Rock ascends with 'Jesus'

Followers give veteran his first No. 1

Kid Rock has had several bigger weeks in terms of album sales, but he scored his first No. 1 on the Billboard 200 this week with "Rock N Roll Jesus."

The Top Dog/Atlantic set sold 170,000 copies in the U.S. for the week ending Oct. 14, according to Nielsen SoundScan. His previous chart peak came when 2000's "The History of Rock" — the follow-up to his megaplatinum breakthrough "Devil Without a Cause" — bowed in the runner-up slot with 457,000.

Meanwhile, Rock's manager, Detroit-based Ed "Punch" Andrews has resigned after seven years of working with the Michigan rocker. Sources said that Andrews, who also handles Bob Seger, has decided to retire after shepherding "Jesus" to release.

Rock reportedly has replaced Andrews with Nashville-based Vector Management, which handles Bon Jovi, Lynyrd Skynyrd and others.

Last week's No. 1, Bruce Springsteen's "Magic" (Columbia), suffered a 60% drop-off to 130,000 and fell to No. 2. Rascal Flatts' "Still Feels Good" (Lyric Street) also dropped a notch to No. 3 after a 43% slide to 96,000.

LeAnn Rimes' "Family" (Curb), her 12th charting album, debuted at No. 4 after selling 74,000. Matchbox twenty's "Exile on Mainstream" (Atlantic) fell two spots to No. 5 in its second week after a 45% sales decline to 72,000.

Kanye West's "Graduation" (Def Jam) rebounded one place to No. 6 despite a 23% sales fall to 71,000. Reba McEntire's "Reba Duets" (MCA) also inched up a slot to No. 7 on a 15% drop to 68,000. Sara Evans debuted at No. 8 with "Greatest Hits" (RCA) on sales of 66,000. Her most recent set, 2005's "Real Fine Place," bowed at No. 3 with 126,000.

Disney's "High School Musical 2" soundtrack climbed a rung to No. 9 despite a 14% drop to 66,000, while Josh Groban's holiday album "Noel" (143/ Reprise) debuted at No. 10 with sales of 64,000.

Album sales were down 6.3% from last week at 8.34 million units and 17.4% from the same week in 2006.

Jonathan Cohen is senior editor at Billboard. Gary Graff contributed to this report.
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