NEW YORK - In another busy week in the top tier of the Billboard 200, Neil Diamond's "Home Before Dark" zoomed in at No. 1, becoming his first chart-topping album.
The set got a big plug when Diamond appeared on "American Idol" two weeks ago, bolstering its 146,000 first-week U.S. sales, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
The Rick Rubin-produced "Home" is Diamond's biggest debut sales week since SoundScan began tracking in 1991.
Toby Keith's double-disc collection "35 Biggest Hits" debuted at No. 2. Madonna's "Hard Candy" fell from the top slot to No. 3. "American Idol" star Clay Aiken debuted at No. 4 with "On My Way Here," with a total slightly less than "Hard Candy."
Mariah Carey's "EMC2" continued its decline, to fifth place, and Leona Lewis' "Spirit" slipped to sixth. Gavin DeGraw's self-titled second effort climbed on board at No. 7 off the hot single "In Love with a Girl." which has peaked at No. 34 thus far on the Hot 100.
Josh Groban's concert CD/DVD "Awake Live" hit the charts at No. 8, his seventh album to chart on the Billboard 200. Another country mainstay scored the ninth berth with a hits collection: Dierks Bentley's "Greatest Hits: Every Mile a Memory."