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"Even though Usher will have another huge week nationally, Janet edged him for the #1 slot here. It seems to prove once again that there is no such thing as bad publicity. Also, it doesn’t hurt that she’s a bona fide superstar. She should be sticking around for quite a while."
——Kevin Hawkins, Tower

USHER NIPS JANET AT TOP

Columbia/Sony Urban’s Lil Flip, Columbia’s Aerosmith, So So Def/ZLG’s J-Kwon and Reprise’s Eric Clapton All Bow in Top 10
Super Bowl or no Super Bowl, even Janet Jackson couldn’t stop Usher’s momentum this week.

The LaFace/ZLG soul sensation nabbed the top spot for the second week in a row, with 470k in sales, as Janet’s Damita Jo bowed in the #2 spot, with 384k.

Tower RecordsKevin Hawkins adjusted his bustier and gushed: "Even though Usher will have another huge week nationally, Janet edged him for the #1 slot here. It seems to prove once again that there is no such thing as bad publicity. Also, it doesn’t hurt that she’s a bona fide superstar. She should be sticking around for quite a while."

Columbia/Sony Urban’s Lil Flip (#4), Columbia/CRG’s Aerosmith (#5), So So Def/ZLG’s J-Kwon (#6) and Reprise’s Eric Clapton (#7) all debuted in the Top 10, which also included holdovers Capitol’s Now 15 (#3), Blue Note’s Norah Jones (#8), Geffen’s Guns N’ Roses (#9) and Wind-up’s Evanescence (#10).

Added Hawkins: "Lil Flip did well out of the box and we did great numbers with the two blues releases from Aerosmith and Eric Clapton. In fact, I just squeezed a lemon and the juice is running down my leg, thank you very much."

Other chart newcomers included DreamWorks Nashville’s Tracy Lawrence (#18), Columbia/Sony Urban’s DJ Kayslay (#19), Legacy’s Bob Dylan Live 1964 (#34), Capitol Nashville’s Keith Urban (#38) and Warner Bros.Music From the O.C. Mix 1 (#49).

Double-digit gains were registered by Island/IDJ’s fast-moving Hoobastank (+21%), fueled by airplay for "The Reason," LaFace/ZLG’s still-strong OutKast (+10%) and Warner Bros.’ Linkin Park (+12%).

Next week, Sanctuary’s Blondie and Capitol’s Dilated Peoples should hit the bottom half of the chart in an otherwise slow week. In fact, things don’t start picking up steam until Bad Boy/Universal’s Mario Winans hits April 20, while the following week, Shady/Interscope rappers (and Eminem’s Detroit homies) D12 will break out huge with their new album, D12 World, already garnering pop airplay for the single, "My Band."

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