Manilow, Blige Top the Chart

Mellow crooner, R&B diva dominate

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Adult contemporary crooner Barry Manilow topped the chart this week with his American classics collection The Greatest Songs of the Fifties. The compilation, in the vein of Rod Stewart's successful Great American Songbook series, sold 156,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan. While this marks the Brooklyn native's eighth Top Ten album on the pop chart, it is only his second Number One in a three-decade career.

In second place is R&B diva Mary J. Blige's former chart-topper The Breakthrough (123,000), up two spots. The other R&B blockbuster of the moment, Jamie Foxx's on-and-off chart-topper Unpredictable, dropped one spot to Number Four (95,000). And R&B newcomer Heather Headley, formerly the star of the Elton John musicals The Lion King and Aida, saw her sophomore effort, In My Mind, bow at Number Five (95,000). This is a big leg up for the Trinidad native: Her debut, 2002's This Is Who I Am, barely cracked the Top Forty.

In an unusually satisfying week for fans of soothing vocal music, legendary opera tenor Andrea Bocelli took Number Three, with another of his string of accessible releases, Amore, selling 113,000 copies. And last week's Number One, Ancora -- the second effort from classically trained boy band Il Divo -- moved another 93,000 CDs, dropping five spots to Number Six.

Rounding out the Top Ten are British singer-songwriter James Blunt's debut, Back to Bedlam, which climbed two spots back into the Top Ten (Number Nine, 71,000); and Train's latest, For Me, It's You, which debuted at Number Ten (62,000). This makes for the San Francisco roots rockers' third Top Ten CD.

Meanwhile, country artist Josh Turner's second release, Your Man, which marked his crossover into the pop Top Ten as last week's Number Two, fell nine spots to Number Eleven (61,000). Florida pop-punks Yellowcard took a more dramatic turn: Their second major-label album, Lights and Sounds, fell from Number Five to Twenty-six (38,000) in just its second week out. But disappointment of the week belongs to rap-metal outfit P.O.D.: Testify, which last week debuted at Number Nine to become the band's third consecutive Top Ten album, plummeted thirty-one places to Number Forty (25,000).

Next week, expect a strong debut from Atlanta rappers Dem Franchize Boyz's second release, On Top of Our Game, on the strength of their hot singles "I Think They Like Me" and "Lean Wit It, Rock Wit It."

This week's Top Ten: Barry Manilow's The Greatest Songs of the Fifties; Mary J. Blige's The Breakthrough; Andrea Bocelli's Amore; Jamie Foxx's Unpredictable; Heather Headley's In My Mind; Il Divo's Ancora; Eminem's Curtain Call; Carrie Underwood's Some Hearts; James Blunt's Back to Bedlam; Train's For Me, It's You.

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