Kenny Chesney's The Road and the Radio debuted at the top this week, with a massive 469,000 copies sold, according to Nielsen SoundScan. This gives the country star -- whose brief marriage to Oscar-winning actress Renee Zellweger is still making headlines -- his fourth Number One album on the pop chart. Chesney beat out superstar rapper 50 Cent: The soundtrack to his film debut, Get Rich or Die Tryin' -- featuring 50 himself, as well as several members of his G Unit posse -- moved 317,000 CDs in its first week out to take second place. Not an impressive showing from the man whose last studio album moved 1.1 million CDs in five days.
At Number Three, holding strong, is the twentieth installment of Now That's What I Call Music!. The compilation features well-worn hit singles from the likes of hip-hopper Missy Elliott and former American Idol champ Kelly Clarkson. Clarkson, incredibly, made her return to the Top Ten this week with the sophomore album that won't quit: Breakaway climbed two spots to Number Ten (56,000) an entire year after its release.
Other debuts this week include Neil Diamond's 12 Songs, which bowed at Number Four (93,000). His much-anticipated return to his man-with-a-guitar roots, produced by Rick Rubin, rides the wave of one of the summer's most successful tours. And in the world of neo-soul, duo Floetry brought their sophomore album, Flo'ology, to Number Seven (77,000).
In the category of business as usual, Canadian rockers Nickelback's fourth album, All the Right Reasons, continues to bring in the dollars: The former chart-topper dropped two spots but sold another 92,000 CDs to land at Number Five. And after twenty-three weeks, the Black Eyed Peas' Monkey Business continues to slide up and down the Top Ten, down two places this week to Number Six (84,000).
Santana's latest, All That I Am, which finds the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame guitarist joined by a slew of newer hitmakers like Joss Stone and Sean Paul, dropped six spots in its second week out, to Number Eight (73,000). And the soon-to-disband Destiny's Child's greatest hits collection, #1's, has slipped from the top spot to Number Nine in just three weeks, with a lukewarm 56,000 moved -- suggesting that the divas may be smart to retire now.
Meanwhile, country singer Martina McBride's sixth studio album, Timeless, dropped five spots to Number Twelve (52,000). The fourth installment of Rod Stewart's Great American Songbook standards series also slipped from the Top Ten, down two places to Number Eleven (53,000). And Ashlee Simpson's second album, which shot out of the gate to top the chart, hasn't shown the staying power of her teen-pop debut: I Am Me fell six more spots, to Number Sixteen (41,000) in its fourth week in stores.
Next week, expect Madonna's critically lauded, booming dance comeback, Confessions on a Dance Floor, to put a big dent in the chart. But country can do no wrong these days: Big and Rich's sophomore effort, Comin' to Your City, is sure to score big -- and likely top the Material Girl.
This week's Top Ten: Kenny Chesney's The Road and the Radio; Music From and Inspired by Get Rich or Die Tryin'; Now That's What I Call Music! Volume 20; Neil Diamond's 12 Songs; Nickelback's All the Right Reasons; Black Eyed Peas' Monkey Business; Floetry's Flo'ology; Santana's All That I Am; Destiny's Child's #1's; Kelly Clarkson's Breakaway.