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"The O Brother soundtrack was a phenomenon before the Grammys. Now, there’s no telling what it can do, and for how long it can do it."
——Vince Szydlowski, Virgin Retail Group
BROTHER’S YOUR DADDY!!!
Great First Week for Brandy, but Not Great Enough to Get Her to #1
It was a triumphant homecoming. The little girl who once captured our hearts returns a married, pregnant adult—and returns to the top of the chart. Well, almost to the top of the chart.

O Brother, was this a close one.

Yes folks, in a rat fight that went down to the wire, the darling of the recent Grammy Awards, Lost Highway’s O Brother, Where Art Thou?, kept its post-Grammy momentum, edging out Atlantic’s Brandy for the #1 spot on this week’s Top 50 Albums chart. "Atlantic did a stellar job setting this one up. This just wasn’t about an old fan base showing up," said Virgin Retail Group’s Vince Szydlowski, who is changing his name to Mike Szydlowski, so people will have an easier time spelling it. "The O Brother soundtrack was a phenomenon before the Grammys. Now, there’s no telling what it can do, and for how long it can do it."

Rounding out this week’s Top Five are last week’s chart-topper, Maverick’s Alanis Morissette, at #3; Arista Nashville’s Alan Jackson, whose sales jumped 16% this week, at #4; and Warner Bros.’ still-remarkable Linkin Park in the fifth spot.

Other big gainers this week were Def Jam South/IDJ’s Ludacris (11-7), Arista’s Pink (12-8) and Usher (16-11), Roadrunner/IDJ’s Nickelback (14-10) and Epic’s Shakira (27-16).

Hitting the streets on Tuesday and debuting on next week’s album chart is the new one from Epic’s B2K—which will contend for #1—as well as the remix album from Destiny’s Child (Columbia), the soundtrack to Blade II (Immortal/Virgin), and new ones from the Corrs (Atlantic), the Eels (DreamWorks) and N.E.R.D. (Virgin).

NEAR TRUTHS: YEAR-END WRAP-UP, PART 3
Bye-bye Burbank, hello DTLA. (12/13a)
2019 TOP 50 SONGS
What comes after X? (12/12a)
TASK FORCE TACKLES INDUSTRY TROUBLES
A wider view of the issues (12/13a)
A TASTE OF RAINMAKERS II:
SCOOTER BRAUN
A very intriguing dude (12/12a)
HARVEY IN THE MIX
Mason Jr. discusses his senior role at the Academy. (12/12a)
EGGNOG!
Ours is mostly bourbon.
MISTLETOE!
Delicious in salads.
CHESTNUTS!
Ours are roasting, but it could be these slim-fit jeans.
WEED!
An entire Christmas tree made of it. Is what we want. for Christmas.
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