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Godsmack Takes 'Faceless' Straight to No. 1

Godsmack takes over the Billboard 200 with a No. 1 debut for “Faceless,” and leads the charge of seven top-20 entries on the album chart.

The Universal album sold 269,000 copies in the U.S., according to Nielsen SoundScan, giving the band its best debut week on the chart. The total is easily enough to end the two-week reign of Linkin Park’s “Meteora” (Warner Bros.), which falls to No. 2 on a 30% sales decline to sales of 186,000 copies.

“Faceless” is Godsmack’s third major label album and its entry bests the opening position of its last set, “Awake.” That release arrived at No. 5 in late 2000 on sales of 256,000 copies, and has sold about 2 million copies to date. The Boston-based group’s current single “Straight Out of Line” is a top-10 hit on both Billboard’s Modern Rock and Mainstream Rock airplay charts.

With sales of 142,000 copies, Lisa Marie Presley’s debut album, “To Whom It May Concern,” has an impressive No. 5 debut on the Billboard 200. Presley has been a dominant figure in the media of late, as the Rolling Stone cover girl has recently appeared on CBS’s “Late Show With David Letterman,” ABC’s “Good Morning America,” and Howard Stern’s syndicated morning radio show. The album was additionally heralded by the radio success of first single “Lights Out,” a top-30 hit on Billboard’s Adult Top 40 chart.

R&B singer Ginuwine enters the Billboard 200 at No. 6 with “The Senior” (Epic). The album moved 122,000 copies, a little shy of the 152,000 copies his 2001 album “The Life” sold in its first week. To date, “The Life” has sold more than 1.37 million copies.

Elsewhere in the top-10, Godsmack’s arrival pushes 50 Cent’s “Get Rich or Die Tryin”‘ (Shady/Interscope) down one slot to No. 3 on a 9% sales decline to 160,000 copies. Also sliding one position is the 12th edition of the “NOW That’s What I Call Music!” compilation series (Universal/EMI/Zomba/Sony), which lands at No. 4 on a 14% sales dip to 143,000 copies.

Warner Bros.’ “The Very Best of Cher” maintains its No. 7 post in its second week on the chart. Sales of the compilation, which benefited from Cher’s April 8 NBC concert special, were down only 3% to 119,000 copies. Closely behind is Las Vegas diva Celine Dion, whose “One Heart” (Epic) slips 4-8 on a 30% sales dip to 117,000 copies.

Norah Jones’ “Come Away With Me” drops 5-9 on a 12% sales decline to 117,000 copies, while Evanescence’s Wind-Up set fallen rounds out the top-10 with 87,000 copies, a 3% gain over the prior week.

“The Best of James Taylor” (Warner Bros.) enters at No. 11 with sales of 73,500 copies, the second best entry of the artist’s career. Taylor’s most recent Columbia effort, “October Road,” debuted at No. 4 with sales of 154,000 in August 2002, while “Hourglass” sold 72,000 copies upon its 1997 arrival. His late 2000 hits compilation “Greatest Hits Vol. 2″ entered the Billboard 200 at No. 97.

Jay-Z’s Roc-A-Fella/Def Jam release “The Blueprint 2.1,” an abbreviated, single-disc version of his “The Blueprint 2: The Gift & the Curse,” arrives at No. 17 on sales of 55,000 copies. “The Blueprint 2″ has sold 1.7 million copies since its November release.

Lucinda Williams’ “World Without Tears” (Lost Highway) sold 54,000 copies to arrive at No. 18, her highest-charting debut week; her 2001 effort, “Essence,” entered at No. 28. Scarface’s “Balls and My Word” lands at No. 20 after moving 42,000 copies. The Rap-A-Lot Records album compiles previously unreleased tracks the rapper recorded before he signed with Def Jam South, which released his top-10 album “The Fix” last year.

Other notable newcomers on The Billboard 200 include the Newsboys’ “Adoration: The Worship” (Sparrow) (No. 33, 32,000 copies), and the Jayhawks’ “Rainy Day Music” (American/Lost Highway) (No. 51, 19,000 copies).