Usher Holds off Method Man

R&B singer spends eighth week at Number One

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With a big wave of new releases arriving in record stores last week, Usher's Confessions looked ripe for being knocked out of the Number One spot on the album chart. No such thing happened, as Confessions sold another 214,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan, to reach 3.5 million copies sold, spending its eighth week at Number One in its nine weeks of release.

Last week, country newcomer Gretchen Wilson nearly knocked Confessions out with her debut, Here for the Party, arriving at Number Two, just 2,000 copies behind the R&B star's latest. Wilson fell to Number Four this week selling 139,000 copies of Party. And the gaggle of newcomers didn't fare all that much better. Wu-Tang rapper Method Man's Tical 0: The Prequel was the week's highest debut at Number Two with sales of 164,000, followed by New Found Glory's Catalyst, which sold 147,000 at Number Three.

Alanis Morissette and Lenny Kravitz both paid for failing to produce hit singles. Morissette's So-Called Chaos sold 114,000 copies at Number Five, 100,000 copies fewer than her chart-topping Under Rug Swept two years ago, while Kravitz missed the Top Ten for the second straight time, his Baptism selling 52,000 copies at Number Fourteen. Baptism was outdone by a pair of unlikely competitors: country duo Montgomery Gentry sold 58,000 copies of You Do Your Thing at Number Ten, while Morrissey -- never a strong chart presence in the States -- sold 56,000 copies of You Are the Quarry at Number Eleven. Kravitz isn't alone. And George Michael continues to feel the freeze in the U.S. His Patience debuted at Number Twenty-nine with sales of 36,000.

Though Confessions has shown little sales wear (its tally this week was only 14,000 copies lower than the number it posted a week ago), next Wednesday it's chart reign should come crashing to an end with the arrival of Avril Lavigne's Under My Skin.

This week's Top Ten: Usher's Confessions; Method Man's Tical 0: The Prequel; New Found Glory's Catalyst; Gretchen Wilson's Here for the Party; Alanis Morissette's So-Called Chaos; D12's D12 World; Hoobastank's The Reason; 8 Ball and MJG's Living Legends; Now That's What I Call Music! 15; and Montgomery Gentry's You Do Your Thing.