Gary Susman
May 04, 2005 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Spring is in the air, so it’s the perfect time for songs about nerve-wracked Iraqi War soldiers, Nevada hookers, and drowned illegal aliens. That is, if you’re a Bruce Springsteen fan. Boss boosters bought some 222,000 copies of Devils & Dust, according to SoundScan, sending it to the top of the Billboard album chart during its first week in stores. That’s a far cry from the 525,000 that Springsteen’s The Rising sold upon its release in 2002, but it was enough to dethrone last week’s champ, Rob Thomas, and to outsell three other new releases in the top 10.

Ludacris protégé Bobby Valentino debuted in third place with Disturbing Tha Peace Presents: Bobby Valentino, selling 180,000 copies. Amerie’s Touch entered the chart at No. 5 on sales of 124,000. And country’s Jo Dee Messina enjoyed a career-best debut with the aptly titled Delicious Surprise, which sold 99,000 copies and opened at No. 7, her highest chart position ever on the Billboard Top 200.

Holding at No. 2 was Mariah Carey’s The Emancipation of Mimi, with sales of 197,000. Thomas’ ?Something To Be slipped three spots to fourth place and moved another 145,000 units. 50 Cent’s The Massacre slid one slot to No. 6. Dropping five notches each were Mike Jones’ Who Is Mike Jones? (No. 8) and Il Divo’s self-titled debut (No. 9). Falling four places to No. 10 was Gwen Stefani’s Love, Angel, Music, Baby. Ben Folds enjoyed the highest-charting debut of his career with Songs for Silverman, but the piano man landed just outside the top 10 at No. 13.

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