Never 'Too Late' for Jones on chart
EmptyNorah Jones' third album earns her a third No. 1 on the Billboard 200 as "Not Too Late" (Blue Note) sold 405,000 first-week copies in the U.S., according to Nielsen SoundScan.
Right behind Jones for the week ending Feb. 4 is 2006 "American Idol" runner-up Katharine McPhee with her self-titled RCA debut, which sold 116,000 copies.
Counting the 10 artists who have finished in either first or second place in the five seasons of "Idol," all but two have started in the top 10 with their debut album.
Fellow "Idol" contestant Chris Daughtry remains at No. 3 with the self-titled RCA debut from his band Daughtry, which sold 77,000. New at No. 4 is Celtic Woman's "A New Journey" (Manhattan/EMI) with 71,000. It's the group best sales week and highest-charting set.
Last week's No. 1, Pretty Ricky's "Late Night Special" (Atlantic), drops to No. 5 on 62,000 sold. Akon's "Konvicted" (SRC/Universal) inches up a notch to No. 6 (56,000), while the Shins' "Wincing the Night Away" (Sub Pop) slides six places to No. 8 in its second week (53,000).
Robin Thicke's "The Evolution of Robin Thicke" (Star Trak/ Interscope) dips a rung to No. 9, and the "2007 Grammy Nominees" album drops six slots to round out the top 10 (48,000).
In a week filled with debuts, Harry Connick Jr.'s "Oh, My Nola" (Columbia) arrives at No. 11 (44,000), Jill Scott's "Collaborations" (Hidden Beach) is 12th with about 100 fewer copies than "Oh, My Nola." Also new are Madonna's "The Confessions Tour" CD-DVD (Warner Bros., No. 15, 40,000), "Totally Country Vol. 6" compilation (BMG Marketing, No. 18, 37,000), U.K. phenom Lily Allen's "Alright, Still" (Capitol, No. 20, 34,000) and the "WOW Gospel 2007" compilation (Verity, No. 21 with about 100 copies fewer than Allen's disc).
Album sales are up 10% from last week's total at 9.37 million units but down 14.6% from the same week in 2006.
Jonathan Cohen is senior editor at Billboard.