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The release schedule is topped by "Invincible" (Epic), Jacko’s first album since 1997’s "Blood on the Dance Floor" and first of all-new material since ’91’s "Dangerous." And while he can’t be expected to come close to the record-shattering "Thriller" or even "Bad," Jackson supporters are hoping the new album can approach 400k in first-week sales.
SCARY TUESDAY OFFERS TREATS
With Jacko, Lenny, Enrique, BSB and Destiny’s Child Streeting, What’s to Be Scared About?
The record industry is hoping the day before Halloween offers a bag of goodies rather than any more cruel tricks.

Can Michael Jackson, Backstreet Boys, Lenny Kravitz, Destiny’s Child and Enrique, all with albums hitting Oct. 30, finally get this fourth quarter thing rolling? Industryites and retailers, stung by soft sales in the aftermath of Sept. 11, are hoping consumers will find something to their liking on the first big Tuesday of Q4.

  • The release schedule is topped by Invincible (Epic), Jacko’s first album since 1997’s Blood on the Dance Floor and first of all-new material since ’91’s Dangerous. And while he can’t be expected to come close to the record-shattering Thriller or even Bad, Jackson supporters are hoping the new album can approach 400k in first-week sales. Based on the lukewarm radio response to the first single, "You Rock My World," that hope may well be optimistic, although the video is receiving huge play at the channels. The album features guest performances by Carlos Santana, Chris Tucker and Brandy, with producers including Rodney Jerkins, Teddy Riley and R. Kelly.
  • Backstreet Boys’ new Jive album, The Hits—Chapter One, is the band’s initial greatest-hits release, and their first since Black & Blue, which came out last November with 1.6 million sold its first week. The key to the new record is the brand-new smash single, "Drowning."
  • Lenny Kravitz’s Lenny (Virgin), his first album under a new mega-deal with the label, marks the rocker’s second decade as a performer. It follows his Greatest Hits compilation of last year, which sold 3.1 million in the U.S. OTC. It’s his first set of new material since ’99’s 5, which sold 3 million in the U.S. The first single, "Dig In," is already a multi-format hit, and it’s quickly crossing to Top 40. Retail insiders are looking for 250k in first-week sales.
  • There are Christmas albums on tap from a pair of Columbia Records superstars in Destiny’s Child’s 8 Days of Christmas and Barbra Streisand’s Christmas Memories. Beyonce and company work out on the title track, "Silent Night" and "Little Drummer Boy." What, no "Santa’s Bootylicious"? Babs’ album includes "I’ll Be Home for Christmas," "Ave Maria" and "It Must Have Been the Mistletoe" (dedicated to Jimmy Brolin?), but not "The Dreidel Song."
  • Enrique Iglesias, who now only goes by his first name, returns with his second English-language album on Interscope, Escape, following 1999’s Enrique, which sold 1.7 million OTC. First single "Hero," performed by Enrique at the telethon, America: A Tribute to Heroes, is garnering huge requests at Pop radio.
  • Other releases include label exec/producer/artist Jermaine Dupri’s new So So Def/Columbia disc, Instructions (his last album sold 1.1 million OTC), the Loud/ Columbia soundtrack album Choices featuring Three 6 Mafia (whose last disc moved 1 million OTC) and veteran rapper Erick Sermon’s J Records bow, [Music].
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VOTE BY MAIL
It's a conspiracy, because everyone does it.
IS IT CHRISTMAS?
No, but we're thinking about cookies.
WOKE MUSIC
Protest songs that sound like now.
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