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R. Kelly’s initial total of over half a million will place him at # 1 and edge him past rapper 50 Cent (Shady/Aftermath-Interscope), who has held the top spot for two consecutive weeks and has sold 1.6 million units so far.
WEEK IN PREVIEW: FANS GET FIX OF CHOCOLATE FACTORY
Despite Controversy, New R. Kelly Album Doing Huge Numbers
It looks like R&B fans aren’t ready to convict R. Kelly at the cash register.

Despite the fact that he faces child pornography charges in two states, Kelly’s long-delayed new album, Chocolate Factory (Jive), appears likely to sell between 500k-600k in its first week of release, according to early reports from national accounts.

The album is being driven by smash single "Ignition," which has found a huge radio audience despite the controversy surrounding Kelly.

Kelly’s initial total of over half a million will place him at No. 1 and edge him past rapper 50 Cent (Shady/Aftermath/Interscope), who has held the top spot for two consecutive weeks and has sold 1.6 million units so far.

Jive’s initial shipment of the Kelly album was 850k, and there are now more than 1.1 million in the streets.

Also hitting the streets this week was the DMX-driven Cradle 2 the Grave soundtrack (Bloodline/Def Jam/IDJ), which also features Eminem, 50 Cent, Clipse, Baby and Fat Joe, among others. The soundtrack will likely sell upward of 100,000 and could finish close to the Top Five. The record’s release is a full two weeks ahead of the movie’s 2,500-screen opening.

Watchers are intensely watching the effects of this year’s shift of the Grammy Awards to Sunday and what affect, if any, it will have on sales. This is the first year that a full-post-Grammy week will be taken into account.

Look for Norah Jones to capitalize on her impressive, eight-for-eight Grammy sweep, with huge gains expected for her Album of the Year, Come Away With Me (Blue Note).

A HOLLY, JOLLY
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EGGNOG!
Ours is mostly bourbon.
MISTLETOE!
Delicious in salads.
CHESTNUTS!
Ours are roasting, but it could be these slim-fit jeans.
WEED!
An entire Christmas tree made of it. Is what we want for Christmas.
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