, "Full Moon."

Brandy also infiltrates the Hot 100 at No. 42 to earn the chart's top debut. The Hot 100's fastest-growing track at radio is Jennifer Lopez's "Ain't It Funny" featuring Ja Rule, which glides 39-16. The chart's fastest-growing track at retail is B2K's "Uh Huh," which skips 86-80.

Other notable debuts on the Hot 100 include Kylie Minogue's international chart-topper "Can't Get You Out of My Head" at No. 64, Mobb Deep's "Hey Love (Anything)" featuring 112 at No. 67, Jay-Z's "Jigga" at No. 71, and Faith Evans' "I Love You" at No. 77.

Puddle Of Mudd's "Blurry" takes No. 1 on Billboard's Modern Rock Tracks chart from Linkin Park. Creed, however, hangs onto the pole position on Billboard's Mainstream Rock Tracks tally for a seventh straight week with "My Sacrifice."

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