Eminem’s “The Eminem Show” held off a rampant charge from Korn’s “Untouchables,” selling an impressive 530,000 units in its third full week, according to Nielsen SoundScan. The Web/Aftermath/Interscope album easily maintains its grip atop The Billboard 200, as Korn’s long-awaited Immortal/Epic set arrives at No. 2 after selling of 434,000 units.
While the Eminem album suffered a 35% sales hit, the set sails to its fourth-straight week atop Billboard’s Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums tally, and has sold more than 2.9 million units in just over three weeks. Meanwhile, his single “Without Me” reaches a new peak position on Billboard’s Hot 100, jumping 4-2 this week after a strong boost in radio play in crossover markets. It’s Eminem’s highest position on the Hot 100; his “The Real Slim Shady” peaked at No. 4 in 2000.
Korn, which has sold more than 10 million copies of its four previous albums in the U.S., leads two debuts into the top-10 of The Billboard 200. The new set’s debut week is lower than the 574,000 units moved during the first week of its last set, 1999’s “Issues,” but the latter benefited from its release during the Christmas season, when sales are generally higher. The first track from “Untouchables,” “Here to Stay,” is the band’s first top-5 hit at rock radio, peaking at No. 4 on both Billboard’s Modern and Mainstream Rock Tracks charts.
The other top-10 debut comes from New Found Glory, which makes an impressive debut at No. 4 with “Sticks and Stones” (Drive-Thru/MCA) on sales of 91,000 units. The band’s fan base has grown tremendously since its last, self-titled set opened at No. 168 in 2000. It later peaked at No. 107, and has sold 414,000 units to date. The album’s first single, “My Friends Over You,” is steadily climbing the Modern Rock chart, up 40-32 this week.
David Bowie has his strongest sales performance on The Billboard 200 in the 12-year SoundScan era, as “Heathen” (ISO/Columbia) sold 55,000 units to land at No. 14. “Heathen” also earns Bowie his best chart position since 1984’s “Tonight,” which peaked at No. 11. Cashing in on the hit MTV show is “The Osbourne Family Album” (Epic), arriving one position ahead of Bowie at No. 13 on sales of 57,000 units.
Other newcomers include Raphael Saadiq’s “Instant Vintage” (Universal) at No. 25, AZ’s “Aziatic” (Motown) at No. 29, the Who’s “Ultimate Collection” (UTV/MCA) at No. 31, the soundtrack to “Disney’s Lilo & Stitch” (Walt Disney) at No. 57, and jam band Widespread Panic’s “Live in the Classic City” (Sanctuary) at No. 99.
Three of last week’s four newcomers manage to remain in the top-10 of The Billboard 200, and one even saw a sales increase. The “Totally Hits 2002” compilation (Warner Music Group/BMG) drops 14% to 117,000 units, allowing the album to slip one place to No. 3, while Donell Jones’ “Life Goes On” (Untouchables/Arista) dipped 32% and slides 3-9. Avril Lavigne’s Arista debut “Let Go” received a rare 12% boost to 70,000 units, but suffers a minor chart drop, falling 8-10. The young artist secures the Hot 100’s fastest-growing track at radio with “Complicated,” which soars 30-18.
Ralph Stanley’s self-titled DMZ/Columbia album only arrived at No. 163, but the launch of his album helped fuel a burst for the scrappy Lost Highway/Mercury soundtrack to “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” In fact, bluegrass was under a heavy media focus last week, with Stanley appearing on both “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” and CBS’s “The Early Show,” while CMT’s Flameworthy Awards hosted an all-star performance featuring Earl Scruggs, Keith Urban, and Alison Krauss & Union Station.
The bluegrass spotlight saw “O Brother” earning The Billboard 200’s greatest-gainer award, rolling back into the top-10 with 19-7 leap on a 62% sales increase with sales of 79,000 units. The album also wins back the top slot on Billboard’s Top Country Albums tally, giving it a whopping 35 non-consecutive weeks at the helm. It ends Kenny Chesney’s seven-week reign; his “No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems” (BNA) falls 1-2.
There’s also a change of guard on the Hot 100, as Nelly’s “Hot in Herre” ends the 10-week run No. 1 tallied by Ashanti’s “Foolish.” “Hot in Herre” sees a hefty gain in radio spins as the June 25 release of his “Nellyville” (Fo’ Reel/Universal) album approaches. The cut also moves 7-5 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks count, where Cam’ron’s “Oh Boy” featuring Juelz Santana coasts to a fourth-straight week at the top.
DJ Sammy & Yanou continue to crack American markets with their take on Bryan Adams’ “Heaven.” The single, featuring Do, is the Hot 100’s fastest-growing track at retail, flying 58-31. Also making it into the top-40 is Mario’s “Just a Friend 2000,” rising 58-37, and the INC’s “Down 4 U” featuring Ja Rule, Ashanti, Charli Baltimore & Vita, cruising 74-40 in its second week on the tally.
The Hot 100’s top debut is Andy Griggs’ “Tonight I Wanna Be Your Man” at No. 74. The song is No. 13 on Billboard’s Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart. Other newcomers on the Hot 100 include Will Smith’s “Black Suits Comin’ (Nod Ya Head)” featuring Tra-Knox at No. 77 and Kylie Minogue’s “Love at First Sight” at No. 95.
The Red Hot Chili Peppers score their seventh No. 1 on the Modern Rock Tracks chart with “By the Way,” knocking down Chad Kroeger’s “Hero” featuring Josey Scott to No. 2. “Hero” also surrenders the top of the Mainstream Rock Tracks roundup, falling to No. 2 as Puddle Of Mudd’s “Drift & Die” rises to No. 1.