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MADONNA'S BACK AT #1 WITH HER "CONFESSIONS"
Carrie Underwood, Big & Rich and Green Day Other Big Debuts, With Mariah Making a Huge Jump
Well, yesterday it still looked like a battle between the divas for the Top 3 spots—but then one of them danged cowboy hats got in the way and claimed #3. Nevertheless, Madonna—who some of you may have heard of before—still took the #1 spot, debuting with 344k sold of her new Warner Bros. release. Just behind her at #2 is Arista/RMG’s Carrie Underwood, who sold 303k—and should probably continue to kick booty in the weeks ahead, thanks to her multi-format appeal. Besides, Jesus rides beside her (but does he ever buy any gas?). Claiming the #3 spot is that aforementioned cowboy hat—BNA’s Kenny Chesney, who sold 184k (that should buy a lot of new hats) and, like many country stars this week, reaped the benefits of last week’s CMAs.

Mariah Carey jumps from #16 to #4, thanks to a new expanded “Platinum Deluxe” edition—now there’s a concept!—of her Island/IDJ disc selling 183k. That’s a 370% sales spike, for those of you keeping track. The compilation that just keeps on giving, UTV’s Now That’s What I Call Music 20, comes in at #5, with 165k. And the Shady/Aftermath/Interscope soundtrack to 50 Cent’s Get Rich Or Die Tryin’ flick is #6, with 165k.

The next two spots are held by debuts—Warner Bros. Nashville’s Big & Rich (one’s big; both are rich) at #7, with 148k, and a live ‘un from Reprise’s Green Day at #8, with 97k.

Rounding out the Top 10’s last two positions are Roadrunner/IDJ’s Nickelback at #9, with 89k, and the purdy Martina McBride (RCA Nashville) jumping from #12 to #10, with 79k and a 65% sales spike. Gotta love them CMAs.

Other notable debuts include Epic’s Ginuwine (but is he awthentic?) at #12, with 77k; Columbia’s Bruce Springsteen—you may have heard of him, too—at #14, with 58k of his Born To Run repackage; TVT’s Pitbullgrrrr....—at #28, with 41k; Mailboat’s Jimmy Buffett at #41, with 28k; a new Alanis Morissette “best of” at #42, with 27k; and Wind-Up’s soundtrack to the excellent new Johnny Cash film bio at #50, with 23k.

Watch for debuts next week from System of a Down, Juelz Santana (no relation), John Mayer Trio, Chamillionaire, Scott Stapp, Reba McEntire and Enya.

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GRAMMY NOMS
Who deserves consideration in the genre categories?
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