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Thursday, June 5, 2008

USHER SCORES SECOND BEST SALES DEBUT OF '08


Four years after his "Confessions" rocked the charts, Usher returns to The Billboard 200 at No. 1 with "Here I Stand." With 433,000 U.S. copies sold, according to Nielsen SoundScan, the LaFace/Zomba album is the second biggest debut this year behind the 463,000 start of Mariah Carey's "E=MC2."

"Here I Stand" was led by the single "Love in This Club" featuring Young Jeezy, which was No. 1 for three weeks on the Billboard Hot 100. Usher's "Confessions" started at the penthouse in 2004 with a whopping 1,096,000 units and spent nine weeks on top. It went on to be the year's best-seller.

Coming in at No. 2 is the New Line soundtrack to the "Sex in the City" movie. The set -- which features tracks from artists as diverse as the Weepies, Jennifer Hudson, Run-D.M.C. and Nina Simone -- moved 66,000 copies. It's the highest debut for a multi-artist theatrical film soundtrack since "Get Rich or Die Tryin'" also started at No. 2 in November 2005.

3 Doors Down's Universal Republic self-titled set falls 1-3 with 63,000, a 59% sales decrease. Bun-B's Rap-A-Lot/Asylum set "II Trill" is down 2-4 with 40,000 (-59%), Leona Lewis' Syco/J album "Spirit" climbs 6-5 with 39,000 (-23%) and Reprise's retrospective Frank Sinatra collection "Nothing But the Best" slips 4-6 with 37,000 (-32%). Duffy's "Rockferry" (Mercury) endures a 19% sales decrease, moving 36,000 and ascending 8-7.

Carey's chart-topping Island Def Jam album "E=MC2" continues its decline 7-8 with a 20% sales decrease to 36,000. Al Green, who is also on the "Sex in the City" soundtrack, starts at No. 9 with "Lay It Down," selling 34,000. The Blue Note effort is Green's highest debut ever and his highest charting album since "I'm Still in Love with You" reached No. 4 in 1972.

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