Now! 16 Tops the Chart

Compilation series featuring Beyonce unseats Ashlee

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The hit single compilation series Now That's What I Call Music! has returned to the top of the charts, as the sixteenth edition of Now sold 504,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan, to debut Number One. Now exploded in 2001, as the series capitalized on hit singles by teen pop stars like Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, the Backstreet Boys and 'N Sync. But popularity for the albums began to wane. Now 13 had an unremarkable first-week tally of 114,000 in early 2003. But by year's end, the series began to regain its heat. Now 15 nearly hit Number One earlier this year with a 343,000 figure. Featuring songs by Beyonce ("Naughty Girl"), OutKast ("Hey Ya") and Hoobastank ("The Reason"), Now 16 posted the best first-week figure the series has earned in three years.

Now's big bow meant a single week at Number One for Ashlee Simpson's Autobiography, which slipped to Number Two with sales of 270,000. One spot lower was Taking Back Sunday, who have built a remarkable grassroots audience. The group's second album, Where You Want to Be, sold a hearty 163,000 copies.

Two other newcomers found their way into the Top Ten: Rap troupe Terror Squad's True Story sold 97,000 copies at Number Seven, while R&B singer Kevin Lyttle sold 84,000 copies of his self-titled debut one peg lower. Pearl Jam's Live at Benaroya Hall also made a strong first-week showing, selling 52,000 copies at Number Eighteen.

Without a blockbuster release entering stores this week, look for next week's chart to primarily be a holding pattern.

This weeks' Top Ten: Now That's What I Call Music! 16; Ashlee Simpson's Autobiography; Taking Back Sunday's Where You Want to Be; Jimmy Buffett's License to Chill; Usher's Confessions; Gretchen Wilson's Here for the Party; Terror Squad's True Story; Kevin Lyttle's Kevin Lyttle; Lloyd Banks' Hunger for More; and Big and Rich's Horse of a Different Color.

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