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"OutKast had another very solid week to stay at #1 with us. I truly believe that it’s going to sell throughout the holidays."
——Storm Gloor, Hastings
OUT IS STILL IN!!
Da Band, Dido, Sting, Martina McBride Are Top 10 Newcomers
It was no time to think out of the Boxxx this week.

Arista rap duo OutKast’s Speakerboxxx/The Love Below hung on to the top spot for the second week in a row, holding off a determined bid by P. Diddy to grab his second straight #1 album at Universal with Bad Boy’s Da Band, which finished #2. Not bad for a two-disc set.

HastingsStorm Gloor denied he was a weatherman in a past life to observe: "OutKast had another very solid week to stay at #1 with us. I truly believe that it’s going to sell throughout the holidays. Bad Boy’s Da Band was a nice surprise. We thought it was going to do well, but it really surpassed all of our expectations."

It was pretty close, but Big Boi and Andre 3000 doubled their pleasure this week, as three other newcomers crashed the Top 10 in addition to Da Band—Arista U.K. thrush Dido (#3), A&M/Interscope Jaguar pitchman Sting (#4) and RCA Nashville cowgirl Martina McBride (#7).

Added Gloor: "Dido’s follow-up release had a strong first week and Sting fans showed up in force to buy his new record. Both of those titles also should do very well for months to come. And I could use a few good stocking-stuffers, believe me."

The rest of the holdovers included RCA’s Dave Matthews (#5), Flip/Interscope’s Limp Bizkit (#6), Jive’s R. Kelly (#8), Shady/Aftermath/Interscope’s Obie Trice (#9) and Aware/Columbia/CRG’s John Mayer (#10).

While you’re at it, tip a hat to Interscope’s Jimmy Iovine for scoring three in the Top 10 with Sting, Limp Bizkit and Obie Trice.

Columbia/CRG’s Bette Midler was the other big winner of the week, as her tribute to the late song stylist Rosemary Clooney landed a #15 debut. Other newcomers to the Top 50 included MCA Nashville’s Gary Allan (#19) and RoadRunner/IDJ’s Ill Nino (#27).

Double-digit gains were registered by Universal’s 3 Doors Down (+12%) and TVT’s Kings of Crunk Lil Jon and the Eastside Boyz (34-26, +20%).

Def Jam South/IDJ rapper LudacrisChicken N Beer hits the streets this week, and look for an impressive debut, spurred on as the first major release under UMG’s new pricing policy. Also on tap, Elvis: 2nd to None, yet another BMG Heritage release featuring more of the King’s greatest hits, which should nail the #2 slot.

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