Tupac Scores Fifth Topper

Late rapper earns fifth Number One, third since murder

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Yet another posthumous release from Tupac Shakur, Loyal to the Game, tops the charts this week, selling 330,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Produced by Eminem, this is the late rapper's third chart-topper since his 1996 murder and the fifth Number One album of his career, for a career total of 24.4 million records sold (18 million after death).

At Number Two is the hits compilation Now That's What I Call Music! 17, which moved 323,000 units, no doubt boosted by last-minute holiday shopping. Country star Shania Twain's Greatest Hits continue to sell strong, moving 311,000 to jump two places to Four. And the season's blockbusters, Eminem's Encore and U2's How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb, are still performing, holding at Three (315,000) and dropping three spots to Five (300,000), respectively.

The other big debut this week was Ashanti's Concrete Rose, which sold 254,000 copies to take Number Seven. Although respectable, this is the R&B diva's first album to not debut at the top -- 2003's Chapter II took Number One, moving nearly 80,000 more units. Meanwhile, Destiny's Child's Destiny Fulfilled was bumped up one place this week to Number Six, with 267,000 copies sold. And Usher's Confessions is resurrected once again by holiday shoppers, selling nearly 70,000 more to move up two to Number Nine (237,000).

The biggest disappointments this week belong to Ludacris and Lindsay Lohan. Although the St. Louis rapper's Red Light District debuted at Number One last week, the album sold more than 100,000 fewer copies to plummet to Number Twelve (214,000) in its second week. Similarly, teen queen Lohan's debut album Speak plunged from its Number Four debut to Fourteen, selling 192,000 copies. Cam'ron's Purple Haze -- which debuted at the Harlem rapper's all-time low, Twenty -- loses any chance of gaining steam, falling a whopping thirty-nine spots to Fifty-Nine (60,000). And MTV's Pimp My Ride host Xzibit fals to impress, with his Weapons of Mass Destruction debuting forty spots lower than 2002's Man vs. Machine, at Forty-Three (81,000).

With no significant new releases this week, expect the big players such as Eminem, U2 and Shania to keep hold onto their spots. But it remains to be seen whether Ashanti will in the Top Ten, or go the way of her Inc. associate, Ja Rule.

This week's Top Ten: Tupac Shakur's Loyal to the Game; Now That's What I Call Music! 17; Eminem's Encore; Shania Twain's Greatest Hits; U2's How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb; Destiny's Child's Destiny Fulfilled; Ashanti's Concrete Rose; Toby Keith's Greatest Hits 2; Usher's Confessions; Jay-Z and Linkin Park's Collision Course.

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