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"Spectacular first-week for Britney. She has silenced the doubters. She’s a big star and people really like her. She’s America’s head cheerleader."
——Bob Bell, Trans World/Wherehouse

TRUE BRIT!!!

Britney Tops the Chart, Blink-182 Finishes #3, While the Fab Four Go Naked at #5
Forget your turkey, cranberry sauce, chestnut stuffing, pumpkin pie and all the trimmings.

Save your appetite for Britney Spears, whose new Jive album, In The Zone, is more filling than all of them, debuting this week at #1 with a whopping 605k+ in sales. That’s a lotta drumsticks, folks.

Trans World/Wherehouse’s Bob Bell, denying he was the role model for Bad Santa, said: "Spectacular first-week for Britney. She has silenced the doubters. She’s a big star and people really like her. She’s America’s head cheerleader."

Spears was one of three newcomers in the Top Five, with Geffen’s Blink-182 (#3), clocking 318k in sales, and Apple/Capitol legends The BeatlesSpector-less reworking of Let It Be…Naked at #5, topping 268k.

Added Bell: "With all of the new pop-punk bands out now, some people might have questioned Blink 182’s relevance. But I think that they’ve proven to be the fathers of that genre, and the kids do still care."

As for the Fab Four, Bell opined: "These guys are good. I think with a good radio story, this band could be around for a while."

The rest of the Top 10 included G-Unit/Interscope’s G-Unit (#2), Roc-A-Fella/IDJ’s Jay-Z (last week’s #1, now at #4), Columbia/CRG’s Now Vol. 14 (#6), 143/Reprise’s Josh Groban (#7), Amaru/Interscope’s Tupac (#8), DreamWorks Nashville’s Toby Keith (#9) and Arista’s OutKast (#10).

Other chart newcomers include Epic’s embattled Michael Jackson (#13), RCA’s Dave Matthews Band Live (#14), Bad Boy/Def Soul/IDJ’s 112 (#19), WB’s Linkin Park Live (#20) and Red Hot Chili Peppers (#21), Epic’s Korn (#22 and rush-released last Friday), MCA Nashville’s Reba McEntire (#25), Curb’s Leann Rimes (#27), Universal’s Timbaland & Magoo (#33), Atlantic/Atl G’s Tori Amos (#34), Daylight/Epic’s Cyndi Lauper (#36) and Blue Note’s Al Green (#50).

Double-digit increases were registered by Arista Nashville’s Alan Jackson (19-15, +57%), DTP/Capitol’s Chingy (+44%), Roadrunner/IDJ’s Nickelback (30-22, +11%), Columbia/CRG’s Harry Connick Jr. (36-32, +36%), WB’s Linkin Park (+18%), Wind-up’s Evanescence (+26%), Columbia/CRG’s Beyoncé (40-30, +11%), Blue Note’s Norah Jones (+20%) and J RecordsLove, Actually soundtrack (+20%).

Next week, it’s all about GM/Elektra/EEG’s Missy Elliott, DreamWorksNelly Furtado, Interscope’s Enrique Iglesias and Flip/Geffen’s Puddle of Mudd.

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