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"Certainly, Linkin Park did everything we’d hoped it would and more. And Celine Dion once again confirms her status as one of the premier divas in the business."
——Best Buy’s Lon Lindeland
PARK PLACE!!!
Debuts Drive a Sizzling Sales Week, as Celine Generates Heat
Look, up in the sky. It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s Meteora

That flash of light wasn’t a falling star but a rising one, folks, as more than 830,000 rap-rock fans were thinkin’ Linkin, as in Park, this week. The Warner Bros. band’s sophomore album hit retail with the force of a…well, a meteor this week, blazing into the top spot on the HITS Top 50 album chart.

Following in its wake was Epic’s designated diva, Celine Dion, whose #2 bow was gassed up by a CBS primetime special, her Chrysler TV ad campaign and the premiere of her Las Vegas extravaganza.

Best Buy’s Lon Lindeland took time out from playing Rene Angeli in a friendly game of blackjack to boast, "Certainly, Linkin Park did everything we’d hoped it would and more. And Celine Dion once again confirms her status as one of the premier divas in the business. Next to me, that is."

There were three other newcomers in the Top 10, with Capitol’s Now 12 landing at #3, Motown soul crooner Brian McKnight making a U Turn to roll in at #7 and Roc-A-Fella/IDJ’s Cam’ron proteges Diplomats at #10. Cash Money/Universal’s Hot Boyz and Epic’s repackaged B2K finished close behind, bowing at #12 and #15, respectively.

Lindeland was happier than NBC was to get Peter Arnett off the air, raving: "In spite of the nation being glued to their TVs, many still made it out to buy some good music. There was a lot to choose from aside from Linkin and Celine, with Brian McKnight, the Now 12 compilation, Diplomats, Hot Boyz and B2K. And my favorite record of the year hits the streets today in The White Stripes. Hey, if Jack and Meg White are really brother and sister, I’m Jerry Suarez."

The Top 10 also included Shady/Aftermath/Interscope hip-hop icon 50 Cent (#4), Epic’s Chicago soundtrack (#6, and up 30% after its Oscar triumph), Wind-up’s Evanescence (#8) and Jive’s R. Kelly (#9).

Other chart newcomers included Motown’s 702 (#35) and Capitol’s newly reissued SuperAudio CD version of the Pink Floyd classic Dark Side of the Moon (#44).

Aside from Chicago, double-digit increases were registered by Universal’s 3 Doors Down, (up 17%, 37-30) and DreamWorks Nashville pro-war rabble-rouser Toby Keith (+23%, 43-33).

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