Jay-Z’s “The Blueprint” (Roc-A-Fella/Def Jam/IDJMG) holds strong for a second straight week atop The Billboard 200 despite the appearance of four new albums in the top-10, including a No. 4 entry by Tori Amos. “The Blueprint” sells 271,000 units in the U.S. in its second week, according to SoundScan, a 37% decline from last week. The set remains No. 1 on Billboard’s Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums tally.
Amos’ “Strange Little Girls” (Atlantic) is the chart’s top debut, selling 111,000 units to soar to No. 4. Though the album has a higher chart entry than her 1999 set, “To Venus and Back,” the later managed to open at No. 12 with a slightly higher 112,000 units sold. Amos’ best debut was 1994’s “Boys for Pele,” which entered at No. 2.
Right behind the Amos set is Martina McBride’s “Greatest Hits” set at No. 5, featuring the popular country single “When God-Fearin’ Women Get the Blues,” No. 13 on Billboard’s Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart. The RCA album sold 102,000 units to make it McBride’s first entry into the top-10 of The Billboard 200. The set also opens at No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart.
Soul singer Gerald Levert, who has worked with LSG, the O’Jays, and Barry White, among others, arrives at No. 6 on The Billboard 200 with “Gerald’s World” (Elektra). The 102,000 units sold doesn’t surpass the 122,000 units of last year’s “G,” but it is Levert’s highest position on the chart as a solo artist. “Gerald’s World” also bows at No. 2 on Billboard’s Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart.
Jazz vocalist Diana Krall has a career peak with “The Look of Love” (Verve), blasting in at No. 9 with 95,000 units, her first appearance in the top-50 of The Billboard 200. “The Look of Love” also bows at No. 1 on Top Jazz Albums
“The Id,” from raspy-voiced R&B signer Macy Gray, just misses landing in the top-10 at No. 11 with 93,000 units. The Epic album also lands at No. 9 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. “The Id’s” numbers are a substantial improvement over those posted by her 1999 debut, “On How Life Is,” which sold 9.000 units in its first week on the chart, when Gray was still a relative unknown. “On How Life Is” has now sold 3.2 million copies to date.
Other newcomers include Live’s “V” (Radioactive) at No. 22 and Coo Coo Cal’s debut, “Disturbed” (Infinite/Tommy Boy), at No. 45. Also, Phish cops a page from Pearl Jam and bows multiple live albums in the same week. The jam band, which is on indefinite hiatus, sees five live sets enter the chart at No.’s 93, 97, 115, 118, and 127. Pearl Jam set a new record with seven simultaneous debuts in March.
Alicia Keys continues to outperform all expectations. Her J Records debut skips back up 3-2 on The Billboard 200 and her single, ‘Fallin’,” is No. 1 on The Billboard Hot 100 for a fifth, non-consecutive week. The cut once again holds off Jennifer Lopez’s heavily rotated “I’m Real” featuring Ja Rule, this week’s fastest-growing track at radio.
The Hot 100’s fastest-growing track at retail is Christina Milian’s “AM To PM,” sliding 33-29, while Enrique Iglesias has a major jump with “Hero,” rocketing 44-27 in its second week on the chart.
The Hot 100’s top debut at No. 51 is the all-star benefit remake of Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On,” featuring such artists as Bono, Destiny’s Child, ‘N Sync, Britney Spears, P. Diddy, Nelly, the Backstreet Boys, Eve, Michael Stipe, Nelly Furtado, Gwen Stefani Christina Aguilera, and ?uestlove. The cut, spearheaded by Bono and producer Jermaine Dupri, was originally intended as an AIDS benefit, but proceeds will now also go to relief efforts in New York. A single will be released on Oct. 23, featuring alternate R&B and rock takes of the song.
Other notable debuts on the Hot 100 include Faith Evans’ “You Gets No Love” at No. 70 and Tammy Cochran’s “Angels in Waiting” at No. 79.
Nickelback’s “How You Remind Me” beings a third week atop both Billboard’s Modern and Mainstream Rock Tracks chart, while Prophet Jones’ self-titled Universal/Motown set bows at No. 1 on Billboard’s Heatseekers chart.