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ONE-DAY SALES: NEW ALBUMS, SINGLES STIR IT UP!

Luther, Radiohead Going Fast; American Idol Singles Kicking Major Booty
A note to our reader: Some days, there’s just so much actual information to convey that there’s no time for needless hooey, silliness or other fiddle-faddle.

This is one of those days, so here goes (we’re sure you’re shocked):

R&B superstar Luther Vandross, still critically ill after suffering a major stroke, is very evidently on the minds of his many fans, as his Dance With My Father (J Records), released yesterday, is selling at a rapid clip.

The album should end up selling over 300k for the week, according to early reports from national accounts, and could go as high as 330k. A tribute to Vandross on Oprah airing Thursday could potentially push sales even higher.

J had shipped nearly 700k copies of Dance... prior to Tuesday, and shipped another 300k in reorders yesterday.

The album’s big start means it could quite possibly contend for #1 on next week’s chart, depending on how Metallica’s St. Anger (Elektra) holds up as it completes its first full week of sales. Some accounts are predicting that it will fall by 30%, which would put Vandross within striking distance, but at this point it’s still too early to tell.

Meanwhile, Radiohead’s much-anticipated Hail to the Thief (Capitol) is having a great first week by any account. After one day of sales, the album looks like it will approach 250k for the week, with plenty of stock in the marketplace.

Other albums making a splash after being released yesterday include Joe Budden’s eponymous collection on Def Jam, which appears headed for a 100k week and could go as high as 125k. George Strait’s rack-driven Honkytonkville (MCA Nashville), meanwhile, could go as high as 150k.

But albums aren’t the only things cranking up the sales this week: Two new American Idol singles are clicking like crazy with record buyers.

Idol winner Ruben Studdard’s “Flying Without Wings” b/w “Superstar” (J) is on track to approach 250k units for the week.

Keep in mind that the #1 single in the nation usually sells about 4k to 5k in a week.

But the big surprise is runner-up Clay Aiken’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water” b/w “This Is the Night” (RCA), which is shredding even winner Studdard’s numbers and looks like it will sell 250k and possibly go as high as 300k.

For reference, Kelly Clarkson’s “A Moment Like This” sold 236k in its first week.

Looks like Idol worship is alive and well.

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