‘Boys’ on top of charts

U soundtrack big hit for Combs

It was a good week for “Bad Boys” last week, as the soundtrack to the blockbuster sequel — on a record label of the same name — shot to the top spot in the album charts as an otherwise slow summer session cleared out any major competition.

“Bad Boys II” (Bad Boy/Universal), which features tracks from Snoop Dogg, Jay-Z, Justin Timberlake, Beyonce and 50 Cent, among others, sent an impressive 324,000 units out the door, according to data compiled by Nielsen SoundScan.

Album was a coup for Bad Boy Records boss Sean “P.Diddy” Combs, marking the impresario’s first big hit since moving the label from BMG to Universal Music for distribution. Combs, who shopped his label around for several months before landing at U, also appears on several tracks of the release.

Bowing just below the bad boy contingent in second place was dirty-south rapper Chingy. His Capitol Records debut “Jackpot” sold just under 157,000 discs, and marked a strong resurgence for Capitol parent EMI into the world of hip-hop, from which it had remained relatively dormant since the folding of Priority Records two years ago.

The pair of dueling divas, Ashanti and Beyonce, slipped from their one and two positions, respectively — though Ashanti’s “Chapter II” (Def Jam) had a bit farther to fall, landing at fifth place with 108,000 sold. Beyonce ebbed to third with her solo debut “Dangerously In Love” (Columbia), maintaining sales around 130,000 discs.

Country duo Brooks & Dunn took fourth place with their latest effort “Red Dirt Road” (Arista Nashville), scanning more than 114,000 copies. And fellow country crooner Pat Green edged in at 10th with “Wave On Wave” (Universal), with sales of 53,000 CDs.

Further down, Arista Records rap queen Da Brat opened at in 17th place with her latest disc “Limelite Luv & Niteclubz,” claiming 39,000 in sales. Def Jam’s Keith Murray managed a 40th-place start with “He’s Keith Murray” on sales of 27,000 copies.

Rounding out the top 50 debuts, was singer Macy Gray, who made a lackluster bow at 44 with her newest album, “Trouble With Being Myself” (Epic). Disc sold just 24,000 units — far short of the 93,000-disc debut of her last album, 2001’s “The Id,” which bowed a week after the Sept. 11 attacks.

Next week will see the 13th installment of the ever-popular “Now” pop-compilation series hit the charts, as well as a busy schedule of new material from Jane’s Addiciton, rap-rockers 311, R&B star Mya and country singer Brad Paisley, among others.

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