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Jagged Edge is seeing Nelly-sized action at retail thanks in large part to the Nelly-sized action at radio for the Nelly-featuring first single (you guessed it) "Where the Party At."

ONE-DAY SALES: JAGGED EDGE, ALICIA KEYS DUKE IT OUT

Keg Running Low As Hundreds Of Thousands Ask, "Where The Party At?" While "Fallin'" Down
Where the party at? As usual, the party is at wherever the money is changing hands, and this week it's at the cash registers where about 175,000 crazed celebrants are rushing to buy both the new Jagged Edge and the debut album by Alicia Keys (see related story) in their first week of release, according to one-day sales figures from national accounts.

The projected tally of 175k apiece for the two big debuts means a real battle royal for #1 on next week's HITS Top 50 Albums chart—a battle that could well include current chart royalty D12 and Staind as well.

While Jagged Edge has the, uh, "edge" in ship numbers—So So Def/Columbia put 800k of the Jermaine Dupri-produced Jagged Little Thrill in the street, while J Records shipped 350k of Keys' Songs in A Minor—J already has 150k in reorders. If J can meet the demand and convert those reorders to sales, the albums will be neck and neck.

Jagged Edge is seeing Nelly-sized action at retail thanks in large part to the Nelly-sized action at radio for the Nelly-featuring first single (you guessed it) "Where the Party At," which is currently Top 10 at Rhythm and Top 5 at Crossover and still growing despite being out for about a month and a half now.

Jagged Edge's last release, 2000's J.E. Heartbreak, had first-week sales of about 87,000 and has sold about 1.8 million to date. By contrast, Nelly's debut album, Country Grammar (Universal), sold about 252k in its first week and 6.7 million to date. Jagged Edge has sold 2.4 million over four albums since their 1997 debut.

Alicia Keys, of course, has no previous release other than appearances on the Men in Black and Shaft soundtracks and on Dupri's 12 Soulful Nights of Christmas, but she has clearly been the beneficiary of the fabled Clive Davis publicity onslaught, which has already included Oprah and Tonight Show appearances. Lead single "Fallin'," meanwhile, continues to see huge Urban and Crossover airplay, and the video is everywhere.

The huge start for Songs in A Minor, which is selling at roughly double the pace many retail prognosticators had prognosticated, means that J Records will easily have a Gold record by a debut artist within a few short weeks.

Other debuts to look for on next week's Album Chart include Roc-A-Fella/IDJ's Beanie Sigel, which should come in at around 130k, and Elektra's Lil' Mo, which is taking a peek at 100k.

HITS LIST: AMPERSANDS
Dynamic duos (12/3a)
TAYLOR'S TREMENDOUS YEAR
She'd make one helluva CEO. (12/3a)
THEY CALL THE WINDFALL MARIAH (HOLIDAY EDITION)
Ch-chingle bells (12/3a)
SONG REVENUE:
BOWS OF HOLLY
Adele is money. (12/3a)
UTA MUSIC EXPANDS IN NASHVILLE
Reshuffling the deck (12/3a)
CHESTNUTS
Roasting.
STOCKINGS
Stuffing.
PIPERS
Piping.
SANTA
Coming.
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