System of a Down debuts at No. 1. ''Mezmerize'' sells 453,000 copies, outselling top 10 debuts by Toby Keith, the ''Idol'' contestants, and others


Rumors of the death of rock have apparently been greatly exaggerated. For the fifth straight week, a new rock album debuted on top of the Billboard album chart. Following Rob Thomas’ …Something to Be, Bruce Springsteen’s Devils & Dust, Nine Inch Nails’ With Teeth, and Dave Matthews Band’s Stand Up, this week’s champ was System of a Down’s Mezmerize. The first half of a two-part concept album (the second part, Hypnotize, is due this fall), Mezmerize sold 453,000 copies, according to SoundScan, outselling four other top 10 debuts this week.

Some 283,000 country fans enrolled in Toby Keith’s Honky Tonk University, debuting at No. 2. R&B singer Kem entered the chart at No. 5 with Album II, which moved 140,000 units. The cast album American Idol Season 4: The Showstoppers debuted in sixth place, while Def Leppard’s Rock of Ages: The Definitive Collection entered the chart at No. 10.

Mariah Carey’s The Emancipation of Mimi held onto third place for a third week, with sales of 173,000. DMB’s Stand Up fell down three spots to fourth place, selling 158,000 discs. 50 Cent’s The Massacre was No. 7, while Gwen Stefani’s Love, Angel, Music, Baby slid one slot to eighth place. Last week’s No. 2, Weezer’s Make Believe, dropped seven spots to No. 9 in its second week.

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