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Jones edged out four other nominees—five-timer Arista sk8te-punk priestess Avril Lavigne, Eminem’s Shady/Interscope/ UMG Strx. 8 Mile soundtrack, RCA diva Christina Aguilera and Open Wide/Columbia/ CRG’s Dixie Chicks—for the top spot.
UP, UP & AWAY!!
With the #1 Album and Multiple Grammy Nods, Norah Jones Has Officially Arrived
It was a good week to be Blue Note jazz/blues chanteuse Norah Jones.

Not only did the sultry Texas-born daughter of legendary sitar player Ravi Shankar grab a field-leading total of eight Grammy nominations for her best-selling album Come Away With Me, the record also climbed to the top of the HITS Top 50 for the first chart of 2003.

The album’s been among the nation’s top sellers since its release last February, but this is the first time it has reached #1 and it appears, with this week’s Grammy boost, that there’s no end in sight.

Jones edged out four other nominees—five-timer Arista sk8te-punk priestess Avril Lavigne, Eminem’s Shady/Interscope/UMG Strx. 8 Mile soundtrack, RCA diva Christina Aguilera and Open Wide/Columbia/CRG’s Dixie Chicks—for the top spot, as sales overall came down to earth after the year-end rush. Only four titles topped the 100k mark, led by Jones’ 129k.

The Top 10 was rounded out by Epic’s Jennifer Lopez (#6), Jive’s Justin Timberlake (#7), Mercury/IDJ’s Shania Twain (#8), Eminem’s The Eminem Show (#9) and UTV’s Now 11 (#10).

Grammy nominees just out of the Top 10 included Goldmind/Elektra’s Missy Elliott (#11), Fo’ Reel/Universal’s Nelly (#12) and the late Blackground/Universal diva Aaliyah (#13), who showed marked gains coming out of the holidays. The fourth quarter was also kind to such rap icons as Amaru/Tha Row/Interscope’s 2Pac (#14), Columbia/CRG’s Nas (#15), Roc-a-Fella/IDJ’s Jay-Z (#20) and Murder Inc./IDJ’s Ja Rule (#21).

And while Grammy voters might have snubbed 143/Reprise’s Josh Groban, the young tenor still landed at #17, thanks to strong end-of-year sales, while Epic punkers Good Charlotte parlayed blanket MTV and radio play into a #18 finish.

Career-spanning compilations from Virgin’s Rolling Stones (#16) and RCA’s Elvis Presley (#19) were gifts of choice, as was J’s Grammy-nominated Rod Stewart album of classic covers (#22) and Capitol’s Paul McCartney live CD (#31).

Other Grammy nominees showing sales strength included American/Columbia/CRG’s System of a Down (#23), Aware/Columbia/CRG’s John Mayer (#25), Arista’s Santana (#26), Republic/Universal’s Three Doors Down (#27), WB’s Faith Hill (#29), UTV’s Elton John (#33), Capitol’s Coldplay (#35), Arista’s Pink (#39), Interscope/Island’s U2 (#44) and Roswell/RCA’s Foo Fighters (#50).

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