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Fleetwood Mac (Warner Bros.) beat industry expecta-tions, selling 211k and nipping country star/patriot Darryl Worley’s Dream-Works Nashville CD for the #3 spot by just 1,000 units.
IDOL WORSHIP!!!
Fitty, Mac, Worley Debut in Top Four, but It’s All About Kelly Clarkson, Who Nabs #1
Simon Cowell was right all along.

American Idol winner Kelly Clarkson has parlayed TV exposure—plus the hit single “A Moment Like This” and hot new track “Miss Independent”—into huge sales. The singer’s debut release, Thankful (RCA), took the top spot on this week’s HITS Top 50, breaking 300k in the process, following a big, Easter-fueled retail weekend.

Clarkson’s #1 bow was just one of four new releases in the Top Five, including the four highest positions. 50 Cent’s The New Breed DVD-plus-CD package (Shady/Aftermath/Interscope), released just two months after his debut, Get Rich or Die Tryin’, came in at #2 on sales north of 265k. Fleetwood Mac’s Say You Will (Warner Bros.) beat industry expectations, selling 211k and nipping country star/patriot Darryl Worley’s Have You Forgotten? (DreamWorks Nashville) for the #3 spot by just 1,000 units. Worley, you’ll recall, cleverly rhymes “forgotten” with “bin Ladenin the title song. UTV’s Jimmy Buffett greatest-hits collection was the other newcomer in the Top 10 at #9.

Virgin Entertainment Group’s Jerry Suarez, recovering from an overdose of yellow Peeps, attributed the traditional increased traffic of Easter weekend for the upbeat sales. "Kelly Clarkson performed beyond our expectation, and we were real pleased with the 50 Cent DVD/CD package," said Suarez, "while both the Fleetwood Mac and Darryl Worley were solid sellers. Now that’s what I call a resurrection!"

Pete Yorn’s aggressively priced Day I Forgot (Columbia/CRG) made a strong showing as well, moving 75k and bowing at #17.

How big a week was it? It was so big that only seven of the 50 top sellers showed slippage from the week before, and five of those releases were in their second weeks, which almost always means a decline from the debut number.

The biggest percentage gains were registered by Arista’s Avril Lavigne (#19, +70%), Razor & Tie’s Kidz Bop Kidz (#25, +85%) and DreamWorks rockers A.F. I. (#31, +68%).

Other chart newcomers included DreamWorks Nashville’s Jessica Andrews (#35), Walt Disney’s Lizzie McGuire soundtrack (#38), Sanctuary’s Widespread Panic (#47) and Mercury Nashville’s Toby Keith 20th Century Masters compilation (#48).

Next week, get ready for Madonna’s new Warner Bros. album, American Life, coming to a CD player near you.

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