Music Article

THE CHART

THE QUIET 'AMERICAN'

Is antiwar superstar Madonna falling prey to the Dixie Chicks' curse? Her audience may not be as prone to spurn her for Bush-dissing, but American Life's merely okay 241,000-copy debut suggests some other factor at work, considering that her last two efforts, Ray of Light and Music, bowed with 375,000 and 419,000 units, respectively. Perhaps it had more to do with tepid airplay for the title single and lackluster reviews. Or maybe it was just a slow week. Even Cher, whose hits set jumped five spots, suffered a minor unit decline. The Chicks advanced with a lower tally too, moving from No. 33 to No. 23 while declining from 43,000 copies to 39,000.

POP ALBUMS

LAST WEEKS WEEK ON CHART

1 -- MADONNA American Life, Maverick/Warner Bros. 1 2 5 50 CENT Get Rich or Die Tryin', Shady/Aftermath/Interscope 12 3 1 KELLY CLARKSON Thankful, RCA/19 2 4 6 LINKIN PARK Meteora, Warner Bros. 5 5 10 CHER The Very Best of Cher, Warner Bros. 4 6 8 NORAH JONES Come Away With Me, Blue Note 61 7 12 EVANESCENCE Fallen, Wind-up 8 8 3 FLEETWOOD MAC Say You Will, Reprise 2 9 7 VARIOUS ARTISTS NOW That's What I Call Music! 12, Virgin 5 10 2 50 CENT The New Breed, Shady/Aftermath/Interscope 2 11 4 DARRYL WORLEY Have You Forgotten?, DreamWorks 2 12 11 CELINE DION One Heart, Epic 5 13 13 GODSMACK Faceless, Republic/Universal 3 14 16 R. KELLY Chocolate Factory, Jive 10 15 21 THE WHITE STRIPES Elephant, Third Man/V2 4

(c)2003 VNU BUSINESS MEDIA, INC./NIELSEN SOUNDSCAN. USED WITH PERMISSION FROM BILLBOARD, MAY 10, 2003.

Originally posted May 09, 2003 Published in issue #709 May 09, 2003 Order article reprints