She may be an R&B newcomer, but Alicia Keys makes a masterly debut on top of The Billboard 200 and Billboard’s Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart with her first album, “Songs in A Minor.” The first No. 1 album for Clive Davis’ J Records, “Songs” sold 236,000 units in the U.S., according to SoundScan, to arrive at No. 1. The chart-topping bow ends the one-week run of “Devil’s Night” by Eminem’s Shady/Interscope group D12. As the victim of a 41% sales decrease to 221,000 copies, that set falls to No. 2.
Keys’ single, “Fallin’,” continues its steady rise, shooting 71-45 on The Billboard Hot 100, and 16-10 on Billboard’s Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks tally.
“Songs in A Minor” leads a week with four top-10 debuts. Jagged Edge’s “Jagged Little Thrill” (So So Def/Columbia) arrives at No. 3 on the strength of 215,000 albums sold. That’s more than double the first-week numbers of the quartet’s last album, “J.E. Heartbreak,” which went on to sell 1.8 million units. “Where the Party At” featuring Nelly, the first single from “Jagged Little Thrill,” moves 28-21 on the Hot 100.
“The Reason” (Roc-A-Fella/Def Jam), the sophomore set from Jay-Z protege Beanie Sigel, lands at No. 5 on The Billboard 200 on the strength of 151,000 units sold. As impressive a sales tally as that is, the set just missed topping the first week sales of Sigel’s debut, “Truth,” which moved 156,000 albums in March 2000 to also enter the album chart at No. 5. Sigel’s sales, however, were strong in urban markets, powering him to No. 2 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart, one better than the pop-centric Jagged Edge.
The sole non-R&B/hip-hop set to debut in top-10 on the Billboard 200 is Lonestar’s “I’m Already There” (BNA) at No. 9. That album’s 112,000 units sold obliterate the 47,000 first-week sales of 1999’s “Lonely Girl.” The album is No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums tally, and the title track remains at No. 1 on the Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart for a fourth straight week.
Lil’ Mo’s “Based on a True Story” (Elektra) is the only other debut in the top-20 of the Billboard 200, coming in at No. 14.
Of last week’s debuts, only the Eminem-fueled D12 manages to stay in the top-10. Veteran R&B crooner Luther Vandross’ self-titled J Records set dips 6-12 on a 29% drop in sales to 96,000 units. Without a “Thong Song” in his back pocket, Sisqo slides 7-17 with “Return of Dragon” (Dragon/Def Soul), after a 44% decline to 70,000 copies. The Stone Temple Pilots fare worst of all as the band’s Atlantic set “Shangri-La Dee Da” plunges 9-34 following a 57% loss to 42,000 copies sold.
Staind’s “Break the Cycle” (Flip/Elektra) continues to perform well, falling only 2-4 on a 13% decline in copies moved. The album’s “It’s Been Awhile” is No. 1 on Billboard’s Mainstream and Modern Rock Tracks charts for a 12th-straight week. Rounding out the top-10 of The Billboard 200 is Destiny’s Child’s Columbia album “Survivor” (No. 6), the Interscope soundtrack to “Moulin Rouge” (No. 7), Blink-182’s MCA set “Take Off Your Pants and Jacket” (No. 8), and the Murder Inc./Def Jam soundtrack to “The Fast and the Furious” (No. 10).
Usher fends off Lifehouse’s “Hanging By a Moment” to remain in the top spot on the Hot 100, and similarly is secure at No. 1 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks chart for a second straight week with “U Remind Me.” The single is setting up what is sure to be a high debut for the artist’s forthcoming Arista album, “8701,” due in August.
The most striking move on the singles chart this week comes from Blu Cantrell’s “Hit ‘Em Up Style (Oops!),” which bolts 44-5 in its 11th week on the chart. The track also soars 26-6 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks tally, and saw the greatest sales increase on both charts. Blu Cantrell’s debut Arista album is due July 31.
The recipient of the biggest increase in airplay, Jennifer Lopez’s “I’m Real” blasts 66-40 on the Hot 100. And Incubus’ “Drive” finally makes it into the top-10 in its 22nd week on the chart, moving 14-10.
The top debut on the Hot 100 is the Isley Brothers’ “Contagious” featuring Ronald Isley aka Mr. Biggs at No. 68. Other noteworthy debuts include Missy “Misdemeanor” Elliott’s “One Minute Man” featuring Ludacris at No. 75, Enya’s “Only Time” at No. 76, and Ludacris’ “Area Codes” featuring Nate Dogg at No. 84.