Another week, another Billboard album chart victory for Usher, whose ”Confessions” ruled for a fifth straight session. This week, however, he faced some serious competition from Mario Winans and Prince. R&B artist Mario, the non-gospel member of the Winans family, sold 222,000 copies of his Bad Boy Records debut, ”Hurt No More,” compared to 253,000 for ”Confessions,” according to SoundScan. Prince boosted his sales with a novel tactic: The cost of his new ”Musicology” set is included in the price of his concert tickets, which means 60,000 concertgoers last week bought the disc whether they wanted to or not. Still, ”Musicology” was able to muster only a third-place debut, moving a total of 191,000 copies. Nonetheless, that’s Prince’s best chart week in 13 years, since his 1991 set ”Diamonds and Pearls” sold 172,000 discs its first week for a No. 5 debut.
The only other new top-10 entry came from rapper Ghostface Killah (who’s simply going by Ghostface these days), who sold 69,000 copies of ”The Pretty Toney Album” for a No. 6 debut. Among the chart holdovers, ”NOW That’s What I Call Music! Vol. 15” dropped two notches to fourth place, while Hoobastank’s ”The Reason” also fell two, to No. 5. Guns N’ Roses’ ”Greatest Hits” slipped three slots to eighth place, and Evanescence’s ”Fallen” fell one spot to ninth. Holding in place were Jessica Simpson’s ”In This Skin” (No. 7) and Kanye West’s ”The College Dropout” (No. 10).