Crying does help for Faith Hill.
The pop-country songbird's latest, Cry, did something that neither the Rolling Stones nor Bon Jovi could accomplish--dethrone Elvis Presley from the top of the charts. Hill (her birth certificate reads Audrey Faith Perry) halted the King's three-week chart reign as Cry became her second album to debut at number one.
For the week ended Sunday, Faith sold 472,000 copies of Cry, according to SoundScan numbers.
Hill benefited from beating the other pop divas to the stores--the holiday retail crunch will soon see new albums from Shania Twain, Whitney Houston and the glittery Mariah Carey.
So far this year, five artists with country ties have opened atop the pop album chart, a staggering statistic considering that only six country artists could lay claim to such a feat before 2002. Faith, who turned 35 last month, previously opened at number one with 1999's Breathe, her crossover smash that went on to sell 7 million copies.
Rapper LL Cool J scored the second of four Top 10 debuts with his 10th album, appropriately titled 10. The rapper (real name: James Todd Smith) sold 154,000 copies of his latest to bow at number two. With 17 years in the game, which includes being Def Jam Records' debut artist, LL has only opened at number one once, with 2000's G.O.A.T. selling 208,000 copies.
Apparently lots of people found the G Spot last week as Gerald Levert's latest ame sold 75,000 copies for a number-nine start. The Cleveland-born soul singer is the son of Eddie Levert of O'Jays fame.
R&B singer David Hollister closed out the Top 10 newbies, clocking in at 10, selling 71,000 copies of Things in the Game Done Changed. Hollister first debuted on the Boyz N the Hood soundtrack and as an original member of Teddy Riley's Blackstreet.
The rest of the Top 10, all holdovers, were Elvis' 30 #1 Hits at three, the Rolling Stones' Forty Licks at four, Avril Lavigne's Let Go at five, the Dixie Chicks' Home at six, Eminem's the Eminem Show at seven, and Nelly's Nellyville at eight. Last week's top debut, Bon Jovi's Bounce, plummeted 11 spots to number 13 in its second week.
As the record companies load up with best-of albums for the gift-giving season, two new compilations landed on opposite ends of the chart. Fleetwood Mac's double-disc Very Best of Fleetwood Mac sold 65,000 copies to open at number 12, while INXS' Best of INXS only sold 8,000 copies at 144.
Taproot, whose single "Poem" has landed solid radio/video exposure, dropped in at number 17 with their sophomore release, Welcome. Singer-songwriter Tracy Chapman followed at 25 with Let It Rain, while the quadruple-babe pop-rock group Bond landed at 61 with Shine. The South continues to rise with spelling-bee-losers-turned-rappers Da Headbussaz at 98 with Dat's How It Happened to M. Rounding out the notable chart newcomers: the soundtrack to Jackass butting in at 195.
Next week, Faith's top spot will be challenged by the Foo Fighters' One by One and Santana's Shaman. Santana's previous album, Supernatural, made three separate trips to number one for 12 total weeks on top (it took 'N Sync's record-setting 2.4 million-copy week to finally dethrone Santana), leading to a record-tying eight Grammy Awards and 14 million copies sold.
The Top 10 albums for the week ended October 20:
1. Cry, Faith Hill
2. 10, LL Cool J
3. Elvis 30 #1 Hits, Elvis Presley
4. Forty Licks, Rolling Stones
5. Let Go, Avril Lavigne
6. Home, the Dixie Chicks
7. The Eminem Show, Eminem
8. Nellyville, Nelly
9. G Spot, Gerald Levert
10. Things in the Game Done Changed, Dave Hollister