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RETAIL SEES GRAMMY WHAMMY
Norah Goes Nuclear, Leads Pack As Award Show’s Sales Mojo Kicks In
Three days after Sunday’s Grammy telecast, music retailers are reporting huge sales increases for award winners and performers, led by the seemingly magical Norah Jones.

Jones’ Blue Note debut, Come Away with Me, began to see heavy action immediately following the awards, with at least one account selling more than double last week’s total in one day. Two days into the seven-day sales window, reports indicate Jones will easily sell over 500k for the week. But if demand holds and stock issues can be resolved, that number could increase sharply.

With a little over 1 million pieces in the marketplace, some accounts are reportedly scrambling a bit for product, but whatever shortages exist are likely to be taken care of quickly. Prognosticators point out, meanwhile, that demand for upper-demo albums such as Jones’ does traditionally trend up over the course of a week, leading some to predict her number could climb as high as 700k before the week is done.

Other big winners in the post-Grammy retail love-fest include the Dixie Chicks, who appear at this point to be likely to at least double their number for last week, meaning Home (Open Wide/Monument/Columbia) will easily post sales in excess of 220k. Also in for a big sales bump is guitar-slinging upstart John Mayer, whose Room for Squares (Aware/Columbia) should also at least double last week’s number. Look for sales in the 80k-100k range.

Also seeing solid sales upticks, though not to the degree of those mentioned above, are Capitol's Coldplay, who should see about a 50% increase to upwards of 70k, and Arista's Avril Lavigne, who could see as much as a 30% increase to over 100k.

Audience favorite Bruce Springsteen could see up to four times last week’s sales, meaning The Rising (Columbia), which moved about 10k last week could move into 40k territory.

About 25 million people watched the first Grammys under new NARAS President Neil Portnow, which amounts to a whopping 31% increase in audience over last year. That increase, which may have had to do with the decision to move the telecast to Sunday, in addition to the Sunday air date allowing for a full seven days of sales before the next chart, are being cited as reasons for the higher-than-usual sales spikes predictors are predicting.

The biggest debut on next week’s chart, meanwhile, looks like it will go to Roc-A-Fella/Def Jam rapper Freeway, whose Philadelphia Freeway could move over 150k if stock problems can be resolved.

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