By David Jenison
Janet Jackson might say there’s been a “sales malfunction” on the charts.
Despite all of her publicity, good and bad, Janet Jackson ‘s string of chart-topping studio albums has finally come undone. Damita Jo, the singer’s first album since the so-called “Boobgate” Super Bowl fiasco, came in a good 100,000 copies shy of dethroning the red-hot Usher.
For the week ended March 4, Usher’s Confessions held the top spot selling 485,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan numbers released today. Jackson’s Damita Jo came in runner-up with 381,000 copies.
Not to be outdone by brother Michael, Janet stirred up a controversial tempest earlier this year with her revealing Super Bowl halftime performance with Justin Timberlake . The event sparked a national debate on television decency standards, and Janet’s involvement as a 2004 Grammy Awards presenter was scratched. Making a move for the positive, the singer hit the television circuit, promoting Damita Jo on Good Morning America, On Air with Ryan Seacrest, and the Late Show with David Letterman, among others.
Janet first climbed to number one with 1986’s Control, followed by 1989’s Rhythm Nation 1814, and then opened at number one with 1993’s Janet, 1997’s The Velvet Rope, and 2001’s All For You, the last of which sold a Janet-best 605,000 first-week copies. Strangely enough, Miss Jackson’s hits collection Design of a Decade: 1986-1996 had been her only chart blight, debuting at number four back in 1995.
As Janet reclined to the second-best spot, chart-topper Usher moved his two-week sales tally past the 1.5 million mark, as Confessions remained the big seller. The disc benefits from the smash single “Yeah!” featuring Ludacris and Lil’ Jon.
Speaking of li’l southern rappers, Lil’ Flip landed the week’s second-best bow as his third album, U Gotta Feel Me, sold 198,000 copies at number four. Another rapper, St. Louis’ J-Kwon, landed his “Tipsy” rhymes at seven, selling 125,000 copies of Hood Hop.
A pair of classic rockers also cracked the Top 10 with new blues-inspired albums. Areosmith’s Honkin’ on Bobo sold 160,000 copies for a number-five debut, while Eric Clapton ‘s Me & Mr. Johnson sold 127,000 copies to enter in the six spot.
The rest of the Top 10, all holdovers, included Now That’s What I Call Music! 15 at three, Norah Jones ‘ Feels Like Home at eight, Guns N’ Roses’ Greatest Hits at nine, and Kanye West’s College Dropout at 10.
Outside the Top 10, country singer Tracy Lawrence landed the best bow at 17, with Strong selling 54,000 discs. NYC radio host DJ Kay Slay opened equally strong at 27 spot with his second official mix tape, The Streetsweeper Vol. 2: The Pain From the Game, featuring cuts by Eminem , Fat Joe, and Lil’ Jon. Slay just barely edged out Bob Dylan , whose Bootleg Series Vol. 6: Concert at Philharmonic Hall debuted at 28.
Other notable debuts included Shakira’s CD-DVD combo Live & Off the Record at 45, Music From the O.C.: Mix 1 television soundtrack at 52, The Who’s Then and Now at 57, Dead Prez’s RBG: Revolutionary But Gangsta at 60, Soulfly’s Prophecy at 82, and Clutch’s Blast Tyrant at 147.
Here’s a recap of last week’s Top 10 albums:
1. Confessions, Usher
2. Damita Jo, Janet Jackson
3. Now That’s What I Call Music! 15, Various Artists
4. U Gotta Feel Me, Lil’ Flip
5. Honkin’ on Bobo, Aerosmith
6. Me & Mr. Johnson, Eric Clapton
7. Hood Hop, J-Kwon
8. Feels Like Home, Norah Jones
9. Greatest Hits, Guns N’ Roses
10. College Dropout, Kanye West