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ONE-DAY SALES:
50 CENT MINTS NEW #1
Opposites Attract Sales as Clarkson, Mac, Worley Also Come on Strong
Here’s a cure for your post-tax-day hangover: 50 Cent’s making change for the music biz.

Change for the better, that is, as the Shady/Aftermath/ Interscope rapper’s The New Breed appears likely to sell nearly 300k in its first week, according to early reports from national accounts.

Interest in the new title’s out-of-the-box blast is high because it’s a new-concept DVD plus CD combo (as opposed to CD plus bonus DVD), packaged and merchandised as an album, and it comes just two months after 50 Cent’s huge debut, Get Rich or Die Tryin’. The early numbers for New Breed signal that it will be an easy #1 on next week’s chart.

Or will it? As we file this story, another big debut is in the making: American Idol winner Kelly Clarkson’s Thankful (RCA)—the polar opposite of 50 Cent’s gritty rhymes in its made-for-TV pop lushness—also hit the streets yesterday and appears headed for sales of as much as 250k for the week. Our retail accountants tell us it would be unwise to rule out the possibility that a big Easter weekend for Clarkson and a little tailing-off on the 50 Cent could turn it into a two-way horserace for #1 by the end of the week.

We’re not saying it’s likely, we’re just trying to itemize the possible scenarios for you. Are we taxing your patience yet?

Strong early returns are also coming in for another pair of new albums with opposing viewpoints: Fleetwood Mac’s Say You Will (Warner Bros.), with its decidedly anti-war “What’s the World Coming To” is on track to sell over 150k for the week, while Darryl Worley’s Have You Forgotten (DreamWorks), with its decidedly they-had-it-coming title track also appears likely to sell over 150k.

Other titles you should expect no penalty for having interest in include Jimmy Buffet’s Meet Me in Margaritaville hits collection (UTV) looks like it could threaten 100k before its all said and done, while Pete Yorn’s The Day I Forgot is on track to do well over 50k, thanks to an aggressive pricing program which has seen Best Buy, Circuit City and Target taking big deductions on the album’s $12.99 list price and selling it for $5.99.

Now get back to filing that extension before the audit man cometh. Oh! Ohhhhhhhhhhhh!!!

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