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"It was so encouraging this week to have so many titles debuting with strong sales."
——Rick Galusha, Homers
DMX IS CHAMP!!
A Perfect Circle, Erykah Badu, Bubba Sparxxx, Sheek Louch and Thursday Join Rapper With Top 10 Bows
With all due respect to Eminem, 50 Cent, Jay-Z and OutKast, DMX is the heavyweight hip-hop Champ.

His new Def Jam/IDJ album, Grand Champ, bows at #1 this week, with 310k-plus in sales, his record-setting fifth straight debut at the top of the charts since his initial effort, It’s Dark and Hell is Hot, bowed there in May ’98.

DMX was just one of six newcomers to this week’s Top 10, which included Virgin’s avant-rockers A Perfect Circle (#2), Motown’s neo-soul diva Erykah Badu (#3), Beat Club/Interscope’s hick-hopper Bubba Sparxxx (#7), Universal rapper Sheek Louch (#8) and Victory/Island emo band Thursday (#9).

HomersRick Galusha was so ecstatic, he immediately agreed to give UMG every endcap in his stores: "It was so encouraging this week to have so many titles debuting with strong sales. DMX had a predictably big first week. He has become a true superstar. It was also great to see A Perfect Circle’s new release fare so well. They’ve apparently avoided the sophomore jinx. And Erykah Badu’s fan base showed up in force for her new EP. We also saw big numbers on Thursday’s major label debut and Bubba Sparxxx’s new release."

Last week’s #1, Aware/Columbia/CRG heartthrob John Mayer (#4), Buena Vista/Hollywood teenpop queen Hilary Duff (#5), Columbia/CRG soul sensation Beyoncé (#6) and Arista Nashville cowboy Alan Jackson (#10) were Top 10 holdovers.

Counting Buena Vista/Hollywood, UMG distributed six of the Top 10 albums this week.

Other chart newcomers included TVT’s Ying Yang Twins (#11), fresh off their recent collaboration with Britney Spears; DreamWorks emocore outfit Saves The Day (#25); Columbia/CRG Rock Hall of Famer David Bowie (#27); Capitol’s Steve Miller greatest hits CD (#43); A&M old-school punks MxPx (#45) and Michael McDonald’s sizzling Motown collection (#48), which is being driven by the MCI commercial featuring his cover of "Ain’t No Mountain High Enough."

Octone/J Records’ up-and-comers Maroon 5 continued to show legs, with a #42-30 chart jump and a 29% sales increase.

Next week, the Q4 games begin in earnest with RCA’s Dave Matthews, Arista’s OutKast, Flip/Interscope’s Limp Bizkit, Roadrunner/IDJ’s Nickelback, Shady/Aftermath/Interscope’s Obie Trice, Jive’s R. Kelly best of, Epic’s Fuel and Gloria Estefan, Universal's Baby Bash and Murphy Lee, Geffen's Rob Zombie greatest hits and RCA’s Vertical Horizon all headed for the charts.

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