St. Louis rapper makes competition 'Sweat'

Nelly has become the first solo artist to take the top two slots on Nielsen SoundScan’s album sales chart. St. Louis rapper’s “Suit” (Derrty/Fo’ Reel/Universal) debuted at No. 1 with “Sweat” bowing at No. 2.

“Suit,” considered the slow-jam album of the two discs, sold 396,000 copies in the week that ended Sunday. “Sweat,” the party album, did 342,000.

The only other time an act had the No. 1 and 2 albums in the SoundScan era was Guns N’ Roses two volumes of “Use Your Illusion,” which were released in SoundScan’s first year of operation, 1991.

The rapper’s last album, 2002’s “Nellyville,” also debuted at No. 1; collectively, the “Sweat”/”Suit” duo outsold that record’s opening stanza by 23,000 units.

As part of the debut-week promotion, Nelly performed a concert for AOL on Sept. 13 that was played 475,000 times in its first 24 hours and 1.3 million times in the week after.

While the rest of the top 20 saw sales dips, a couple of veteran acts made their way back to the top 50. Megadeth’s latest for Sanctuary, “System Has Failed,” sold 46,000 copies to take No. 18, while a reunited Tears for Fears saw 19,000 copies of “Everybody Loves a Happy Ending” (Universal) go home with fans.

Flogging Molly posted their best debut week, selling 38,000 copies of “Within a Mile of Home” (Side One Dummy) to take No. 20. Bowling for Soup’s “Hangover You Don’t Deserve” (Jive) came in at No. 37 on sales of 22,000.

The soundtrack to “Will & Grace” (BMG) did business of 17,000 to land at No. 57, while Prodigy’s “Always Outnumbered Never Outgunned” (Warners) sold 700 fewer to start at No. 62.

Last week’s chart topper, Alan Jackson’s “What I Do” (Arista Nashville), tumbled 60% and dropped to No. 7, selling 72,000 copies. Tim McGraw and Ray Charles held their ground better, as McGraw’s “Live Like You Were Dying (Curb) sold 121,000 to take third place and Charles’ “Genius Loves Company” (Concord/Hear) sold 113,000.

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