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Creed is up around 25%, Now Vol. 8 15%, Britney Spears 20%, Garth Brooks 30% and Nickelback, Linkin Park and Enya are all up over 30%.

WEEK IN PREVIEW: LAST-MINUTE SHOPPING, LITTLE WORKING

Creed Stays At #1 as Sales Skyrocket, No Doubt Bows, Lots of Hip-Hop Streets
Has vacation started yet or are we just slacking off?

For our final "Week in Preview" of 2001, we'd like to salute the prognosticators who look into their crystal balls to help us tell you what we're going to tell you. Miss Cleo and John Edward, this one's for you.

On the retail front, Wind-up's Creed will remain at the top spot, with Interscope's No Doubt having a strong week, scoring the highest debut with sales in the 300k range. As expected—and hoped for—this time of the year, sales are way up over last week. Based on early reports, Creed is up around 25%, Now Vol. 8 15%, Britney Spears 20%, Garth Brooks 30% and Nickelback, Linkin Park and Enya are all up over 30%. And, of course, after a series of holiday parties and seasonal sweets packages, our body fat percentage is up 30% this week.

Lest you think that the year has ended, however, you should know that it's a big week for rap releases. Let's be honest: Nothing celebrates the season like hip-hop, especially new discs from the Wu-Tang Clan (Loud/Columbia), Mystikal (Jive), Master P (No Limit/Universal), Nas (Columbia), Lil' Bow Wow (So So Def/Columbia) and Ruff Ryders Vol. 3 (Ruff Ryders/Interscope). The only big non-rap record is the return of Bell Biv Devoe (Universal).

In radio land, the folks at PoMo (or at least those who haven't left for vacation yet) tell us that Flip/Geffen's Staind will be Most Added. In Crossover, they say it shall be Interscope's Eve, and if they say so, we believe them. The rocket scientists in Top 40 worked overtime in figuring out that the new Epic J.Lo record, a remix featuring Ja Rule, though not officially impacting until next week, will probably be Most Added. They also expect early adds on Britney Spears and clean-up on Linkin Park and R. Kelly.

Finally, towards the middle of the week, hitsdailydouble.com staffers will start to disappear from the building. In a related note, towards the middle of the week, nearby bars will start filling. Coincidence? We think not.

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