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"OutKast and Dave Matthews both sold way above our expectations, and our expectations were very aggressive on both."
—Tony Bazemore, Alliance Entertainment One-Stop Group

KAST AWAY!!!

Arista's OutKast Leads a Group of Seven Debuts In Top 10
Christmas came early for the record industry this year.

The top seven albums are all new to the chart, topped by Arista rap duo OutKast’s Speakerboxx/The Love Below double-CD, which copped #1 with an impressive sales total of more than 509k.

RCA’s Dave Matthews was the runner-up, with more than 475k, followed by Flip/Interscope’s Limp Bizkit (#3), Shady/Aftermath/Interscope Emimen protégé Obie Trice (#4), Jive soul superstar R. Kelly (#5), Roadrunner/IDJ’s Nickelback (#6) and Universal rapper Murphy Lee (#7).

Alliance Entertainment One-Stop Group’s Tony Bazemore celebrated by voting for Gary Coleman for Governor of California, then immediately recalled the following quote: "This was by far the biggest slate of releases of the year. Just fantastic. OutKast and Dave Matthews both sold way above our expectations, and our expectations were very aggressive on both. Limp Bizkit fans were obviously coming out in droves. Two new rap artists did well as Obie Trice from Eminem’s crew and Murphy Lee from Nelly’s camp both had great debuts. R.Kelly’s hits package also fared nicely."

For the first time since late last year, every album in the Top 10 sold more than 100k, rounded out by a trio of former chart-toppers in Def Jam/IDJ’s DMX (#8), Aware/Columbia/CRG’s John Mayer (#9) and Buena Vista/Hollywood’s Hilary Duff (#10).

Geffen’s Rob Zombie, with a combination CD/DVD greatest hits package bowed just outside the charmed circle at #11. Other newcomers included Epic’s Fuel (#15), Pantera’s Rhino best-of (#22), Universal’s Baby Bash (#29), Epic’s Gloria Estefan (#39), So So Def/Arista’s Anthony Hamilton (#42), Arista’s Aretha Franklin (#46) and Curb’s Totally Country Vol. 3 (#50).

Major gains were posted by Sony Soundtrax’s The Fighting Temptations soundtrack (#29-21, +50%), Michael McDonald’s Motown album (#48-36, +32%), which continued to benefit from exposre of "Ain’t No Mountain High Enough" on the ubiquitous MCI phone TV commercial and Arista Nashville’s Alan Jackson (#14-10, +18%).

Next week, make way for RCA Nashville’s Martina McBride, Arista’s Dido and A&M/Interscope’s Sting, while Def Jam South’s Ludacris album will street as the first superstar album to boast UMG’s new $12.98 MSRP.

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