Bruce Edges Out Mariah on the Chart

Springsteen's solo album beats pop diva by a nose

Bruce Springsteen's thirteenth studio album, Devils and Dust, sold 222,000 copies this week to beat out pop diva Mariah Carey for the top spot, according to Nielsen SoundScan. The acoustic effort, recorded without the E Street Band, is the follow-up to 2002's The Rising, then Springsteen's first Number One in a decade and a much stronger debut, with 300,000 more copies sold. But Carey's hardly down and out, as her The Emancipation of Mimi continued to perform in its third week, moving another 197,000 units to come in second. Springsteen bumped Matchbox Twenty frontman Rob Thomas, whose solo debut ...Something To Be sold 145,000 copies in its second week to take Number Three.

Other Top Ten debuts this week include Bobby Valentino's self-titled first album and Amerie's latest, Touch. The first artist signed to superstar rapper Ludacris' Disturbing Tha Peace label, R&B singer Valentino sold 180,000 copies to take Number Three; while R&B/pop crooner Amerie moved 124,000 units to come in at Number Four. Country-pop gal Jo Dee Messina's fourth album, Delicious Surprise, also had a strong opening week, selling 99,000 copies to take Number Seven.

But the surprise of the week comes from pop singer/pianist Ben Folds, whose sixth studio album, Songs for Silverman, sold 50,000 copies to take Thirteen. This is a significant improvement from Folds' last effort, 2001's Rockin' the Suburbs, which came in at Number Forty-Two.

Meanwhile, those who slipped out of the Top Ten this week include Vegas rockers the Killers, whose steadily selling debut Hot Fuss dropped four to Number Eleven (54,000); Green Day's American Idiot, which dropped four to Twelve (50,000); and the latest from Southern hip-hop collective Three 6 Mafia, Choices II, which fell fourteen spots to Twenty-Four (30,000).

Next week, clear the chart, as Nine Inch Nails make their highly anticipated comeback with With Teeth and Limp Bizkit hope to return to past commercial glory with The Unquestionable Truth, Pt. 1.

This week's Top Ten: Bruce Springsteen's Devils & Dust; Mariah Carey's The Emancipation of Mimi; Bobby Valentino's Bobby Valentino; Rob Thomas' ...Something to Be; Amerie's Touch; 50 Cent's The Massacre; Jo Dee Messina's Delicious Surprise; Mike Jones' Who Is Mike Jones?; Il Divo's ; Gwen Stefani's Love, Angel, Music, Baby.