Pair of queens beat King


Don't look now, "American Idol," but "Making the Band" is creeping up on you. Well, sort of.

But more on that later.

This week's biggest chart news is on the singles side: Two major records held for decades by the King of Rock 'n' Roll have been vaporized by a pair of dance divas.

Fueled by a record-setting 286,000 digital downloads, Mariah Carey's "Touch My Body" soars from No. 15 all the way to the top this week. It's her 18th No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, moving her past Elvis Presley for the most chart toppers for a solo act in the rock era. Only the Beatles have more: 20. And with Carey's new album "E=MC2" looming, she's got the Fab Four squarely in her sights.

Meanwhile, Madonna's "4 Minutes" rockets up the chart to No. 3 in its second week, giving her a staggering 37 top 10 hits. Presley had held the rock-era mark with 36. Madonna's hit racked up 217,000 downloads in its first week of wide release; it had been available as a Verizon exclusive.

But there is plenty of action on the big chart as well. "Making the Band" makes it back-to-back No. 1s on the Billboard 200 as Day 26 matches Danity Kane's feat from last week. And counting that girl group's first album in 2006, the past two "Band" winners have combined for three No. 1 debuts.

An interesting comparison: 2006 "Idol" champ Jordin Sparks' album peaked at No. 10, and 2005 winner Taylor Hicks only managed a No. 2 bow. But really, let's give "Idol" its due. Daughtry, the band led by '06 also-ran Chris Daughtry, was the third-best-selling album of 2007, and 2004 winner Carrie Underwood's latest disc sold 537,000 units in its first week last year.

So "Idol" ain't exactly trembling over the recent "Band" success. But rap quintet Day 26's self-titled debut moved a solid 190,000 units to open at No. 1, topping a slew of potent new releases. The last time a debut set from a new male group opened at No. 1 was in 2001, when Eminem-fueled rap act D12 started in the penthouse with "Devil's Night." "Day 26" marks the 11th chart topper for Sean Combs' Bad Boy Records.

Two other albums top the 100,000-unit mark for the week ending March 30. Panic at the Disco's sophomore effort "Pretty. Odd." lands at No. 2, followed by Counting Crows' half-country/half-rock "Saturday Nights & Sunday Mornings," the veteran band's first studio set since 2002. Las Vegas-based Panic — now sans exclamation point — more than tripled its previous best sales week, while the Bay Area septet Counting Crows scores its highest chart position since "Recovering the Satellites" hit No. 1 in 1996.

Rock makes two other strong entries this week as the Raconteurs and the B-52's bow at No. 7 and No. 11, respectively. The second album from Jack White and the Raconteurs, "Consolers of the Lonely," came as a surprise: The set's existence wasn't announced until March 18, a week before the street date. And "Funplex" is the first new album in 16 years from the Athens, Ga., quartet that brought us "Rock Lobster" way back in 1979.

Overall album sales are down 12.7% from last week at 8.8 million units and off 15.6% from the same week in 2007.

Billboard analyst Keith Caulfield contributed to this report.

1 New Day 26 Day 26 190,000

2 New Panic at the Disco Pretty.Odd. 139,000

3 New Counting Crows Sat. Nights & Sun. Mornings 106,000

4 1 Danity Kane Welcome to the Dollhouse 89,000

5 2 Various artists Now 27 67,000

6 3 Rick Ross Trilla 51,000

7 New The Raconteurs Consolers of the Lonely 42,000

8 5 Jack Johnson Sleep Through the Static 37,000

9 4 Flo Rida Mail on Sunday 34,000

10 9 Sara Bareilles Little Voice 31,000