Jay-Z joins royalty with 10th No. 1


UPDATED 5:05 p.m. PT Nov. 14, 2007

Want to win a bar bet this weekend? Throw this down: Name the three acts who have had at least 10 No. 1 albums on the Billboard 200.

"The Beatles," your mark probably will reply right off. And they'd be right. The Fab Four has amassed 19 chart toppers since "Meet the Beatles" spent 11 weeks at No. 1 in 1964.

The singer tied for second-most albums to top the chart is semi-obvious, but he's more closely associated with singles: Elvis Presley managed 10 No. 1s.

Should your prey happen to name the King, then enjoy a smirk as the guesses fly regarding the third. "The Stones?" Nope, only nine. "Zeppelin?" Try again. Chart geeks might chime in with Barbra Streisand or Garth Brooks. No, but thanks for playing our game. (They had eight each.)

"The answer," you'll offer as you reach for the beer someone just bought for you, "is Jay-Z."

Yes, the once-retired rapper lands his jaw-dropping 10th No. 1 on the Billboard 200 with "American Gangster," which sold 425,000 copies in its first week out. It's not that he's anything less than a household name -- the guy's been charting for 11 years, runs multimillion-dollar businesses and is Beyonce's main squeeze. Still, the average music fan or even die-hard chart watcher is unlikely to link him with Elvis and John, Paul, George and Ringo among album royalty.

Meanwhile, the top 10 has four other new residents this week. Another "retired" superstar, country juggernaut Brooks, makes his first appearance on the chart in nearly six years with "Ultimate Hits" (Pearl), which debuts at No. 3 after shifting 352,000 units. Brooks' last studio set, 2001's "Scarecrow," debuted at No. 1 with 466,000. His only releases since then have been Wal-Mart exclusives and were thus not eligible to appear on the Billboard 200.

Teenage krumpmeister Chris Brown is back with his sophomore effort, "Exclusive," which sold 294,000. His self-titled 2005 debut opened at No. 4 with 154,000. "Exclusive" features Brown's recent Hot 100 chart-topper, "Kiss Kiss," featuring T-Pain.

Angels and Airwaves, the rock quartet led by Blink-182's Tom DeLonge, makes it 2-for-2 in top 10 albums with "I-Empire," and rapper Cassidy -- having endured an eight-month ride for involuntary manslaughter and survived a near-fatal car crash since his last record -- lands his second consecutive top 10 with " B.A.R.S.: The Barry Adrian Reese Story."

After bowing at No. 1 last week, the Eagles' "Long Road Out of Eden" (Eagles Recording Co.) slips to No. 2 with 359,000, a 49% sales decrease.

Carrie Underwood's 19 Recordings/Arista Nashville set "Carnival Ride" falls from No. 3 to No. 5 with 121,000 (a 29% slide), while Josh Groban's holiday album, "Noel" (143/Reprise), descends 6-8 despite a 52% sales increase to 116,000.

Selling 87,000 copies, Britney Spears' "Blackout" (Jive) slips from No.  2 to No. 7 with a 70% sales hit in its second week. At No. 8, Taylor Swift's self-titled Big Machine debut flies from No. 26 with a 156% sales increase (68,000) in its 55th week. The boost came with the album's DVD-enhanced reissue and her Horizon award win at the recent CMA Awards.

Cassidy's Full Surface/J set "B.A.R.S. The Barry Adrian Reese Story" begins at No. 10 after shifting 63,000. His sophomore release, 2005's "I'm a Hustla," started at No. 5 with 93,000.

Other big debuts this week include Latin reggaeton duo Wisin & Yandel's "Wisin Vs. Yandel: Los Extraterrestres" (Machete) at No. 14 with 53,000, country quartet Little Big Town's "Place to Land" (Equity Music Group) at No. 24 with 35,000, the Def Jam score/soundtrack to "American Gangster" at No. 36 with 21,000 and the Starbucks Entertainment holiday compilation "Stockings by the Fire" at No. 43 with 18,000.

Album sales are up 7.5% from last week at 9.95 million units and down 16.8% from the same week in 2006 (11.95 million).

Billboard's Katie Hasty and Keith Caulfield contributed to this report.