Riding the Top Ten single “So Sick,” Ne-Yo’s debut, In My Own Words, took the Number One spot this week, selling 301,000 copies according to Nielsen SoundScan. The twenty-three-year-old R&B prodigy started his career writing hits for the likes of Mary J. Blige and Faith Evans — including the biggest radio hit of 2004, Mario’s “Let Me Love You.” Ne-Yo’s arrival knocked last week’s kiddie Number One, the soundtrack to the Disney Channel movie High School Musical, down to second place, though the album continued to sell impressively, moving another 128,000 copies. But bad news for other child-friendly albums: the ninth installment of the popular Kidz Bop series — which finds children crooning the latest tunes by Mariah Carey or Weezer — plunged from Two to Twenty-Three (39,000), while Jack Johnson’s soundtrack to the animated film Curious George dropped four spots to Number Seven (73,000). Instead, this week’s Top Ten brought high-wattage debuts from artists across genres. Dayton, Ohio, screamo outfit Hawthorne Heights’ sophomore album, If Only You Were Lonely, opened at Number Three, selling 114,000 copies in its first week on the charts. And country stalwart Alan Jackson’s Precious Memories, a gospel album sporting traditional hymns, sold 107,000 copies to bow at Number Four. Just shy of the Top Ten, rabble rouser Kid Rock’s first release in some time, the live CD Live Trucker, debuted at Number Twelve (56,000).
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