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ONE-DAY SALES:
ASHANTI AIN’T SHABBY
Murder Inc. R&B Goddess to Ascend Chart Throne, Fade Pretenders
Irv Gotti’s got something to smile about this week: Move over, Beyoncé. Here comes Ashanti.

According to early reports from national accounts, the Murder Inc./Island Def Jam soulstress is on track to see her Chapter II, released yesterday, jam its way to #1 on next week’s chart with first-week sales that could top 300k.

That’ll be enough to beat Beyoncé’s Dangerously in Love (Columbia), which topped the chart this week with over 331k sold. With the usual second-week settling, one can expect that album to dip to somewhere around the 200k mark.

From this vantage point, Ahanti's number could potentially climb as high as 320k, depending how the album fares through the holiday weekend. So far, she's trailing Beyoncé's last-week numbers at music-retail stores, but beating her numbers at the racks (Wal-Mart, etc.), and the racks traditionally fare better over the Fourth of July weekend.

Ashanti’s eponymous debut for Murder Inc./IDJ, released April 2, 2002, sold 500k in its first week, but had the benefit of being the first “rebated” release under a newly unveiled UMVD “launch pad.”

Chapter II is not being rebated, but even so, some retailers such as Best Buy are still selling it for $9.99.

How do they do it? Oh yeah—toasters, refrigerators, DVD players, washer/dryers, big-screen TVs, home-theater systems, computers, microwave ovens, breadmakers, coffeemakers, jumbo meat freezers...

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