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OutKast Tops U.S. Charts Amid Robust Album Sales

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The Grammy-winning hip-hop duo OutKast topped the U.S. album charts on Wednesday with its latest release, "Speakerboxxx/The Love Below," selling more than 500,000 copies to lead one of the hottest weeks in music sales this year.

Meanwhile, Rocker Dave Matthews' solo debut, "Some Devil," opened at No. 2 with sales of 469,000 units as a flood of new releases -- seven in all -- made the top 10 of the Billboard 200 chart, according to album sales tracker Nieslen SoundScan.

The latest offering from rap-rock outfit Limp Bizkit, "Results May Vary," entered the chart at No. 3 on sales of 325,000 copies, a strong launch but far from the million-plus opening of the group's previous album, 2000's "Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water."

The week ended Sept. 28 marked the first time this year that all top 10 albums sold more than 100,000 copies, a healthy sign as the recording industry heads into its fourth quarter and the holiday season hoping to shake off a commercial slump.

Leading the way was the double-CD set "Speakerboxxx/The Love Below," comprising a solo collection from each of the two OutKast performers -- Antwan "Big Boi" Patton and Andre "3000" Benjamin.

The album sold 510,000 units its first week in stores to rank No. 1 on the Billboard 200, as well as the R&B, rap and alternative rock charts. It also marked the fourth-biggest opening of any album this year.

But it fell shy of the duo's triple-platinum breakthrough, "Stankonia," which entered the charts three years ago at No. 2 on sales of 526,000 copies. "Stankonia" won Grammys for best rap album and rap performance by a group. OutKast also won a Grammy last year for their single "The Whole World."

Rapper 50 Cent holds the 2003 benchmark for first-week business, selling 872,000 copies of his major-label debut, "Get Rich or Die Tryin,"' followed by 810,000 copies of "Meteora" from the alternative metal band Linkin' Park, and 532,000 copies of R. Kelly's "Chocolate Factory."

A new compilation from Kelly, "R in R&B Collection, Vol. 1," opened this week at No. 4 on sales of 251,000 copies, followed by the rapper Obie Trice, making his album debut at No. 5 with "Cheers" on first-week sales of 226,000 units.

Rounding out the top 10 were Canadian rockers Nickelback with "Long Road" at No. 6; last week's chart-topping DMX album "Grand Champ," falling to No. 7; rapper Murphy Lee's debut effort, "Murphy's Law," opening at No. 8; and two other holdovers -- singer-songwriter John Mayer's "Heavier Things" and "Metamorphosis" from teen queen Hilary Duff at Nos. 9 and 10, respectively.

Shock rocker Rob Zombie's first retrospective set, "Past, Present & Future," sold 94,000 copies to enter the charts at No. 11.

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