Rapper Jay-Z holds No.1

'Blueprint' trailed by Keyes, debuts

Rapper Jay-Z still had the blueprint to sales success in this week’s album charts, hanging on the No. 1 slot, despite an impressive crop of debuts led by singer-songwriter Tori Amos.

“Blueprint,” Jay-Z’s latest Def Jam release, moved nearly 271,000 units in its latest outing, according to SoundScan data. That’s 37% down from its debut perf last week, but still nearly double the number of its nearest rival, the perennial R&B favorite Alicia Keys.

Third-place finisher Nickelback also suffered from second-week slide: Sales of the Canadian alt-metal act’s second record “Silver Side Up” (Roadrunner/IDJ) retreated 33% to 119,000.

A trio of debuts claimed the middle of Top l0 pack, led by Amos, whose critically acclaimed LP “Strange Little Girls” (Atlantic) landed at fourth and shifted just under 111,000 copies.

McBride’s hits

Following closely at her heels were a Greatest Hits release (RCA) from Kansas-born country singer Martina McBride at five and “Gerald’s World” (Elektra) from veteran R&B crooner Gerald Levert in sixth place.

Irish new-age artist Enya leapt back into the Top 10 this week with her 2000 album “Day Without Rain” (Warner), which was up 12 spots to seven. Sales of “Rain,” Enya’s seventh full-length, swelled 57% in the latest rankings to nearly 99,000.

In a rather surprising upset on the new release slate, “Look of Love” (Verve) from silken-voiced jazz singer/pianist Diana Krall came in at nine, placing two spots higher than “Id” (Epic), the latest from quirky R&B diva Macy Gray.

Pennsylvania -born alt-rockers Live had a modest debut with “V” (MCA Records), which settled at 22, selling just over 72,000 discs. Meanwhile, Gangsta Rapper Coo Coo Cal opened at 45 with “Disturbed” (Tommy Boy), and the soundtrack to the TV series “Tough Enough” (Dreamworks) came in at 46.

Falling from on high

Many of last week’s best performers fell from the top tier this time around. “Love & Theft” (Columbia) from folk legend Bob Dylan slipped from five to 20, with sales slipping 44%, while “Glitter” (Virgin) from Mariah Carey fell 10 places to 17 and “Ghetto Fabolous” (Elektra) by rapper Fabolous declined to 13 from fourth place.

Next week should see a well-placed bow from the fourth installment of Arista’s pop compilation series, entitled “Totally Hits 2001.” Album includes tracks from Blu Cantrell, Alicia Keys, Outkast and Dido, among others.

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