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At this point, 175k looks like the sales level needed to reach the top slot on next week's chart.
ONE-DAY SALES:
ODD TRIO CONTENDS FOR #1
Will the Rapper, the Warbler or
the Grizzle-Rocker Pull It Off?
It's an odd combination, yes, but these are odd times and we shouldn't be surprised by much at this point.

According to early reports from national accounts, as analyzed, extrapolated, fluffed and folded by our crack team of sales monitors, next week's #1 on the HITS Top 50 Albums Chart could go to Ja Rule (Murder Inc./Def Jam), Enya (Reprise) or Ozzy Osbourne (Epic). Each of these titles looks like it could sell upwards of 175k, which at this point looks like the sales level needed to reach the top slot.

Nobel Prize, here we come.

Ja Rule's Pain Is Love, of course, just finished its second week at #1, lounging in the top berth on sales of more than 227k. That was enough to beat the #2 record by over 64k, even though the total represented a 43% drop from Ja's debut week. That #2 record, Enya's powerful Day Without Rain, sold just under 162k for the week, representing a 28% gain for the international new-age star.

Ozzy's Down to Earth, which began flying out of stores like a headless dove yesterday, appears to be in a dead heat with Ja Rule so far, and is expected to provide the rapper's main competition. However, given that Enya has spiked in a big way in recent weeks and is something of a "weekend title" (that's retailese for "she sells more on the weekends than during the week"), the race for #1 has to be considered a three-way derby.

And let us not forget the God Bless America tribute from Columbia (not to be confused with the America: A Tribute to Heroes album coming on Interscope in November or the What's Going On EP, also on Columbia). Released Tuesday along with Ozzy, the all-star compilation looks to be on track to sell more than150k, and if it trends up over the next few days, it could prove to be yet another contender for #1. Given the unprecedented times we're in, how the weekend will stack up for this album is anybody's guess—least of all ours.

This could all change overnight, of course, but if it does, we'll get right back to you.

Is there a Nobel Prize for sucking?

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