The country superstar sells nearly half-a-million copies of new LP 'Scarecrow' in its first week of release...

GARTH BROOKS has debuted at the top of the US BILLBOARD 200 album chart (for week ending December 1) shifting 466,000 copies of new album ‘SCARECROW’.

The saccharine country star knocked Britney Spears from top of the perch, as her ‘Britney’ album sold 337,000 units on its second week.

A surprise comes at Number Three as Shakira – a star in Spanish-speaking parts of the world – sold 202,000 copies of English language debut ‘Laundry Service’. Madonna enters down at Seven with ‘GHV2’, her third hits compilation, shifting 150,000, only just ahead of metal veteran Rob Zombie, whose ‘Sinister Urge’ charts at Eight, the best placing of a long, distinguished career. One place below Zombie is singer/songwriter Jewel, on 140,000 sales of ‘This Way’.

It was a slower week for Paul McCartney whose ‘Driving Rain’ moved 66,000 to rest at 26, a little ahead of country folk oldster Natalie Merchant at 30. Radiohead charted at 44 with live mini-album ‘I Might Be Wrong’.