Eminem's fourth album, Encore, sold a whopping 711,000 copies in a mere three days to top the charts. While most records are released on a Tuesday and ring up six days' worth of sales, Encore was rushed out last Friday after being leaked online. (The rapper's previous album, The Eminem Show, was similarly released on a Sunday and sold 285,000 copies in just one day of registered sales in 2002.)
Eminem faced stiff competition this week, as two country heavyweights had monster debut weeks: Shania Twain's Greatest Hits landed in the Two spot, selling 530,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan, and Toby Keith's Greatest Hits 2 sold 435,000 to take Number Three. Rounding out the Top Five were Britney Spears' Greatest Hits: My Prerogative (255,000) and the multi-artist hits compilation Now That's What I Call Music! 17 (232,000).
Rappers Fabolous' Real Talk and Ja Rule's intended comeback album R.U.L.E. both had solid -- if unspectacular -- debuts at Numbers Six (179,000) and Seven (166,000), respectively. Veteran rocker Elton John's Peachtree Road landed at Number Seventeen (72,000), and, in a surprise turn, the latest, Bad Boy-revamped effort from New Edition, One Love, cracked the Top Twenty, taking the Twelve spot (86,000).
Both Ray Charles albums -- the legend's posthumous release Genius Loves Company and the soundtrack to the Charles biopic Ray -- finally dropped out of the Top Ten after a long run. But others have plummeted without putting in much chart time at all: Canadian pop-punk giants Simple Plan's sophomore album Still Not Getting Any... opened at Number Three only to fall to Twenty (59,000) just two weeks later. Rapper Trick Daddy's Thug Matrimony has slipped from the Top Ten to Twenty-One (57,000) after two weeks; and separated couple R. Kelly and Jay-Z's second collaboration, Unfinished Business, plummeted from the top spot to Number Twenty-Nine (41,000) in two weeks.
Other sad faces today include hard rockers A Perfect Circle, whose eMOTIVe debuted at Number Two last week only to plunge twenty-four places to Twenty-Six (50,000); and pop singer-songwriter Vanessa Carlton, whose sophomore record Harmonium didn't get near the Top Ten (Thirty-Three; 36,000).
Next week, expect three blockbuster releases to shake up the Top Ten. St. Louis rapper Chingy's Powerballin' and crunkmaster Lil John's Crunk Juice will make waves. And diva trio Destiny's Child will try to stand up to frontwoman Beyonce's solo career with Destiny Fulfilled.
This week's Top Ten: Eminem's Encore; Shania Twain's Greatest Hits; Toby Keith's Greatest Hits 2; Britney Spears' Greatest Hits: My Prerogative; Now That's What I Call Music! 17; Fabolous' Real Talk; Ja Rule's R.U.L.E.; Usher's Confessions; Nelly's Suit; George Strait's 50 Number Ones.