Jay-Z’s ‘Kingdom’ rules the album charts

Thanksgiving sales give rapper a boost

Jay-Z’s return from retirement — complete with Budweiser ads, seven concerts in a single day and even a visit to the ESPN booth on “Monday Night Football” — has paid off with his seventh solo visit to the top of the charts.

“Kingdom Come” (Def Jam/Universal), the 12th album from Jay-Z (aka Shawn Carter), sold 680,000 copies in the week ended Sunday, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Besides his seven solo chart-toppers, Jay-Z has also scored two No. 1s for collaborations with R. Kelly and Linkin Park.

His previous solo disc, “The Black Album,” was released just before Thanksgiving in 2003 and sold 463,000 in its debut sesh. Album topped 1 million in sales in less than three weeks; it took until the middle of February to sell another million copies.

Current disc, featuring the single “Show Me What You Got,” benefited from the Black Friday crush at retailers the day after Thanksgiving and continued through the weekend.

While overall sales were flat when compared with the same week in 2005 — 17 million units sold — this year’s top 10 accounted for 2.63 million in sales with the 19 best sellers topping 100,000 in sales each.

That’s up from last year’s tally for the top 10, which accounted for 2.17 million units sold, but a distant cry from ’04, which had a top 10 churning out 3.63 million. Last year’s Thanksgiving week had 16 albums selling more than 100,000.

This week saw five albums debut in the top 10, including the latest “American Idol” solo disc and the Beatles mash-up “Love.” Ten rookies landed in the top 50.

Daughtry — the “AI” rocker has dropped his first name, Chris — sold 304,000 copies of his 19/RCA debut to open at No. 2. Album is the biggest seller by any debut act this year.

His is the second album from a season five finalist to be released, following Kellie Pickler’s “Small Town Girl,” which is at No. 57 with a cume of 169,000. Taylor Hicks is up next (Dec. 12) followed a week later by Katharine McPhee’s debut.

The Beatles music used as a score for the Cirque du Soleil show “Love,” which has been further tweaked by producers George and Giles Martin, debuts at No. 4. The Apple/Capitol disc sold 272,000 copies; it is only the second album this year to do all its business on hard copies as Beatles music is not available as a download. Prince’s “3121” was the first non-downloadable album to crack the top 40 this year.

The last Beatles album featuring previously unreleased material, “Anthology 3,” debuted at No. 1 on sales of 237,000 in November 1996. Hits collection “Beatles 1” sold 595,000 copies when it debuted in November 2000.

Snoop Dogg’s “Blue Carpet Treatment” (Geffen) is his seventh album to land in the top 20, selling 264,000 copies and opening at No. 5. “Pac’s Life” (Interscope), the 11th posthumous release in 10 years from the vaults of Tupac Shakur, sold 159,000 copies to debut at No. 9. It is the rapper’s 10th top 10 album.

U2’s third hits compilation, “U218 Singles” (Island), sold 134,000 copies in its first week to open at No. 12. RBD, the mega-popular Mexican band birthed on TV, sold 118,000 copies of “Celestial” (EMI Latin) to premiere at No. 15. Il Divo, which has been touring with Barbra Streisand, moved 108,000 copies of “Siempre,” its fourth disc for Columbia, opening at No. 17.

Other debuts included Brand New’s “Devil and God Are Raging Inside” (Interscope) selling 60,000 (No. 31) and Killswitch Engage’s “As Daylight Dies” (Roadrunner) selling 500 fewer and landing one slot lower. Tom Waits’ three-CD set, “Orphans: Brawler, Bawlers and Bastards” (Anti-), sold 21,000 copies to debut at No. 74.

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