Joe, Carl Thomas On Pop, R&B Top Five

Joe Carl Thomas Pop

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R&B dominates this week's Billboard 200 albums chart, with crooner Joe debuting at #2 and Sean 'Puffy' Combs protégé Carl Thomas ' first album entering at #9.

Joe and Thomas top the R&B/Hip-Hop albums chart as well. My Name Is Joe, the third album from the singer, is at #1, spurred by the success of its first single, 'I Wanna Know' ( RealAudio excerpt ). It's #11 on the Billboard 100 singles chart and #6 on the R&B/Hip-Hop singles list.

Thomas' debut album, Emotional, shot from #100 to #2 in its second week on the R&B chart. Thomas' single, 'I Wish,' moved up to #24 on the 100 singles chart.

My Name Is Joe sold 286,260 copies last week, which made it the best-selling new album on the chart. But that wasn't enough to unseat 'N Sync from the top spot. The boy band sold 654,596 copies of No Strings Attached, an album that incorporates old-school R&B elements into a modern pop mix.

Ron Tyson , member of the legendary Motown group the Temptations , says pop fans are hearing an R&B influence in 'N Sync's music, whether they recognize it or not.

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'Look at the songs the Backstreet Boys and 'N Sync are singing,' Tyson said. 'They're R&B songs with the old R&B flavor. It's just young guys singing them.'

The Temptations' own 'I'm Here' moved from #59 to #53 on the R&B/Hip-Hop singles chart. Toni Braxton , whose long-awaited The Heat was released Tuesday, held the #1 spot on the R&B/Hip-Hop singles chart with 'He Wasn't Man Enough.'

The R&B albums top 10 is rounded out by Sisqó 's Unleash the Dragon at #4, the 'Romeo Must Die' soundtrack at #5 and Donell Jones ' Where I Wanna Be at #10. Sisqó and Destiny's Child both moved up in the 200 albums rankings, with Unleash the Dragon coming in at #3 and the Houston girl group's The Writing's on the Wall moving from #7 to #5. The album hung on at #18 on the R&B chart.

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R&B singer Avant , who releases his debut album, My Thoughts, on former basketball player Magic Johnson's label May 9, moved up from #9 to #5 on the R&B singles chart with his lush ballad 'Separated.'

Ideal 's 'Whatever' moved up from #70 to #47 on the R&B/Hip-Hop singles chart. The new song is being added to future pressings of the group's self-titled debut, which was released in 1999 without it.

Joe's second single, 'Treat Her Like a Lady,' came in at #63 in its second week on the R&B/Hip-Hop singles chart, just ahead of D'Angelo 's 'Send It On,' from his album Voodoo.

Gospel continues to stake out its place on the charts, too, with Mary Mary 's funky 'Shackles' at #10 and Yolanda Adams ' 'Open My Heart' at #70 on the R&B singles list. On the R&B/Hip-Hop albums chart, William Becton and Friends ' B2K: Prophetic Songs of Promise entered at #59, and Trin-I-tee 5:7 's Spiritual Love came in at #60.

On the gospel albums chart, B2K: Prophetic Songs of Promise debuted at #9, while the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir entered at #1 with God Is Working — Live. In its 82nd week on the chart, Kirk Franklin 's double-platinum The Nu Nation Project remained in the top 10 at #8.