Madonna may have decided in her personal life that money and status aren't important, but we're betting she's not too unhappy that ''American Life'' sold more albums than any other this week and debuted on top of the Billboard chart. It sold some 240,000 copies, according to SoundScan -- just over half of what ''Ray of Light'' and ''Music,'' her two most recent albums, sold upon their debuts, but still 100,000 more than its nearest competitor this week. That was 50 Cent's ''Get Rich or Die Tryin''' (141,000 copies), up three places to No. 2 on the strength of his hit ''21 Questions.'' His DVD/CD ''The New Breed'' plunged eight spots to No. 10 its second week; still having two top-10 records at once is no mean feat.
It was a good week to be a diva. Besides Madonna, Kelly Clarkson (last week's No. 1) came in third with second week sales of 133,000; ''The Very Best of Cher'' rose five spots to No. 5 and sold 106,000 copies; Norah Jones' ''Come Away With Me'' climbed two places to No. 6, and female-fronted Evanescence's ''Fallen'' leapt five spots to No. 7.
Linkin Park sold another 110,000 ''Meteora'' CDs and rose two slots to No. 4. Rounding out the top 10 were Fleetwood Mac's ''Say You Will'' (down five to No. 8) and ''NOW That's What I Call Music! Vol. 12,'' slipping two to No. 9.