Breakout for Busta

Label switch gives 'Bang' some punch

Busta Rhymes has scored his first No. 1 with his seventh album, selling 209,000 copies of “The Big Bang” in the week ended Sunday, according to Nielsen Soundscan.

The Gotham rapper’s first disc in four years saw a handsome payoff from the switch to Dr. Dre’s Aftermath imprint. “The Big Bang” more than tripled opening-week sales of his last disc, 2002’s “It Ain’t Safe No More,” which opened at No. 43 on sales of 64,000. Current disc features a healthy list of superstar guests, among them Raekwon, Nas, Q-Tip and Stevie Wonder.

Also posting a record week was Three Days Grace, whose soph effort, “One-X” (Jive), sold 78,000 copies to debut at No. 5. Driven by hit single “Animal I Have Become,” the Canadian rockers head out on tour June 30 with Nickelback and Hoobastank.

Top 50 saw only two other debuts. Billy Joel’s fourth live album, the two-CD set “12 Gardens Live” (Columbia) sold 44,000 copies to settle in at No. 12. His last concert disc, “2000: The Millennium Concert,” didn’t rise above No. 40.

Widespread Panic’s “Earth to America” (Sanctuary) entered at a personal-best No. 48 on sales of 21,000. Their previous 16 albums, most of them live discs, had never cracked the top 50.

After enjoying a second week atop the box office, Disney’s soundtrack to “Cars” rose one spot to No. 6 and sales spike 9% to 75,000. It was the only top-10 disc to see a sales increase.

Last week’s No. 1, AFI’s “Decemberunderground” (Tiny Evil/Interscope), slid to No. 3 on sales of 104,000. The Dixie Chicks’ “Taking the Long Way” (Columbia) held onto No. 2, selling 130,000.

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