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A `B'Day' present to and from Beyonce

September 14, 2006|Geoff Boucher | Times Staff Writer

BEYONCe takes the cake. The singer has the No. 1 album in the country this week with "B'Day," a collection that arrived in stores Tuesday, not coincidentally the Houston native's 25th birthday.

The second solo album from the former Destiny's Child member sold 541,000 copies its first week in stores, according to retail reports compiled by Nielsen SoundScan. Her first album, "Dangerously in Love," also debuted at No. 1 in 2003 and went on to sell more than 4 million copies.

"B'Day" posted the third-highest one-week sales total of 2006. Rascal Flatts sold a robust 722,000 of "Me and My Gang" in one week in April, and Tool's "10,000 Days" sold 564,000 copies a month later.

"B'Day" marks the beginning of a busy season for Beyonce -- she stars in "Dreamgirls," a Hollywood adaptation of the Broadway musical, which hits theaters in November.

Audioslave is a distant second this week on the chart. The rock band's third album, "Revelations," sold 142,000 copies its first week in stores.

Lead guitarist Tom Morello, one of rock's most outspoken stars, has described the new collection as the band's most political work to date. Among the tracks: "Wide Awake," a blistering criticism of the federal government's reaction to Hurricane Katrina.

The only other debut in the top 10 belonged to venerable British metal outfit Iron Maiden. The group's 14th studio album, "A Matter of Life and Death," sold 56,000 copies to place ninth on the tally. It marks the first Top 10 album in the U.S. in the band's three-decade history, according to Billboard.com. The band brings its horror-show ethos to Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in Irvine on Oct. 21.

Remember "Paris"? Socialite Paris Hilton's bid to refashion herself as a pop star isn't clicking with music fans. The album arrived at No. 6 on the chart three weeks ago but plummeted to No. 33 last week. Its southbound trajectory continues on the newest chart with a 36% sales decline that puts it at No. 49. Its total sales: 120,000 copies.

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