But this comes as little surprise, considering Stewart's success with his American Songbook series. The fifty-nine-year-old rocker last topped the charts in 1979 with Blondes Have More Fun (the album that spawned the Number One single "Do Ya Think I'm Sexy?"). His first standards release came in 2002 with It Had to Be You . . . The Great American Songbook: Volume I, which debuted at Number Four, and went on to sell 2.6 million copies. The 2003 follow-up, As Time Goes By . . . The Great American Songbook: Volume II, debuted two spots higher, and has moved 2.1 million copies.
George Strait's compilation of chart-toppers, 50 Number Ones, slipped down from the top spot to Number Three this week (142,000), while St. Louis rapper Nelly's Suit reversed momentum and stepped up from Three to Two, with 153,000 copies sold. Arizona rockers Jimmy Eat World's Futures made a strong debut at Number Six (99,000), while country faves Brooks and Dunn's latest best-of, The Greatest Hits Collection II, came in at Number Seven (83,000).
Another winner this week is Ray Charles' posthumous release, Genius Loves Company, which jumped eight spots to Number Five (99,000), no doubt bolstered by the much-advertised Charles biopic, Ray, which hits theaters this week. And the late, great singer-songwriter Elliott Smith had his first Top Twenty debut, as the posthumous collection of his last songs, From a Basement on the Hill, sold 43,000 copies to garner Number Nineteen.
Canadian pop-punk princes Sum 41's Chuck, expected to be a blockbuster, has dropped dramatically in its second week from the Ten spot to Number Twenty-Six, with just 32,000 copies sold. And after a strong performance last week at Number Five, Mos Def's sophomore solo effort, New Danger, slipped seven places to exit the Top Ten (60,000). Good Charlotte's Chronicles of Life & Death also continues its downward momentum, dropping from Number Seven to Sixteen (51,000) in its third week.
With no powerhouse releases this week, expect Rod Stewart's reign to continue. We may even see a slow, steady climb from the boys of Jimmy Eat World.
This week's Top Ten: Rod Stewart's Stardust . . . The Great American Songbook: Volume III; Nelly's Suit; George Strait's 50 Number Ones; Usher's Confessions; Ray Charles' Genius Loves Company; Jimmy Eat World's Futures; Brooks and Dunn's The Greatest Hits Collection II; Celine Dion's Miracle; Hilary Duff's Hilary Duff; Tim McGraw's Live Like You Were Dying.