George Strait Still Tops

Country legend and R&B star still in the top spots

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The wrestling match between country and R&B continues this week, as George Strait and Usher continue to hold onto the top spots -- but with half the massive sales figures of last week -- moving 190,000 and 176,000 respectively, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

Rapper Nelly showed his staying power, with half of his double-release, Suit, changing direction to move up two places to Number Three (144,000). And hip-hop artiste Mos Def launched a surprise attack on the Top Ten, as his much-anticipated follow-up to his 1999 solo debut Black on Both Sides, New Danger, debuted at Number Five (95,000).

Canadian crooner Celine Dion returned to the Top Ten with Miracle, the follow-up to her 2002 hit A New Day Has Come, at Number Four. But this is a modest performance for the superstar, selling only 107,000 copies its first week out, considering A New Day debuted at the top spot with 527,000 copies. Meanwhile, the newly reunited Duran Duran had their highest debut since 1983's Seven and the Ragged Tiger this week, with their comeback album Astronaut, selling 54,000 to reach Number Seventeen.

Underwhelming performances this week include Canadian pop-punk band Sum 41, whose Chuck moved only 66,000 units to debut at Number Ten. Although a much higher debut than their 2002 sophomore effort Does This Look Infected?, the band has built up momentum through constant touring and popular music videos that make this a bit of a disappointment. Country-pop act Rascal Flatts and R&B singer Ciara quickly exit the Top Ten after strong debuts, dropping six places each to Fourteen (58,000) and Sixteen (55,000).

Next week, expect Arizona emo band Jimmy Eat World to have their biggest opener yet with their latest, Futures. And the late Elliott Smith's posthumous release, From a Basement on the Hill, may very well sell better than any of the great singer-songwriter's albums did in his lifetime.

This week's Top Ten: George Strait's 50 Number Ones; Usher's Confessions; Nelly's Suit; Celine Dion's Miracle; Mos Def's New Danger; Hilary Duff's Hilary Duff; Green Day's American Idiot; Good Charlotte's Chronicles of Life and Death; Tim McGraw's Live Like You Were Dying; Sum 41's Chuck.