Popping The Top Charts

Rapper Nelly, Rockers Chili Peppers Top Pop Charts
Hip-hop star Nelly topped the pop album charts for a third consecutive week, while rockers Red Hot Chili Peppers enjoyed their highest ranking for an album in the group’s 20 year history at No. 2, according to sales data reported on Wednesday.
The rap genre continued to reign supreme as Nelly’s “Nellyland” held the top slot since the week ended June 30, when it toppled a five-week rule by rapper Eminem. Nelly’s album sold 340,029 units in the latest week ended July 14, bringing the tally to about 1.5 million units, SoundScan said.
The Chili Peppers’ new and eighth album, “By the Way,” sold 281,948 units for the week ended July 14, knocking Eminem’s “The Eminem Show,” from the No. 2 position, where it had held steady for the previous two weeks.
The No. 2 ranking is the highest position ever attained by the Los Angeles-based rock group, which has been together since the early 1980s, having weathered the death of one member and the long absence of another, both linked to heroin.
“By the Way,” released on July 9 by Warner Bros. Records, surpassed by way of ranking the Chili Peppers’ 1999 hit comeback album “Californication,” which peaked at only No. 3 but went on to sell an estimated 13 million units worldwide.
The band’s disappointing “One Hot Minute” 1995 album peaked at No. 4, while the Chili Peppers’ 1991 breakthrough 1991 release “BloodSugarSexMagik,” peaked at No. 3.
One of the first acts in the 1980s to merge rap and funk with hard rock, the band’s guitarist John Frusciante left in the early 1990s in what became a five-year exile to battle a heroin addiction. The Chili Peppers had already lost one guitarist, Hillel Slovak, who died in 1988 from a heroin overdose.
With the return of Frusciante on “Californication,” the band turned more pop-oriented and critics have called “By The Way” the mellowest of the group’s albums.
Meanwhile, Eminem’s album, the third major-label LP from the foul-mouthed rapper (a.k.a. Marshall Bruce Mathers III), sold 231,000 copies in the week ended July 14, bringing its tally to about 4.1 million copies.
Nelly’s No. 1 ranking is not the first for the hip-hop star, whose 2000 debut, “Country Grammar,” opened at No. 3 with sales of 252,000 copies but ultimately spent five weeks at No. 1.
Teen pop newcomer Avril Lavigne’s debut album “Let Go,” moved up to No. 4 from No. 5, while the Counting Crows’ new release “Hard Candy,” ranked No. 5, sales data show.
“Hard Candy,” the band’s fourth studio release, started better than 1999’s “This Desert Life,” which opened and peaked at No. 8. But the band’s first two studio albums both peaked at No. 1, according to sales data.
Rounding out the top 10 were hip-hop group Styles’ album, “Gangster & A Gentleman” at No. 6 and “Irv Gotti Presents…The Inc.,” a collection of hard-core and East Coast rap from various artists at No. 7 spot.
Two self-titled albums, one by pop singer Josh Groban and one by rookie R&B singer Ashanti, ranked No. 8 and No. 9, respectively, while veteran rockers Aerosmith’s “Ultimate Greatest Hits,” scored at No. 10.