'Now 23' trumps Groban, Urban at No. 1


Again proving itself an indomitable and nearly unbeatable franchise, the latest "Now That's What I Call Music" hits compilation makes its debut at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 this week, holding off new releases by Josh Groban and Keith Urban.

The Sony-distributed "Now 23," featuring recent pop chart-toppers by Pussycat Dolls, Fergie, Nelly Furtado, Beyonce and other stars, enters the chart with sales of 337,000 units, according to Nielsen SoundScan data for the week ending Nov. 12. In July, the 22nd volume in the series entered at No. 1 with a 398,000-unit first week.

Neo-crooner Groban steps in at No. 2 with "Awake" (Warner Bros.), his first studio collection since 2003. The youthful heartthrob reeled in a first-week total of 270,000 units.

Country star Urban, making headlines with last week's CMA Award win as male vocalist of the year and his current stay in rehab, swings on board at No. 3 with "Love, Pain & the Whole Crazy Thing" (Capitol Nashville). The Australia-born vocalist shifted 267,000 in his debut week.

Another popular country act, the co-ed unit Sugarland, arrives at No. 4 with its second album, "Enjoy the Ride" (Mercury Nashville). The duo -- which lost co-founding member Kristin Hall as its commercial star was rising -- tracked 211,000 units out of the box.

After two weeks at No. 1, Disney's soundtrack for the TV hit "Hannah Montana" drops to No. 5. The Miley Cyrus-led collection reaped sales of 131,000.

Diplomat Records power Jim Jones wings onto the chart with his third solo release "Hustler's P.O.M.E." (Diplomats/Koch). The New York rapper reeled in first-week sales of 94,000.

Cash Money rap strongmen Birdman & Lil Wayne lose four chart slots in their second week, as "Like Father Like Son" falls to No. 7 on sales of 72,000.

"American Idol" princess Carrie Underwood sees a huge lift on the heels of her CMA triumph as female vocalist of the year. Her year-old debut "Some Hearts" vaults 11 positions to No. 8, with 72,000 sold.

Justin Timberlake's "FutureSex/LoveSounds" (Jive) hangs on in the top 10, though it loses four notches, dropping to No. 9 on sales of 68,000.

Just in time for the holidays, the Dave Matthews Band launches a hits compilation, "The Best of What's Around: Vol. 1" (RCA), into the top 10. The jamsters steam in at No. 10 with a first-week score of 65,000.

Popera luminary Andrea Bocelli just misses the top 10, debuting at No. 11 with his live album "under the Desert Sky" (Decca), which sold 65,000.