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"The holiday really paid off for a number of titles this week, not the least of which was Norah Jones. There just doesn’t seem to be any end to America’s appetite for Norah."
——Amazon.com’s Kevin Hawkins

THE GIFT OF NORAH

Jack Johnson, Isleys Make Waves, but This Week’s Chart Was Fueled by Mothers’ Day Shoppers Who Gave the Nod to Jones
Call it a mutha of a sales week.

Just as Norah Jones was good to her mother when she was growing up, Mothers’ Day weekend was good to the grown-up Jones. The low-keyed young singer/pianist became a sensation primarily because of the adult audience, which has come through for her once again, making Jones’ multi-platinum debut album, Come Away With Me (Blue Note) this year’s gift of choice for Mom. It’s also the #1 album on the HITS Top 50 sales chart—with a mother of a sales increase at 55%.

Amazon.com’s Kevin Hawkins, admitting he still lives with his mom, whom he keeps stuffed in the basement, said: "The holiday really paid off for a number of titles this week, not the least of which was Norah Jones. There just doesn’t seem to be any end to America’s appetite for Norah. You could say they’re Jonesing for her. Or not."

Norah’s latest rise to the top of the chart was contested right to the end by a pair of debuts: the Isley BrothersBody Kiss (DreamWorks), which finished #2, just 2.5k behind Jones, and surfer dude Jack Johnson’s On and On (Moonshine Conspiracy/Universal), who hit the pipeline to the tune of 125k for a strong #3 showing. A third debut, Maverick’s soundtrack to the hotly anticipated Matrix Reloaded, zoomed into the #7 spot.

Added Hawkins: "The Matrix soundtrack had a nice debut and should only grow as the movie explodes at the box office this week. Of course, I’ve already downloaded the film."

Also receiving sizable "gift lifts" from the big weekend were the venerable Cher’s Very Best of Cher (WSM), which went #5-4 on a 33% sales increase, and Diva Las Vegas Celine Dion, who moved up a slot to #9 while notching a 37% gain.

Last week’s #1, Shady/Aftermath/Interscope’s 50 Cent, dropped to #5.

Showing continued strength were Wind-up coed band Evanescence (#6, + 12%), Disney’s Lizzie McGuire Movie soundtrack (#7, +33%), and WB veterans Fleetwood Mac (#13, +4%), while RCA’s two American Idol releases, Kelly Clarkson and Season Two, finished at #10 and #11, respectively.

Below the Top 20, double-digit increases were registered by a half-dozen records, including Epic’s Chicago soundtrack (#27, +22%), WSM’s James Taylor best-of (#30, +27%), Jive’s Justin Timberlake (#34, +11%) and Aware/Columbia’s John Mayer (#35, +23%).

Next week, look for Nothing/Interscope ghoul Marilyn Manson to contend for the top spot, with Flip/Elektra’s Staind and Maverick’s Deftones cranking up a week later.

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