Flatts battle frosh

'Gang' stays at No. 1; Keith makes charge

Music sales saw another jumbling of the top 10 with three new entries — Toby Keith, LL Cool J and the guy whose song has been closing “American Idol” episodes for the past two months.

Rascal Flatts held onto No. 1 for a second week, selling 345,000 copies of “Me & My Gang” (Lyric Street), according to Nielsen SoundScan. Despite a 52% drop from its opening sesh, record held off a charge from Keith’s “White Trash With Money” (Show Dog Nashville), which sold 330,000 copies to land at No. 2.

“White Trash” is the first release from Keith’s label, which has a roster of five artists. He launched the disc with a live preem April 7 from Las Vegas that was broadcast on 300 radio stations and included him acting out a scene from his upcoming CMT/Paramount pic “Broken Bridges.” Country singer also appeared on “The Tonight Show” and “Late, Late Show” last week to promote the disc.

LL Cool J’s 11th album, “Todd Smith” (Def Jam), sold 116,000 copies in its first week. Among rap acts, he is untouched in the longevity department: He released his first album 21 years ago, and “Todd” is his eighth disc to make it into the top 10.

Daniel Powter’s self-titled debut on Warners, which features the new “American Idol” theme “Bad Day,” debuted at No. 9 on sales of 89,000. Following appearances on “Today” and Conan O’Brian’s show, Powter appeared this week on “Live With Regis & Kelly” and is promoting his new single, “Lie to Me,” with a video on Yahoo! Music.

Also benefiting from “American Idol” exposure was Queen. Disney’s Hollywood Records released “Stone Cold Classics” the same day the British rock legends appeared on “Idol,” selling 27,000 copies in the week ended Sunday to open at No. 45. Disc contains 12 of the band’s hard-rock-oriented tracks plus live versions of two songs made famous by new lead singer Paul Rodgers when he was in Free and Bad Company.

It is the 10th Queen hits compilation, most of which benefited from the “Idol” appearance: Hollywood Records’ 1992 “Greatest Hits” more than doubled its sales to 14,000 and 2004’s “Greatest Hits — We Will Rock You” almost tripled sales to 11,000 (No. 115).

Queen outpaced the Beatles’ “Capitol Albums Vol. 2” by a mere 77 sales. Set contains the fifth through eighth U.S. Beatles albums — “The Early Beatles,” “Beatles VI,” “Help!” and “Rubber Soul” — all of which were released in 1965.

Buckcherry’s “15” (Eleven Seven) was the other top-50 debut, selling 26,000 copies to take No. 48.

The stunning sales story, however, continues to be Disney’s “High School Musical” soundtrack, which logged the 14th week in which it’s improved its sales figure from the week before. “High School” cracked the 200,000 mark for the first time, selling 256,000 copies to take the No. 4 slot. Cume is now 1.57 million sold.

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