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"Kid Rock is the American Bad-Ass. His pimp-hand is strong."
—Bob Bell, Wherehouse Records
UNIVERSAL MUSIC GROUP, KID ROCK EXPLODE AT RETAIL
UMG Grabs 37.3% Of Current Market, Kid Rocks Retail
These are heady days at retail. Two weeks, two million-selling artists and there's more on the way.

Fresh off record-breaking weeks for Britney Spears and Eminem, retailers are ecstatic over first-day sales of Kid Rock's "The History of Rock," the first release for the rock-rap star's new Top Dog imprint through Lava/Atlantic Records Group. Spurred on by the nearly 1.8 million copies sold by Eminem, the Universal Music Group boasts its own record, a staggering 37% of current album marketshare, the best mark ever for a distributor, with albums like "Mission: Impossible 2," Big Tymers, Sisqo, Dr. Dre, Lee Ann Womack and 3 Doors Down leading the way. BMG trailed with 20%, followed by WEA at 13%, Sony at 11% and EMD at 7%.

Rock's "The History of Rock"--which will be the top debut on next week's chart--offers rerecorded versions of songs from previous albums, including '93's "The Polyfuze Method" and '96's "Early Mornin' Stoned" as well as two previously unreleased tracks, assorted demos and the controversial song "F**k That," from the soundtrack of the Oliver Stone film, "Any Given Sunday."

Even though it's not a new release, Rock is already rolling at retail, with one-day sales indicating a projected first-week total of 500k. "Tremendous first-day on Kid Rock," said Wherehouse Music's Bob Bell after complaining that Violet Brown made it on to the Eminem album instead of him."It was a great set-up by Atlantic, especially considering that it's not all-new material. But Kid Rock is the American Bad-Ass. His pimp-hand is strong. At least that's what my retail homies tell me."

Bell adds that Eminem, Britney, matchbox twenty and the "Mission: Impossible 2" soundtrack continue to perform well, with Eminem in particular looking for a second week close to a million.

"We have so many big records right now," said Bell, who excused himself to download the new Night Ranger album on Napster. "They all look like they'll be selling this strong at least through the month of June, if not the entire summer. And they better, because I have to pay the rent on my Malibu beach house."

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