Madonna grabs the spotlight

Times Staff Writer

One diva replaced another at the top of the national sales chart this week, as Madonna's "Hard Candy" album zipped straight to No. 1 after selling 280,000 copies during its first week in stores.

She bumped Mariah Carey into the No. 2 slot and also moved into second place among female artists on the all-time list for top-selling albums. "Hard Candy" is her seventh. Only Barbra Streisand has more, with eight.

Two rock reunions showed up in the Top 10 this week, both benefiting from recent Southland concert appearances. Portishead, the British group whose last studio album came out in 1997 and peaked at No. 21, made its highest chart debut on the heels of its reunion show at Coachella last month. Its new album, "Third," sold 53,000 copies and entered the chart at No. 7.

Tom Petty came in right behind with his pre-Heartbreakers band Mudcrutch, which just wrapped up a short California tour that included six sold-out shows at the Troubadour in West Hollywood. "Mudcrutch" sold 38,000 copies out of the gate, good enough to debut at No. 8.

R&B; singer Lyfe Jennings, whose career was sidetracked for nearly a decade while he served a nine-year prison sentence for arson, landed the second-highest debut of the week behind Madonna. His "Lyfe Change" collection starts out at No. 4 on first-week sales of 80,000 copies.

The Roots scored a higher chart debut with its new album "Rising Down" than its 2006 "Game Theory," even though the new one sold slightly less in its first week. "Rising Down" enters at No. 6 with sales of 54,000 copies. Two years ago "Game Theory" posted sales of 61,000, according to Nielsen SoundScan, only enough at the time to start out at No. 9.


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