Simpson sib storms CD sales chart

'Pieces of Me' single also tops online downloads

Ashlee Simpson keeps climbing.

Introduced as Jessica’s sister, launched on the WB’s “7th Heaven” and embraced on her own MTV reality show, Simpson now lays claim to the No. 1 album in the country.

Her debut Geffen disc, “Autobiography,” sold 398,000 copies in the week ended Sunday, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Album’s bow, the fifth best of 2004, was buoyed by the single “Pieces of Me,” which has topped sales charts at Internet music providers iTunes and AOL Music.

“Autobiography” also was featured on the Leak, an exclusive full album stream on MTV.com, where it set a record as the site recorded almost 2.7 million requests for streams.

Van Halen’s two-CD “The Best of Both Worlds,” from Warner Bros., debuted at No. 3 with sales of 138,000. The band’s “Best of Volume 1” debuted at No. 1 in 1996, selling 233,000. A U.S. tour, booked for 31 dates and featuring Sammy Hagar on lead vocals, started Wednesday.

Usher has finally departed the No. 2 slot, as “Confessions” (LaFace) dipped two spots, selling 113,000 copies. Gretchen Wilson’s “Here for the Party” (Epic) looks to be the newest album with legs, holding steady at No. 5 and selling 89,000 copies. Album’s cume is now 1.24 million.

Debuting just outside the top 10 was R&B artist Lloyd. A former member of teen pop group N-Toon, his Def Jam debut “Southside” landed at No. 11 with 67,000 copies sold.

Much-hyped rock act from Sweden the Hives debuted at No. 33. Their first for Interscope, “Tyrannosaurus Hives,” sold 33,000 copies.

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