This week marked the triumph of diva over gangsta, as the debut of Mariah Carey's The Emancipation of Mimi bumped 50 Cent's The Massacre from the top spot, with a whopping 404,000 copies sold, according to Nielsen SoundScan. This is nearly double what 2002's Charmbracelet (the pre-Carey nervous breakdown album) sold in its first week and her first Number One album since 1997's Butterfly. Since Carey is a singles-driven artist, expect her figures in coming weeks to lean heavily on radio play.
With Carey in the top spot, the end of hardcore Queens rapper 50's six-week-long reign has come, as his gangbuster sales numbers finally cooled off, landing him at Number Three (140,000). This brought his current total, however, across the 3 million line -- in less than two months in stores. At Number Two is Mudvayne's third album, Lost and Found, with 152,000 copies sold. This is a massive leap for the metal men, whose last album, 2002's The End of All Things to Come, debuted at Seventeen. The other major debut this week came from pop rockers Garbage, whose first album in four years, Bleed Like Me, opened at Number Four, with a solid 75,000 copies sold.
Meanwhile, R&B singer Faith Evans' The First Lady slipped three spots in its third week to Number Five (63,000), and genre-hopping artiste Beck's Guero also fell four places to Number Seven (58,000). Rounding out the Top Ten are, surprisingly, Gwen Stefani's Love, Angel, Music, Baby, which jumped from Fifteen to Nine (57,000) to return to playa status; and Vegas rockers the Killers, whose June 2004 debut Hot Fuss continued its climb, up one spot to Ten (55,000).
Beginning the slippery slide this week was Will Smith, whose return to hip-hop from blockbuster-movie-making, Lost and Found (who knew he had so much in common with Mudvayne?), fell from Number Six to Thirteen (48,000). Likewise, boy band 112's Pleasure and Pain dropped from Five to Eighteen (38,000). But the big loser was Lisa Marie Presley: Her sophomore effort Now What plummeted from Nine to Thirty-Three (23,000) in just its second week. And for all the advertising and MTV backing behind Canadian rockers Hot Hot Heat's latest album, Elevator, the CD has officially bombed: It dove in its second week from a marginally hopeful Number Thirty-Five to a positively dismal Eighty-Five (11,000).
Next week is Mariah's chance to prove her Emancipation has staying power. Otherwise the chart may belong to Rob Thomas, whose much-hyped solo debut ...Something to Be hit stores yesterday.
This week's Top Ten: Mariah Carey's The Emancipation of Mimi; Mudvayne's Lost and Found; 50 Cent's The Massacre; Garbage's Bleed Like Me; Faith Evans' The First Lady; Now That's What I Call Music! Volume 18; Beck's Guero; Green Day's American Idiot; Gwen Stefani's Love, Angel, Music, Baby; the Killers' Hot Fuss.