Meet 'Montana's' Cyrus at No. 1


NEW YORK -- In a battle between two top-selling female acts, Miley Cyrus triumphed over Kelly Clarkson to score the No. 1 position on the Billboard 200 with the confusingly titled double album "Hannah Montana 2 (Soundtrack)/Meet Miley Cyrus." The Disney project sold 326,000 units in the U.S., according to Nielsen SoundScan. Clarkson's embattled "My December" (RCA) opened at No. 2 with 291,000.

The "Hannah/Miley" album is a two-disc, 20-song set evenly divided between music from Cyrus' TV series "Hannah Montana" and her debut studio album. On one side of the album is cover art for "Hanna Montana 2," while the other side boasts artwork for "Meet Miley Cyrus." The first "Hannah Montana" soundtrack also debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 in October with 281,000.

Clarkson's first-week total with "My December" improves on the opening frame of her 2004 smash, "Breakaway," which started at No. 3 with 250,000. But the new album has been mired in controversy, beginning with rumors that RCA didn't like the self-penned material and continuing on with Clarkson's split with her manager and cancellation of her summer tour because of poor ticket sales.

Last week's No. 1, Bon Jovi's "Lost Highway" (Island), slips to No. 3 on a 57% sales decline to 125,000. The White Stripes' "Icky Thump" (Third Man/Warner Bros.) fell from No. 2 to No. 4 after a 60% sales slide to 88,000, while Brad Paisley's "5th Gear" (Arista Nashville) drops from third to fifth after a 59% drop to 81,000.

Amy Winehouse's "Back to Black" (Universal) rebounds ons spot from No. 7 to No. 6 in its 16th chart week on a tiny sales increase to 63,000. Singer-songwriter Ryan Adams scores his highest position ever on the Billboard 200 this week with "Easy Tiger," which debuted at No. 7 with 61,000. The Lost Highway set trumps the artist's prior high-water mark of No. 26 with 2005's "Cold Roses."

Rounding out the top 10, Linkin Park's "Minutes to Midnight" (Machine Shop/Warner Bros.) descends two spots from No. 6 to No. 8 on a 9% decline to 57,000, Paul McCartney's "Memory Almost Full" (Hear Music) falls from fifth to ninth with a 15.5% drop to 54,000 and Maroon5's "It Won't Be Soon Before Long" (A&M/Octone) is down two spots from No. 8 to No. 10 after a 17% sales decrease to 51,000.

New at No. 15 is the Beastie Boys' instrumental album "The Mix-Up" (Capitol), which sold 44,000. It's a far cry from the opening week numbers for 2004's "To the 5 Boroughs," which debuted at No. 1 with 360,000. The rap trio's prior instrumental release -- 1996's "The In Sound From the Way Out!" -- debuted at No. 45 and sold 22,000 in its first week.

Other notable debuts this week include Pearl Jam's seven-disc live boxed set "Live at the Gorge" (Monkeywrench/Rhino), which sold 19,000 to land at No. 36. The Paul Simon double-disc "Essential" album (Warner Bros.) starts at No. 42 with 17,000, while late Hawaiian singer Israel Kamakawiwo'ole debuts at No. 44 with "Wonderful World," selling 17,000 units. It's his biggest sales week ever, helping him garner his second No. 1 on Billboard's Top World Music chart.