Jimmy Buffett’s gone country and it’s paid off. The beach bum balladeer sold 239,000 copies of his new album, License to Chill, according to Nielsen SoundScan, to debut Number One. Last year’s “It’s 5 O’Clock Somewhere,” a duet with chart-topping country crooner Alan Jackson got New Country fans hip to Buffett. He further courted that constituency by recording Chill with a gaggle of Nashville stars including Jackson (again), Kenny Chesney, Toby Keith and Clint Black. For Buffett, the formula resulted in his first Number One record.
Chill easily held off Usher’s Confessions, which has had a stranglehold on Number Two for the past six weeks. The R&B star’s latest sold another 125,000 copies and moves past 5 million sold.
The Roots made a strong debut with The Tipping Point. The Philly hip-hop troupe’s latest sold 109,000 at Number Four. The Cinderella Story soundtrack, featuring new music by Hilary Duff, was the third newcomer in the Top Ten, selling 73,000 copies at Number Nine.
The chart was peppered with other newcomers: Metallica’s Some Kind of Monster EP sold 30,000 copies at Number Thirty-seven, while Sparta’s second record, Porcelain, debuted at Number Sixty with sales of 19,000.
Next week looks to be a showdown between Usher and the Hives, whose Tyrannosaurus Hives arrived in stores this week. Sales for the former have cooled, but very slowly, and it’s still good for another six-figure sales week. The latter will need to carry over some of the buzzy momentum from their last record, 2002’s Veni Vidi Vicious which gradually built a fan base in the States for the Swedish group’s brand of stylish, high-octane garage rock.
This week’s Top Ten: Jimmy Buffett’s License to Chill; Usher’s Confessions; Lloyd Banks’ Hunger for More; the Roots’ Tipping Point; Gretchen Wilson’s Here for the Party; Avril Lavigne’s Under My Skin; Big and Rich’s Horse of a Different Color; Prince’s Musicology; the Cinderella Story soundtrack; and Los Lonely Boys’ Los Lonely Boys.