50 Cent tops album charts

Madonna falls to eighth place

The American Idol phenomenon once again made its presence felt on the album charts this week, as a compilation of tracks performed by season two’s finalists bowed in second place — topped only by hip-hop’s reigning regent 50 Cent.

Fans of the reality show, which pits musical hopefuls against one another in search of a record deal, snapped up more than 101,000 copies of “Season 2 — All Time Classic American Love Songs” (RCA) in its first session, according to SoundScan data.

But 50 Cent was once again the man of the hour, reclaiming the top spot with his Interscope blockbuster “Get Rich Or Die Tryin’ ” despite a sales slump across the board in this week’s ranking. Album scanned 128,000 units, and has sold more than 4.5 million domestically to date.

The charts weren’t as kind to Madonna. After riding a wave of TV publicity to No. 1 in the last frame, her latest effort “American Life” (Warner Bros.) tumbled to eighth place, as sales fell by more than 62% to 91,000 copies.

In fact, only two records to post sales gains this week. “Fallen” (Wind Up) from Arkansan alt-metalers Evanesence moved up one spot to sixth on a sales gain of 4%, while the soundtrack to kidpic “Lizzie McGuire” (Buena Vista) rose nine places to ninth, boosting sales by 40%.

Just below “Lizzie” came the 10th-place bow of R&B singer Kelly Price with “Priceless” (Def Jam). Price, who has lent his vocal talents to work by artists ranging from Mariah Carey to Notorious B.I.G., sold 69,000 discs in her first outing.

The 11th spot went to “Attenchun” (Arista), the third LP from dirty-south rapper Bonecrusher, on sales of 68,000 units. Disc got an added boost from a bonus DVD of extra material included in the packaging — a practice that has become commonplace as labels seek to draw fans away from music-swapping sites and back to the record racks with exclusive content.

The only other top 50 debut was “Meet The Girl Next Door” (Elektra) from Lil’ Mo at 18 (53,000 sold). But just over the fence at 51, Warner Music’s catalog label Rhino Records managed to move almost 19,000 copies of a hits compilation from ’60s prefab pop quartet the Monkees.

Next week’s charts will get a jump-start from new material by the Isley Brothers, who made a big splash on the charts with their release “Eternal” (DreamWorks) two years ago. Also on deck is a new album from singer-songwriter Jack Johnson, as well as the soundtrack to “The Matrix: Reloaded.”

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