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"OutKast continues to be one of the biggest breakthrough records of the last year. They have taken it to the next level and should be a real force come the Grammy Awards."
——Tony Bazemore, AEC One-Stop Group
KAST AWAY!
Arista’s Grammy-Nominated Rap Duo Rules Again, as Grammy Nominees Cracks Top Five

The top of this week’s chart is the same as it ever was.

That means Arista’s OutKast is once again the winner, besting A&M/Interscope’s Sheryl Crow, though for the second consecutive week, no album topped 100k, the first time that’s happened since 1994.

AEC One-Stop Group’s Tony Bazemore took some time out from mourning the breakup of Jen and Ben to observe: "OutKast continues to be one of the biggest breakthrough records of the last year. They have taken it to the next level and should be a real force come the Grammy Awards."

BMG Entertainment’s 2004 Grammy Nominees album was the top newcomer at #5, finishing behind Wind-up’s Evanescence (#3) and Columbia/CRG’s Now Vol. 14 (#4).

The rest of the Top 10 includes J RecordsRuben Studdard (#6), Interscope’s No Doubt (#7), 143/Reprise’s Josh Groban (#8), DreamWorks Nashville’s Toby Keith (#9) and J Records’ Alicia Keys (#10).

Double-digit sales gains were registered by Evanscence (+10), Jive’s Britney Spears (#11, +13%), G-Unit/Interscope’s G-Unit (#13, +13%), Roadrunner/IDJ’s Nickelback (#14, +18%), DTP/Capitol’s Chingy (#16, +23%), Columbia/CRG’s Jessica Simpson (#17, 21%), Octone/J Records’ Maroon 5 (34-22, +21%), Cash Money/Universal’s Juvenile (35-23, +21%), Elektra/EEG’s Jet (41-29, +32%) and Motown’s Michael McDonald (45-35, +11%).

Other chart debuts included Island/IDJ’s Fefe Dobson (#40).

The big news on next week’s chart will be Atlantic/Atl G rapper Twista, who is showing surprising strength in the marketplace and is set to debut at #1. And Blue Note chanteuse Norah Jones readies her eagerly anticipated sophomore effort, Feels Like Home, on Nov. 10, two days after the Grammy Awards.

Added Bazemore: "It’s hard not to look forward to the upcoming Norah Jones release. It’s two weeks in front of the street date and the buzz is already louder than Howard Dean’s Iowa concession speeech."

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