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2005-11-25 00:00

Madonna's new album rules pop charts

  Venerable pop icon Madonna danced to the top of the U.S. pop album charts for the sixth time in her career on Wednesday with her third consecutive No. 1 release, Confessions on a Dance Floor.

  Her Warner Bros. disc sold nearly 350,000 copies in the week ended November 20, according to Nielsen SoundScan, and ranks as her third-largest sales week in the tracking firm's 14-year history.

  The album and its single Hung Up also are No. 1 on the respective British charts. The single is in the top-10 of the U.S. charts.

  First-week U.S. sales for Confessions fell far short of those for Madonna's 2000 album Music, which opened at No. 1 with 420,000 copies, but handily eclipsed those of her most recent previous release, American Life, which started off with 241,000 copies in 2003 and quickly fizzled, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

  Her best-selling album in recent years is the Grammy-winning Ray of Light, which opened at No. 2 with 371,000 copies in 1998, just behind the unsinkable Titanic soundtrack.

  Last week's chart champion, country star Kenny Chesney's The Road and the Radio, fell two places to No. 3. In between, was the debut release from American Idol winner Carrie Underwood, Some Hearts.

  Mariah Carey's hit comeback album The Emancipation of Mimi, reissued as a platinum edition with bonus tracks, jumped 11 places to No. 4 with sales of 185,000 copies.

  According to trade publication Billboard, overall U.S. album sales hit 13.1 million units, up 10 percent over the previous week but about 10 percent lower than the year-ago period. Year-to-date, sales are down by about 14 percent at 492 million units.

  Warner Bros. Records is a unit of Warner Music Group Corp.

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