50 Cent’s “Get Rich or Die Tryin'” tops The Billboard 200 for a fourth non-consecutive week, once again holding a relatively narrow lead over Norah Jones’ “Come Away With Me.” The rapper’s Shady/Interscope set holds on to No. 1 despite a 22% dip to sales of 280,000 copies in the U.S., according to Nielsen SoundScan. Jones’ Blue Note/Capitol debut took a 28% hit to sales of 243,000 copies and is held to No. 2 again this week.
R. Kelly’s latest, “Chocolate Factory” (Jive), moves up one to No. 3, even though the set saw a 23% drop in sales to 129,000 copies. Current single “Ignition” continues to be a favorite, and is a top-5 hit on Billboard’s Hot 100.
The Dixie Chicks recently found themselves the center of controversy after lead singer Natalie Maines lambasted George W. Bush last week in London. Even so, the group returns to the top-5 of The Billboard 200 with a 6-4 jump for the Monument/Columbia effort “Home,” which saw sales fall 15% to 124,000 copies. The set also tops Billboard’s Top Country roundup for the 16th week.
Heavily hyped modern rock act AFI storms onto The Billboard 200 with its first major label release, “Sing the Sorrow.” The DreamWorks album sold 96,000 copies to land at No. 5, far and away the group’s best performance on the chart. AFI’s 2000 Nitro set “The Art of Drowning” debuted way down at No. 174, and has sold 158,000 copies to date.
The Epic soundtrack to “Chicago” continues to pick up steam as the telecast of Academy Awards nears. Sales of the album were up 13% over the previous week to 94,000 copies. The set takes a 9-6 jump on The Billboard 200, and is the chart’s greatest sales gainer. As previously reported, the big-screen musical is nominated for 13 Oscars.
Sales of Fabolous’ sophomore Elektra effort “Street Dreams” were down 49% to 92,600 copies in its second week at retail, which sends it sliding 3-7 on the chart. Kid Rock’s “Cocky” (Lava/Atlantic) holds at No. 8 on sales of 92,500 copies, an 11% dip from the previous week.
“Monster,” the debut Aquemini/Columbia full length from Killer Mike, lands at No. 10 on sales of 80,000 copies. The rapper, who was featured on Outkast’s hit “The Whole World,” has been climbing Billboard’s Hot 100 with his single “A.D.I.D.A.S.”
Arriving outside the top-10 is the first DreamWorks effort from BLACKstreet, “Level II.” The set sold 53,000 copies to arrive at No. 14, slightly down from the entry of 1999’s Interscope release “Finally,” which debuted at No. 9 with 80,000 copies. To date, “Finally” has moved 430,000 copies.
Ben Harper’s “Diamonds on the Inside” (Virgin) enters at No. 19 on sales of 46,000 copies, earning the artist his career highest debut on The Billboard 200. His last non-live release, 1999’s “Burn to Shine,” bowed at No. 67.
Ani DiFranco’s “Evolve” (Righteous Babe) debuts at No. 30 on sales of 35,000 copies, on par with last year’s No. 32 entry of “So Much Shouting/So Much Laughter.” Other notable entries on The Billboard 200 include Everclear’s “Slow Motion Daydream” (Capitol) at No. 33 and Relient K’s “Two Lefts Don’t Make A Right … But Three Do” (Gotee) at No. 38.