Eminem may not have been able to swing listeners to vote against President Bush, but he can certainly bring them into record stores. His Encore spent its second week in release at the top of the Billboard album chart, selling 871,000 copies, according to SoundScan, an increase of 22 percent over last week’s already huge numbers.
The increase occurred because this week, Encore spent a full week in stores; last week, the album was released midweek, having moved ahead a few days to combat piracy. Three other artists who used a similar antipiracy strategy saw modest debuts last week but shot into the upper reaches of the chart this time. One was Destiny’s Child’s Destiny Fulfilled, which debuted at No. 19 and sold 61,000 copies but vaulted to No. 2 this week on sales of 497,000. Similarly, Lil Jon & the East Side Boyz leapt from No. 31 to No. 3, selling 363,000 copies of Crunk Juice this week. And Chingy’s Powerballin’ rocketed from No. 172 to No. 10 and shifted 120,000 units.
Entering the chart in fourth place was Clay Aiken’s Merry Christmas With Love, which sold 270,000 discs and marked the best-selling debut of any holiday album since SoundScan began counting in 1991. Snoop Dogg had his best first-week sales in ages with the debut of R&G (Rhythm & Gangsta): The Masterpiece at No. 6, moving 225,000 copies.
Rounding out the top 10 were Shania Twain’s Greatest Hits (down three notches to No. 5), Toby Keith’s Greatest Hits 2 (falling four spots to seventh place), NOW That’s What I Call Music! Vol. 15 (sliding three slots to No. 8), and Usher’s Confessions, which slipped one spot to ninth place.