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"Clay Aiken continued to see huge sales this week. But the Rod Stewart standards collection came on strong. After his Oprah appearance, sales exploded."
——Kevin Hawkins, Tower Records
CLAY-ROD RULES!!
Clay and Rod Give Clive's RCA/J a 1-2 Punch, Eagles, Loon, Barenaked Ladies Bow in Top 10

Clive Davis is equally at home with Idols as he is Icons.

The RCA Music Group guru grabs the top two slots on this week’s HITS Top 50 with a pair of personal projects in #1 Clay Aiken and #2 Rod Stewart, who provide the label with a potent one-two punch of spiky-haired crooners as they both top the 200k mark. The Stewart album is the second in his Great American Songbook series, with the first volume re-entering at #46.

Tower RecordsKevin Hawkins loves both Clay and Rod, but really lusts after Oprah Winfrey. "Clay Aiken continued to see huge sales this week. But the Rod Stewart standards collection came on strong. After his Oprah appearance, sales exploded. We were forecasting it to do well, but this was way beyond any expectations."

Elektra/WSM’s The Eagles greatest hits package bowed at #3, with Bad Boy/Universal’s Loon (#7) and Reprise’s Barenaked Ladies (#9) the other Top 10 newcomers.

Added Hawkins: "The Eagles greatest hits package was a nice surprise. It took complete advantage of a big TV campaign and the fans came out in droves. Though I’m still waiting for the Don Felder solo album."

Arista’s OutKast (#4), Def Jam South/IDJ’s Ludacris (#5), Columbia/CRG’s Jagged Edge (#6), Arista’s Dido (#8) and Buena Vista/Hollywood’s Hilary Duff (#10) were the chart holdovers.

Other debuts included T.U.G./Elektra/EEG’s Marques Houston (#13), Epic’s Mandy Moore (#14), Drive-Thru/Geffen’s Something Corporate (#22), Atlantic/Atl G’s Rush (#23) and Blue Note’s Van Morrison (#32).

Double-digit gains were registered by Motown/Universal’s Michael McDonald (+11%), still riding the strength of his MCI TV spot; Shady/Aftermath/Interscope’s 50 Cent (+10%) and Flip/Elektra/EEG’s Staind (+15%).

Next week, RCA’s The Strokes go for chart gusto, while next Tuesday’s release slate is filled with superstars like Arista’s Sarah McLachlan, Murder Inc./IDJ’s Ja Rule, Atlantic’s P.O.D., DreamWorks Nashville’s Toby Keith, J RecordsWyclef Jean, Lost Highway’s Ryan Adams and TVT’s Default.

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