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Ashanti #1 Again, Sheryl Crow Makes Big Debut On Albums Chart

Women rule the roost on next week’s Billboard 200 albums chart, as females lord over the top three spots.

First up is Ashanti, whose self-titled debut remains the #1 album in the country for the third straight week. She moved over 190,000 albums last week, according to SoundScan figures released Wednesday (April 24).

Behind her is Sheryl Crow, whose C’mon, C’mon debuts at #2 with almost 185,000 copies sold. And in third place is Celine Dion’s A New Day Has Come, which moved over 160,000 units.

Fourth place goes to the ninth volume of the popular compilation CD Now That’s What I Call Music!, which moved over 124,000 albums in its fifth week on the chart, while “The Scorpion King” soundtrack rounds out the top five, selling over 66,000 records.

Tweet’s Southern Hummingbird flutters into #6 and the “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” soundtrack maintains its top 10 standing at #7.

No artist in the top 20 sold more albums last week than the week before, with the exception of Josh Groban, who made a spectacular leap up last week’s chart (from #121 to #12). Next week, the pop and classical musician comes in at #8, selling over 60,000 copies of his self-titled album.

The remaining residents of the top 10 are Shakira, whose Laundry Service comes in at #10, and Pink, whose Missundaztood holds steady at #9.

No Doubt’s Rock Steady moves up 11 notches to # 25 thanks to the popularity of the second single from the LP, “Hella Good.” Other upwardly mobile artists include N.E.R.D., whose In Search Of… climbs 29 spots to #61, and Andrew W.K., whose I Get Wet jumps up 26 places to #84. But the big winners of the week are Res’ How I Do, which ascends 51 spots to #119, and Five for Fighting’s America Town, which moves 60 places higher to #137.

Those not as fortunate include Icelandic rock/rap outfit Quarashi, who were jinxed by their own album title, Jinx, as their LP falls 40 spots to #144 in its second week on the chart. Down II by Down, who also had a titular omen, slide 25 spots to #133. And Chris LeDoux’s After the Storm doesn’t weather the storm so well – the country singer and former rodeo champion falls 74 spots to #195.

Next week’s chart debuts include a slew of live Phish albums. Of the six LPs released (volumes 7 through 12), volume 7 was the most popular, coming in at #128, selling almost 8,500 copies. On the flip side, volume 8 was the least popular, entering the chart at #154, moving just over 7,000 units. Also making its debut is Heart to Yours, the gospel solo album by Destiny’s Child member Michelle Williams, which comes in at #57, with over 172,000 albums sold. Midtown’s Living Well Is the Best Revenge makes a respectable entrance at #90, selling more than 11,000 albums.

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