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"The Eminem proved a great record that really captures the interest of the nation will sell, no matter what the state of the marketplace and in spite of the rampant downloading."
——Vince Szydlowski, Virgin Entertainment Group
THE SHOW MUST GO ON
Eminem Sales Pass 1.4 Million in First Full Week of Release
It was the worst week for bootleggers since Prohibition. More pirates walked the plank than in Peter Pan.

Despite all the pre-release hassles, Eminem did more than Show up for his first full week on retail shelves. The Aftermath/Interscope rap superstar avoided having his brand-new release get caught in the Net, with second-week sales of 1.4 million and a chart victory of Laker-like proportions over his closest competitor, P. Diddy (Bad Boy/Arista).

For those of you counting, that gives Marshall plenty of reason to be mellow. In fact, he’s made in the Shady, with a combined 1.7 million for The Eminem Show’s first 10 days on the streets—comparing favorably to the 1.8 million in debut-week sales The Marshall Mathers LP, his previous album, did upon its release in May 2000.

Virgin Entertainment Group retail eminence Vince Szydlowski took some time out from acquiring a vowel on eBay to comment: "The Eminem proved a great record that really captures the interest of the nation will sell, no matter what the state of the marketplace and in spite of the rampant downloading. Now, how do I download this KaZaA software?"

The increased traffic in the record stores brought in the all-important adult demographic along with the kids. A&M/Interscope artist Sheryl Crow continued steady at #6, thanks in large part to a well-publicized performance at the Ground Zero memorial in NYC last weekend, along with that ubiquitous American Express commercial featuring her hit single, "Soak Up the Sun."

Added Szzydlwzzksi: "Sheryl Crow is showing some real staying power. Like me on Viagra."

Rounding out the Top Five are Murder Inc./IDJ’s Ashanti (#3), Columbia’s Marc Anthony (#4) and Epic’s Celine Dion (#6).

Meanwhile, climbing the upscale-market ladder are Blue Note’s Norah Jones (24-18) and Columbia’s John Mayer (27-20), each showing strong gains behind touring, word-of-mouth and developing radio stories.

Next week, look for new releases from Donell Jones, Totally Hits 2002 and DJ Quik along with newcomers Avril Lavigne and Dirty Vegas.

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