Eminem debuts at No. 1 with ''Encore.'' He sells 711,000 copies in just three days, beating top 10 debuts by Shania Twain, Toby Keith, Britney Spears, and others

By Gary Susman
November 17, 2004 at 05:00 AM EST
Eminem: Jennifer Graylock/AP

Eminem’s piracy fears may have been overblown. In just three days of sales, Slim Shady’s Encore sold 711,000 copies according to SoundScan, more than enough to debut at No. 1 on the Billboard album chart. He outdistanced the similar feat he performed with the 2002 release of The Eminem Show, which he also released early to foil pirates. That album also opened atop the chart, but with sales of 285,000.

Eminem also outsold several top 10 new releases by big-name artists. Shania Twain’s Greatest Hits had to settle for a No. 2 debut with sales of 530,000. Toby Keith’s Greatest Hits 2 debuted in third place with 435,000 copies. Britney Spears’ Greatest Hits: My Prerogative sold 235,000 units for a fourth-place finish, making it the first album of her career not to debut at No. 1. Also enjoying top 10 debuts were Fabolous with Real Talk (No.6) and Ja Rule with R.U.L.E. (No. 7). Stars who just missed out on top 10 debuts were the reunited New Edition (One Love, No. 12), Andrea Bocelli (Andrea, No. 16), and Elton John (Peachtree Road, No. 17).

Last week’s champ, NOW That’s What I Call Music! Vol. 17, fell to fifth place. Usher’s Confessions dropped four spots to No. 8. Nelly’s Suit fell six spots to No. 9, and George Strait’s 50 Number Ones slipped four slots to 10th place.

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