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Ashanti out-divas Beyonce for a second week

Ashanti out-divas Beyonce for a second week. Trace Adkins hits the top 10, while Thalia just misses it

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The diva duel between Ashanti and BeyoncĂ© Knowles continued for a second week on the Billboard album chart, and, as she did last week, Ashanti barely won. Her ”Chapter II” held the top slot with sales of 135,000, according to SoundScan, about 4,000 more than Miss Knowles’ ”Dangerously in Love,” which remained in second place. (Last week, Ashanti’s margin was just 10,000.) Evanescence’s ”Fallen” ascended four spots to No. 3 (72,000 discs), aided by the band’s appearance on Jay Leno’s ”Tonight Show” and the release of a new single, ”Going Under.” Slipping one slot to No. 4 was Luther Vandross’ ”Dance for My Father,” which sold 68,000 copies. 50 Cent’s ”Get Rich or Die Tryin”’ held onto fifth place but sold just 66,000 copies, 10,000 fewer than last week.

Country hunk Trace Adkins had the only new release in the top 10; his ”Greatest Hits Collection Vol. 1” entered the chart at No. 9 on sales of 56,000. Mexican singer Thalia learned that being married to a big record label executive (Sony-turned-Universal exec Tommy Mottola) couldn’t guarantee her English-language debut a top-10 first week; ”Thalia” sold 50,000 copies for a No. 11 opening.

The rest of the top 10: Michelle Branch’s ”Hotel Paper” slid two slots to No. 6; Metallica’s ”St. Anger” dropped one notch to No. 7; Norah Jones’ ”Come Away With Me,” in its 17th month on the chart, rose one rung to No. 8; and ”The Very Best of Cher” climbed back into the top 10 from No. 18, landing in 10th place.