ONE-DAY SALES: ANOTHER
STORY ABOUT NORAH JONES

Sales May Settle, But It’s Still a Second
Norah-rific Week for Million-Selling (but Otherwise Low-Key) Chanteuse
Bookend a sales week with the Grammys on Sunday and Valentine’s Day on the following Saturday, and what to you get? 17,265,000 albums sold.

That number, which includes some 1,027,000 Norah Jones CDs, is the biggest non-Q4 holiday week the industry has seen since counters have been counting, and represents a whopping 35.9% uptick over the previous week, as well as a 24.6% increase over the same week a year ago. Whoa.

Indeed, many are saying there was something magical about the confluence of Grammys, Valentines and Jones: 13 albums on this week’s chart topped 100k in sales, when just a couple of weeks ago, none reached that level. For the year so far, sales are up 13% compared to last year.

As for the current sales cycle in progress, retail observers are saying it’s likely we’ll see the market give back 25% percent or more this time around, since it simply can’t maintain such a torrid pace. Gosh, it’s neat when retailers use terms like “torrid pace.”

Nevertheless, that still spells major #1 dominance for Jones, whose Feels Like Home (Blue Note) was the first million-plus debut in a single week since NSYNC’s Celebrity logged 1.9 million in July 2001. While Jones’ album is expected to sell roughly half of its “torrid” first-week figure, that’s still around 500k. As MC Hammer might have said, “Cain’t touch this.”

Similarly, Roc-A-Fella/IDJ’s Kanye West, is likely to see a second week at #2 even if his sales—449k last week—fall by 50%. That still leaves almost 225k, and that’s still a very big number.

As for debuts on next week’s chart, look for Jive’s Eamon to jump in with I Don’t Want to Give You Back. According to early reports from national accounts, the Staten Island rapper is on track to sell 75k-80k.

Now if you’ll excuse us, we need to go find out what “torrid” means.
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