As anticipated, Michael Jackson scores his fifth No. 1 on The Billboard 200 with the long awaited Epic album “Invincible.” The set leads eight top-20 debuts on sales of 366,000 units, according to SoundScan, almost 100,000 more than the impressive showing by Enrique Iglesias, whose “Escape” (Interscope) enters at No. 2. “Invincible” also debuts at No. 1 on Billboard’s Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums tally.
Jackson’s big numbers are no surprise, but the set comes up a little short of the 391,000 copies moved by 1995’s “HIStory: Past, Present and Future Book 1,” the singer’s best first-week showing in the SoundScan era. “Invincible” does, however, top the 327,000 first-week units sold by 1991’s “Dangerous.” Jackson’s second “Invincible” single, “Butterflies,” jumps up 32-15 on Billboard’s Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks tally. The cut enters The Billboard Hot 100 at No. 60.
Many retailers believe a strong second single will be key to the album’s long-term success, especially since the first, “You Rock My World,” petered out after peaking at No. 10 on the Hot 100 in late September. One thing’s for sure: it’s a safe bet that “Invincible” will lose the No. 1 spot next week when Britney Spears’ “Britney” (Jive) hits the chart. Early reports from retailers suggest the set could sell upward of 700,000 units in its first week.
Though Jackson may be receiving all the press, Iglesias blows by the first-week numbers of 1999’s “Enrique,” his first English-language set. That album sold 71,000 units when it debuted at No. 42, a fraction of the 267,000 copies sold by “Escape.” The high entry was foretold by the success of Iglesias’ “Hero,” currently No. 3 on the Hot 100 in only eight weeks on the chart.
At No. 4 on The Billboard 200 is the Backstreet Boys’ “The Hits — Chapter One” (Jive/Zomba), which opens with a respectable showing of 197,000 units. Though that number doesn’t come close the million- plus usually sold by the group in its initial week, the package only has one previously unreleased track, “Drowning,” currently No. 34 on the Hot 100.
A number of high profile releases debut outside the top-10, including Lenny Kravitz’s No. 12 entry with “Lenny.” The set sold 93,000 units, his second largest opening to date, behind last year’s “Greatest Hits,” which sold 162,000 units when it debuted last holiday season. His single “Dig In” is No. 43 on the Hot 100.
R&B producer Jermaine Dupri lands a No. 15 debut on The Billboard 200 with his second album, “Instructions” (So So Def/Columbia), while instrumental act Mannheim Steamroller has the best entry of its career at No. 17 with “Christmas Extraordinaire” (American Gramaphone). The all-star “What’s Going On EP” lands at No. 18, and the Three 6 Mafia compilation “Choices — The Album” (Hypnotize Minds/Loud/Columbia) rounds out this week’s top-20 debuts at No. 19.
Last week’s top debut, DMX’s “The Great Depression” (Ruff Ryders/Def Jam), takes a minor dip from No. 1 to No. 3 after suffering a 51% sales decline to a still mighty 267,000 units. The set slides to No. 2 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart, where Dupri and the Three 6 Mafia compilation debut at No.’s 3 and 4, respectively.
Elsewhere on The Billboard 200, Barbra Streisand opens at No. 32 with “Christmas Memories” (Columbia) and veteran hip-hop artist Erick Sermon arrives at No. 33 with “[Music].” Destiny’s Child’s “8 Days of Christmas” (Music World/Columbia) fails to crack to the top -50, settling for No. 59, but look for both the R&B trio and Streisand to inch closer to the top as December arrives.
Mary J. Blige’s “Family Affair” holds on for a third straight week atop the Hot 100, but loses its grip in pure R&B markets to Usher’s “U Got It Bad,” which skips 2-1 on Billboard’s Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks tally. “U Got It Bad” is No. 5 on the Hot 100, where it’s the fastest growing track at radio.
The Hot 100’s fastest growing track at retail is R.L., Snoop Dogg & Lil’ Kim’s “Do U Wanna Roll (Dolittle Theme)” from the J Records soundtrack to “Dr. Dolittle 2.” Jackson’s aforementioned “Butterflies” has the Hot 100’s top debut, but other notable entries include Jewel’s “Standing Still” at No. 71, Jagged Edge’s “Goodbye” at No. 77, Brad Paisley’s “Wrapped Around” at No. 79, and Ja Rule’s “Always on Time” featuring Ashanti at No. 84.
Petey Pablo’s “Raise Up” commands Billboard’s Hot Rap Singles chart for a 10th straight week. The cut, from Tuesday’s Jive release “Diary of a Sinner: 1st Entry,” is No. 10 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks tally.
The Mercury/Lost Highway soundtrack to “O Brother, Where Art Thou?,” last night’s album of the year at the Country Music Association Awards (CMA), is back at No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart for a 24th non-consecutive week. Last week, Reba McEntire’s “Greatest Hits Volume III — I’m a Survivor,” now No. 3, claimed the top spot. Tim McGraw, the CMA’s entertainer of the year, is at No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart for a second straight week with “Angry All the Time.”
On Billboard’s rock airplay charts, Nickelback’s “How You Remind Me” continues to dominate. The cut is in its 10th week atop the Mainstream Rock Tracks tally, and ninth week fronting the Modern Rock Tracks chart. The group’s Roadrunner album, “Silver Side Up,” is No. 6 on The Billboard 200.