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WEEK IN PREVIEW:
THE SOUF MARCHES NORF
Ludacris Heats Up, While Kenneth Lay
Shreds This Week's Issue
Like the CEO of Enron not appearing in the halls of Congress, this week's album chart is missing any really compelling title to scream about.

Oh sure, Arista Nashville's Alan Jackson, Warner Bros.' Linkin Park and Wind-Up's Creed are likely Top Five winners. So is Def Jam South/IDJ's Ludacris, which is exploding thanks to a smash single. There's also a surging Puddle Of Mudd (Flawless/Geffen/Interscope) and solid debuts for MCA's Mary J. Blige's old album featuring new material, and Columbia's "The Essential Barbra Streisand" package.

And if that ain't enough album chart heat, check out the numbers on Atlantic's P.O.D., V2's I Am Sam soundtrack and Arista's Outkast.

Hey, what can we say? It's another week in the first quarter. Like Congress, aren't we all just looking for a good Lay?

Our Top 40 brainiacs are screaming that mainstream Top 40s will be all over the aforementioned Ludacris, whose sales are reacting to the radio airplay it's already getting. Do the math, geniuses: This one will be getting bigger.

Also look for monster Top 40 close-out for Interscope's Enrique and DreamWorks' Nelly Furtado.

At Post Modern, Universal's Godsmack will be godhead Most Added while MCA's Something Corporate is creating a major buzz among corporately-owned radio stations across America.

Our Crossover geeks are complaining, er, screaming about action on "Oops, Oh My" by Elektra's Tweet and Faith Evans' "I Love You" (Bad Boy/Arista).

Meanwhile, on the dance circuit, Vice President Dick Cheney is scoring big points for his new dance: "Let's Withhold All Information About My Energy Task Force Meetings With Enron Executives."

HITS LIST: SIGNS OF A
WHOLE NEW DEAL
The sounds of a brighter day to come? (1/16a)
RAINMAKERS:
STEVE COOPER
Turnaround specialist becomes a music man. (1/15a)
BIG CHANGES AT RCA: EDGE UPS PITTS TO PREZ, FLECK TO COO; RICCITELLI TO EXIT
Recalibrating for changing tastes. (1/15a)
DANGEROUS TIMES: A CONVERSATION WITH MORGAN WALLEN
As his song says, "Livin' the Dream." (1/14a)
ACADEMY AND DUGAN
DUE TO SETTLE?
A messy divorce nears its resolution. (1/15a)
RAINMAKERS
Bring your umbrella.
GRAMMYS: WHERE TO FROM HERE?
After the snubs, the show.
HOW TO FIND 11,780 VOTES
It's the way all the biggest mob bosses did it.
MOVING THE NEEDLE
When vaccination schedules and touring schedules meet.
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