Rappers, "Mamma Mia!" lead U.S. album chart

Wed Jul 23, 2008 1:39pm EDT
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By Katie Hasty

NEW YORK (Billboard) - One rapper replaced another atop the U.S. pop album chart Wednesday, while the soundtrack to the new movie "Mamma Mia!" soared four places to No. 3.

Nas led the field after his untitled album -- at one time set to be called "Nigger" -- sold 187,000 copies in the week ended July 20, according to Nielsen SoundScan, becoming the rapper's fifth No. 1 on the Billboard 200. Nas' prior album, 2006's "Hip-Hop Is Dead," also debuted at No. 1 but sold 354,000 over Christmas week.

Meanwhile, after three non-consecutive weeks at No. 1, Lil Wayne's "Tha Carter III" slipped to No. 2 with 105,000.

The "Mamma Mia!" soundtrack sold 91,000 copies. The disc features new versions of ABBA songs sung by the film's stars, including Meryl Streep and Pierce Brosnan. The movie opened at No. 2 at the North American box office last weekend with sales of $28 million, the biggest opening for a musical.

Coldplay's "Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends" fell two to No. 4 with 90,000, while the Jonas Brothers-led soundtrack to the Disney Channel TV movie "Camp Rock" dropped two to No. 5 with 78,000.

Although it slipped one to No. 6, Kid Rock's resurgent "Rock N Roll Jesus" experienced a 20% sales increase to 73,000 in its 41st week, powered by the single "All Summer Long."

John Mellencamp's "Life Death Love and Freedom," his debut for Hear Music, bowed at No. 7 with 56,000, the Indiana rocker's fourth top 10 album. It's his 19th charting record overall, stretching back to the 1979 debut of "John Cougar."

Rapper David Banner debuted right behind at No. 8 with his third consecutive top 10 studio album, "The Greatest Story Ever Told," which sold 52,000 copies.   Continued...

<p>Rapper Nas performs during a benefit concert at Lane stadium in Blacksburg, Virginia, September 6, 2007. REUTERS/Jared Soares/Pool</p>