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Pricing pays for P. Diddy

Sean Combs’ album “P. Diddy & Bad Boy Records Present… We Invented the Remix” bows at No. 1 atop the Billboard 200 on 255,550 units sold. The album marks the third No. 1 release during the past two months that has hit stores at a discounted price.

Last week, Musiq’s “Juslisen,” which sold with a $2.50 rebate debuted at No. 1 on 260,150 copies scanned. The Def Jam album slips to No. 5 this week on 115,775 units scanned. Ashanti’s self-titled debut, offered with a new-artist discount and $2 rebate, sold more than half a million records during its first week last month. Also a Def Jam artist, Ashanti drops to No. 7 this week, adding 96,350.

With five albums debuting in the top 10, the chart for the week ending May 19 marks the kickoff of the summer release season.

Def Jam artist Cam’ron “Come Home With Me” arrives at No. 2 on 225,675 units sold, according to SoundScan figures obtained from industry sources.

Weezer’s Geffen Records album “Maladroit” takes the No. 3 spot on 151,975 units sold, while Moby’s “18” (V2), his highly anticipated follow-up to “Play,” debuts at No. 4 on 126,300 units sold.

Rush also makes a strong debut as the veteran group’s new album “Vapor Trails” (Atlantic) bows at No. 6 on 107,950 copes sold.

Celine Dion’s Epic Records album “A New Day Has Come” falls six spots to No. 8, adding 84,000 units, while hits compilation “NOW 9” (Universal) holds at No. 9 on 77,850 copies scanned.

A&M Records rocker Sheryl Crow’s “C’mon, C’mon” slips three notches to No. 10, selling 73,550 units.

Other notable debuts for the week include Van Morrison’s “Down the Road” (No. 25) and Ruff Endz’s “Someone to Love You” (No. 27).

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