Eminem Stays on Top of the Chart

Superstar rapper -- and lots of American Idols -- high on shopping lists

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Eminem remained at Number One in another big week of holiday shopping, as his first-ever hits compilation, Curtain Call, sold 324,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan. This may inspire the rap giant, whose impending retirement has been rumored for months, to consider rolling out a whole series of lucrative, low-effort releases in 2006. Can you say, Shady Live: The Lost Tapes, 1983?

But boy, do Americans like music they voted for on TV. This week's Top Ten packed more American Idol stars than any indie rock fan should be expected to stomach -- and in a range of genres to boot. Most recent Idol, country singer Carrie Underwood, saw her debut Some Hearts climb three places to Number Two (271,000), while the big debut this week came from Idol runner-up Bo Bice. The Alabama rocker's first effort, The Real Thing -- which features guest spots from members of Nickelback and Bon Jovi -- moved a solid 227,000 CDs to bow at Number Four. And finally, previous Idol and pop singer Kelly Clarkson should pretty much be ready for her own episode of MTV Cribs, the way her second album's been selling: Breakaway, in stores for more than a year, moved another 181,000 copies to climb three places to Number Eight.

The rest of the Top Ten is a revolving door of sure-thing holiday gifts. A slew of chart regulars all climbed one spot: the twentieth installment of the ever-popular Now That's What I Call Music!, to Number Three (259,000); country star Kenny Chesney's latest, The Road and the Radio, to Number Five (218,000); Canadian rockers Nickelback's top-selling All the Right Reasons, to Number Six (192,000); and the re-release of Mariah Carey's unstoppable, Grammy-nominated The Emancipation of Mimi, to Number Seven (191,000). Hip-hoppers Black Eyed Peas' Monkey Business, out for months, stuck to Number Nine (158,000).

Meanwhile, the Johnny Cash posthumous hits compilation, The Legend of Johnny Cash, timed to the hit Hollywood biopic Walk the Line, has finally climbed into the Top Ten as the vintage purchase of the holidays, up two to Ten (154,000).

Less in demand this week were sensitive, New Age singer Enya's latest, Amarantine, which fell two spots to Number Twelve (147,000); new-metal outfit Korn's sixth Top Five release, See You on the Other Side, which dropped fourteen places in its second week to Number Seventeen (121,000); and New Orleans rapper Lil' Wayne's fifth album, Tha Carter II, which fell a serious nineteen spots in its second week to Number Twenty-One (112,000). And despite the reggaeton hype, genre star Daddy Yankee failed to crack the Top Twenty in his first week out: his Barrio Fino en Directo bowed at a lukewarm Twenty-Four (100,000).

With no big new releases, expect next week's chart to reflect more of the same proven year-end stocking-stuffers.

This week's Top Ten: Eminem's Curtain Call; Carrie Underwood's Some Hearts; Now That's What I Call Music! 20; Bo Bice's The Real Thing; Kenny Chesney's The Road and the Radio; Nickelback's All the Right Reasons; Mariah Carey's The Emancipation of Mimi; Kelly Clarkson's Breakaway; Black Eyed Peas' Monkey Business; Johnny Cash's The Legend of Johnny Cash.

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