'Now' beats newcomers to take top spot


NEW YORK -- Amid five new releases debuting in the top 10 this week, the "Now 24" hits compilation rises to the top of the Billboard 200 in its second week on the chart. Up from second place, the set -- which includes tracks by Beyonce, Lily Allen and Justin Timberlake -- moved 213,000 copies in the U.S., according to Nielsen SoundScan, a 7% drop from last week's sales. Despite a 46% drop in sales, last week's chart topper, Tim McGraw's "Let It Go" (Curb), slips only one spot, moving 177,000 units.

Martina McBride's RCA album "Waking Up Laughing" enters the chart at No. 3 with 144,000, a tie for her best charting position yet. The country singer's 2006 covers release, "Timeless," had a similar start but sold more (185,000).

Hilary Duff scores her fourth consecutive top five debut with "Dignity," which climbs on at No. 4 with 140,000 sold. The Hollywood release is the pop vocalist's fifth album, which includes her first holiday-themed set "Santa Claus Lane" and 2005's hits collection "Most Wanted." The latter album bowed at No. 1 with 208,000.

He has lent a hand to Justin Timberlake and Nelly Furtado's chart-topping efforts recently, but this week Timbaland earns chart ink for his own album, "Timbaland Presents Shock Value," at No. 5. Moving 138,000 copies, "Shock Value" (Mosley Music Group/Interscope) becomes the best-charting and -selling set of his solo career. His previous best was 2001's collaboration with Magoo, "Indecent Proposal," which debuted at No. 29 with 79,000.

Beyonce's "B'Day" pole-vaults from No. 69 to sixth place thanks to the release of a new double-disc version of the album with six new songs. That translates to a 903% gain to 126,000 units. Daughtry's self-titled RCA debut falls from the sixth to seventh spot despite a 48% sales increase at 98,000 copies.

Paul Wall's "Get Money, Stay True" (Swishahouse/Asylum/Atlantic) debuts at No. 8 with 92,000 copies. His last set, 2005's "The Peoples Champ" lived up to its title, crashing in at No. 1 with 176,000. Akon's "Konvicted" (SRC/Universal) slips from fifth to ninth place with 75,000 copies, a sales increase of 12%.

Country-bluegrass veteran Alison Krauss notches her best charting position ever with "A Hundred Miles or More: A Collection" (Rounder) at No. 10 with 73,000 copies moved. Her previous high came in 1995 when another compilation, "Now That I've Found You: A Collection," reached No. 13.

The trio of Alan Jackson, George Strait and Jimmy Buffett score the No. 11 spot with "Live at Texas Stadium," a 15-song live album from a 2004 Dallas concert. The MCA Nashville album sold 67,000.

Chicago rock act Chevelle's Epic set "Vena Sera" enters at No. 12 with 62,000, short of the No. 8/89,000 entry of 2004's "This Type of Thinking (Could Do Us In)." Meanwhile, comedian Larry the Cable Guy's "Morning Constitutions" (Warner Bros.) bows at No. 16 with 56,000. His previous album, "The Right to Bare Arms," started at No. 7 in 2005 with 92,000.

Other big debuts this week include a sales and charting best for Kings of Leon with their RCA album "Because of the Times" (No. 25, 42,000); the Academy Is ...'s "Santi" (Atlantic, No. 32, 33,000); Static X's "Cannibal" (Warner Bros.) at No. 36 with 30,000; and the Almost's "Southern Weather" (Tooth & Nail) at No. 39 with 29,000. Shadows Fall, Black Sabbath, Brandi Carlile, J. Moss, Anthony Hamilton and Fountains of Wayne also boast debuts on the Billboard 200.

Album sales are up 15.7% from last week's total at 10.6 million units and down 5.1% compared with the same week last year.