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Linkin Park's 'Meteora' Has Lasting Chart Impact

Linkin Park’s “Meteora” maintains its No. 1 standing on the Billboard 200 for a second-straight week, despite a hefty 67% drop in U.S. sales.

The band’s sophomore Warner Bros. album sold 265,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan, bringing its two-week sales total above the 1 million mark.

The No. 1 entry of “Meteora” on The Billboard 200 followed a similar opening on the U.K. album chart. In addition, last week the album’s first single “Somewhere I Belong” took over the top slot Billboard’s Modern Rock and Mainstream Rock airplay charts.

Detroit duo the White Stripes had a strong opening week with their V2 album “Elephant,” which enters The Billboard 200 at No. 6 on sales of 126,000 copies. That total is more than 100,000 copies higher than the pair’s previous best week, which came in January when “White Blood Cells” (Sympathy for the Record Industry) sold 20,500 copies. The latter peaked at No. 61 in April 2002 and has sold 668,000 copies.

“Elephant” is the first album in the so-called “new-garage” movement to break out with a giant sales week, easily besting the top weeks of such heralded acts as the Vines, the Strokes, and the Hives. The Vines’ “Highly Evolved” (Capitol) entered at No. 11 last year with sales of 64,000 copies, but neither the Strokes nor the Hives have breached the top 30.

Also arriving in the top 10 this week is “The Very Best of Cher” from Rhino. The album lands at No. 7 with 122,000 copies, besting the debut of her previous hits package, “If I Could Turn Back Time – Cher’s Greatest Hits,” which entered at No. 67 with just over 23,000 copies in 1999.

Rapper 50 Cent’s former No. 1 album “Get Rich or Die Tryin”‘ (Shady/Interscope) gains 4-2 on the chart despite a 10% dip in sales to 175,000 copies. Right behind him, the 12th edition of the “NOW That’s What I Call Music!” compilation series (Universal/EMI/Zomba/Sony) holds fast at No. 3 after taking a 33% dip to sales of 167,000 copies.

Celine Dion’s “One Heart” (Epic) slides 2-4 on a 62% drop to sales of 166,000 copies, bringing its two-week total to nearly 600,000 copies. Norah Jones’ Grammy-winning Blue Note/Capitol debut “Come Away With Me” maintains its No. 5 position from last week. The album sold 132,000 copies in its 58th week of release, down 11% from the previous week.

The Epic soundtrack to “Chicago” slips 6-8 as sales fell 26% to 89,000 copies. Evanescence’s “Fallen” (Wind-Up) holds its No. 9 post with sales of 84,000 copies, about 2% lower than the previous week.

R&B star R. Kelly’s “Chocolate Factory” (Jive) once again rounds out the top 10. The set sold 81,000 copies in its seventh week on the tally, a 5% dip from the previous week’s total.

Chris Cagle’s self-titled sophomore effort lands at No. 15 with 42,000 copies, clearly besting his last effort, 2000’s “Play It Loud,” which topped out at No. 164. Cagle’s Capitol album also opens at No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums tally, ending the 18-week reign of the Dixie Chicks’ “Home” (Monument/Columbia).

Robbie Williams scores his highest debut on The Billboard 200 with “Escapology” (Virgin). The album arrives at No. 43 on sales of 21,000 copies, besting the No. 110 entry of 2000’s “Sing When You’re Winning.” Also new this week is the Geffen soundtrack to Rob Zombie’s film “House of 1,000 Corpses.” The set enters at No. 53, having sold 18,000 copies.

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