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"Even in a soft marketplace like we have right now, OutKast continues to deliver. They have really caught the public imagination in a profound way. It’s the rare one-of-a-kind release that takes on a life of its own."
——Kevin Hawkins, Tower Records

OUTKAST BACK IN!

Atlanta Rap Duo Returns to #1 Over Sheryl Crow, No Doubt, Alicia Keys, Josh Groban
You can’t keep a coupla good men down.

Atlanta hip-hop superstars Andre 3000 and Big Boi returned to the top of the charts after a one-week layoff, as Arista’s OutKast maintained its pre-Grammy momentum by once again grabbing the #1 slot.

Unfortunately, no album topped the 100k sales mark, the first time that’s occurred on the album charts in almost a decade, Feb. 27, 1994, when Mariah Carey’s Music Box held that dubious distinction by selling 91.6k.

Tower RecordsKevin Hawkins took some time out from being interviewed for the Michael Jackson jury to comment: "Even in a soft marketplace like we have right now, OutKast continues to deliver. They have really caught the public imagination in a profound way. It’s the rare one-of-a-kind release that takes on a life of its own. They're even funkier than John Kerry."

A pair of still-smoldering Interscope greatest hits entries, A&M’s Sheryl Crow (#2) and No Doubt (#3) followed, with J RecordsAlicia Keys (#4) and 143/Reprise’s Josh Groban (#5), last week’s first-place entry, rounding out the Top Five.

Columbia/CRG’s Now Vol. 14 (#6), DreamWorks Nashville’s Toby Keith (#7), J Records’ Ruben Studdard (#8), Wind-up’s Evanscence (#9) and Roc-A-Fella/IDJ’s Jay-Z (#10) made sure there were 10 records in the Top 10 this week.

The week’s highest-ranking newcomer was Columbia/CRG’s WWE Originals album (#12), which featured your favorite wrestlers singing, which is almost as good as hearing them shout down their opponents.

Jive’s Britney Spears album was one of three albums to show positive sales trends this week at #13, up 5% on the strength of her new single, "Toxic," and typically salacious video. Sales for Jay-Z and Arista Nashville’s Alan Jackson (#11) were both up 2% over the previous week.

Also new to the HITS Top 50 were Rhino’s Keith Sweat best of (#31) and V2 turntable aces The Crystal Method (#32). Returning to the charts were Octone/J Records’ Maroon 5 (#34), J Records’ Rod Stewart with his first Great American Songbook (#43), Motown’s Michael McDonald (#45), Geffen’s Puddle of Mudd (#46), Atlantic/Atl. G’s Kid Rock (#49) and Daylight/Epic’s Good Charlotte (#50).

And while this week’s release schedule is light, look for BME’s Grammy nominees album, Atlantic/Atl. G’s Twista and Epic’s Keb Mo the following week (1/27). The year’s first big releases will come the week after that, with BNA/RCA Nashville’s Kenny Chesney, Epic’s Incubus and Columbia’s Five for Fighting all hitting the streets on Feb. 3. Blue Note’s eagerly awaited sophomore effort from Norah Jones, Feels Like Home, hits the following Tuesday (2/10) after the Grammy awards.

REVENUE CHART:
RAINING CATS & DOGS
Starring Doja Cat, Nipper and Ms. Larry David (5/13a)
RECORDING ACADEMY LOCKS IN HARVEY MASON JR. AS CEO
Meet the new boss, same as the old boss. (5/14a)
TIME TRAVELING
WITH CLIVE (UPDATE)
Beam us up, Uncle Clive. (5/13a)
ROCK HALL INDUCTEES:
NEW & OVERDUE
Todd gets in. Finally. (5/13a)
KG's HOT ALT SUMMER
She also reviews the best outdoor Bluetooth speakers. (5/13a)
RHYTHM, BLUES AND THE FUTURE
The musical tapestry we know as R&B.
WHO'S NEXT?
Predicting the next big catalog deal.
JUST THE VAX, MA'AM
Once we all get vaccinated, how long before we can party?
WORLDWIDE GROOVE
How is globalization bringing far-flung territories into the musical mainstream?
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