OutKast Stay on Top

Rap duo holds off surge by Sheryl Crow

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OutKast's Speakerboxxx/The Love Below sold 86,000 copies last week, according to SoundScan, to hold onto the Number One slot for the second consecutive week. The sales total is among the lowest Number One tallies in SoundScan history.

The hip-hop duo held off a surge by Sheryl Crow's The Very Best of Sheryl Crow, which enjoyed an 8,000 copy spike from last week, selling 81,000 copies at Number Two. The 2004 Grammy Nominees compilation was the week's strongest newcomer, selling 68,000 copies at Number Four, sandwiched between two other records that benefited from sales increases: Evanescence's Fallen got back in the hunt for a possible Number One bid by selling 69,000 copies at Number Three (a 7,000 copy jump from its Number Nine spot last week), while Ruben Studdard's Soulful, which debuted high and began to sink, has found new legs, bounding to Number Five with sales of 67,000 (up 5,000 from last week).

Speaking of sinking, Jessica Simpson's In This Skin was dead in the water in 2003, but some synergistic magic from her Newlyweds show has rubbed off, as the record has climbed to Number Sixteen with sales of 40,000.

There wasn't much in the way of newcomers to the Top 100. Ani DiFranco continues to post strong sales for her independently released albums, as her latest, Educated Guess, sold 25,000 copies at Number Thirty-seven. Next week doesn't offer all that much promise for big debuts, with Air's Talkie Walkie and Starsailor's Silence Is Easy among this Tuesday's biggest releases.

This week's Top Ten: OutKast's Speakerboxxx/The Love Below; Sheryl Crow's The Very Best of Sheryl Crow; Evanescence's Fallen; 2004 Grammy Nominees; Ruben Studdard's Soulful; Toby Keith's Shock N Y'all; Now That's What I Call Music! 14; Josh Groban's Closer; Alicia Keys' The Diary of Alicia Keys; and Britney Spears' In the Zone.