T.I.'s latest effort, King, sold a whopping 522,000 copies in its first week out to dominate the chart. In a week of several fresh releases, the Atlanta rapper -- and the star of the new movie, ATL, alongside OutKast's Big Boi -- blew away the competition, leaving even country mega-star Tim McGraw far behind. McGraw's second hits compilation sold 242,000 CDs to take a distant second place.
Other major debuts include Ghostface Killah's latest solo effort, Fishscale, which sold 110,000 CDs on the strength of the Wu-Tang Clan MC's frenetic wordplay to bow at Number Four. And metal maven Rob Zombie's solo album, Educated Horses, landed at Number Five (107,000).
High traffic from the latest contenders pushed back some of the chart's fiercest performers. Last week's Number One, Prince's 3121, lost some steam, falling seven slots to Number Eight (76,000). And pretty boy James Blunt's debut, Back to Bedlam, never made it to the top spot, falling four places this week to Number Seven (80,000). But all the chart activity barely affected the runaway sales of the soundtrack to the Disney Channel movie, High School Musical, which only slipped one spot, selling another 165,000 CDs to hit Number Three.
And in other dramatic sales movement this week, pop star (and professional gyrator) Shakira's re-release of Oral Fixation Vol. 2 boosted the album an incredible ninety-two spots to Number Six (81,000). It didn't hurt that the singer recently performed her sexy new single, "Hips Don't Lie," with Wyclef Jean on American Idol.
Two younger bands hit career landmarks this week. California alt-metal outfit Atreyu's A Deathgrip on Yesterday bowed at Nine (69,000), way ahead of 2004's The Curse, which peaked at Thirty-Two; while the Yeah Yeah Yeahs' second effort, Show Your Bones, climbed to Eleven (56,000), bounds ahead of their debut, Fever to Tell, which peaked at Fifty-Five.
Next week, top-selling pop rocker Pink will score high with her feisty I'm Not Dead. And expect solid results from exuberant indie rockers the Flaming Lips, who return with the long-awaited At War With the Mystics.
This week's Top Ten: T.I.'s King; Tim McGraw's Greatest Hits, Vol. 2; High School Musical: The Original Soundtrack; Ghostface Killah's Fishscale; Rob Zombie's Educated Horses; Shakira's Oral Fixation Vol. 2; James Blunt's Back to Bedlam; Prince's 3121; Atreyu's A Deathgrip on Yesterday; and Alan Jackson's Precious Memories.