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‘Hard Candy’ a sweet success

Madonna tops charts for seventh time

Madonna has secured her seventh No. 1 album, selling 280,000 copies of “Hard Candy” (Warner Bros.) in the week ended Sunday, according to Nielsen SoundScan data.

It is her fourth consecutive studio album to hit No. 1, with a debut tally below the 350,000 sold in November 2005 by “Confessions on a Dance Floor” and above the 241,000 that “American Life” sold in April 2003. She is now a single chart-topper behind Barbra Streisand’s eight, tops for a female singer. She did not register a No. 1 album during the 1990s as two of her discs, “Ray of Light” and “Immaculate Collection,” peaked at No. 2

“Hard Candy,” her final album for Warner before she heads to Live Nation, was one of seven debuts in the top 10.

R&B singer Lyfe Jennings took the No. 4 slot, selling 80,000 copies of “Lyfe Change” (Columbia).

Def Leppard’s first album of original material in six years, “Songs From the Sparkle Lounge” (Bludgeon Riffola/Island), sold 55,000 to open at No. 5. Since 1983, every Def Leppard album has reached the top 20.

The Roots’ ninth album “Rising Down” (Island) sold 54,000 to come in at No. 6. Portishead’s first album in nearly 11 years, “Third” (Mercury), sold 53,000 to settle at No. 7.

Warners’ Mudcrutch, the self-titled first album from the band Tom Petty fronted in Florida and L.A. in the early ’70s, sold 38,000 copies to debut at No. 8. The 10 spot went to Tim McGraw, whose “Greatest Hits Vol. 1 and 2” (Curb) sold 29,000 at Wal-Mart outlets alone.

Two musicians whose solo careers date back to the early 1970s came in at Nos. 12 and 15. Steve Winwood’s “Nine Lives” (Columbia) sold 26,000 and Carly Simon’s “This Kind of Love” (hear/Concord) rang up 23,000.

Other debuts in the top 50 were: Augustana’s second album “Can’t Love, Can’t Hurt” (Epic) moving 21,000 (No. 21); Lil mama’s “Voice of the Young People” (Jive) chiming in at 19,000 (No. 25); Mindless Self Indulgence’s fifth album “If” (UCR/The End) becomes the first to crack the top 100, selling 18,000 (No. 27); Mana’s “Arde el Cielo” (Wea Latino) moved 17,000 (No. 30); and “Shine” (Atlantic/Homeschool) from U.K. rapper-singer Estelle sold 15,000 (No. 38).

Selling 13,000 copies each were the Lyric Street debut from country-singing “American Idol” finalist Phil Stacey (No. 43); Sarah McLachlan’s “Rarities, B-Sides & Other Stuff, Vol. 2” (Arista) (No. 44); the debut from Dallas rockers Forever the Sickest Kids’ “Underdog Alma Mater” (Universal Motown) (No. 45); and Wal-Mart’s Michael Buble collection “Taste of Buble (Warner Bros.) (No. 50).

The abundance of debuts pushed overall sales up 10% from last week, but down 10% form the same week in 2007.

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