November 23, 2005

Madonna’s new album rules pop charts

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Venerable pop icon Madonna danced
to the top of the U.S. pop album charts for the sixth time in
her career on Wednesday with her third consecutive No. 1
release, "Confessions on a Dance Floor."

Her Warner Bros. disc sold nearly 350,000 copies in the
week ended November 20, according to Nielsen SoundScan, and
ranks as her third-largest sales week in the tracking firm's
14-year history.

The album and its single "Hung Up" also are No. 1 on the
respective British charts. The single is in the top-10 of the
U.S. charts.

First-week U.S. sales for "Confessions" fell far short of
those for Madonna's 2000 album "Music," which opened at No. 1
with 420,000 copies, but handily eclipsed those of her most
recent previous release, "American Life," which started off
with 241,000 copies in 2003 and quickly fizzled.

Last week's chart champion, country star Kenny Chesney's
"The Road and the Radio," fell two places to No. 3 with 191,000
copies sold. In between, was the debut release from "American
Idol" winner Carrie Underwood, "Some Hearts," which opened with
nearly 315,000 copies sold and also topped the country charts.

Mariah Carey's hit comeback album "The Emancipation of
Mimi," reissued as a "platinum edition" with bonus tracks,
jumped 11 places to No. 4 with sales of 185,000 copies.

Rounding out the top-five was the hits package "NOW! That's
What I Call Music Vol. 20," which was down two places.

According to trade publication Billboard, overall U.S.
album sales hit 13.1 million units, up 10 percent over the
previous week but about 10 percent lower than the year-ago
period. Year-to-date, sales are down by about 14 percent at 492
million units.

Warner Bros. Records is a unit of Warner Music Group Corp..