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“It’s nice to see so many titles hitting. The fourth quarter is off and running."
——Hastings' George Deahl

YEE-HAW! GRETCHEN WILSON'S ALL JACKED UP AT #1

Sheryl Crow, Three Six Mafia, Toni Braxton, Lil' Kim and Sean Paul All Debut in Top 10
Well, shee-it, Jethro! Can anyone shout “Hell, yeah!!”? ‘Cause it’s little surprise that everyone’s favorite Redneck Woman Gretchen Wilson tops this week’s chart with her sophomore Epic Nashville release. The Doritos-eatin’-while-shoppin’-at-WalMarts/Paris Hilton-hatin’ gal sold 255k to secure the top slot.

Only six debuts in the Top 10 this week versus seven during the previous two weeks, but all Top 5 spots are dominated by new releases: A&M/Interscope’s Sheryl Crow—or the soon-to-be Mrs. Lance Armstrong (as we at HITS like to call her)—is #2, with 137k, while Sony Urban/Columbia’s Three 6 Mafia follow an offer they can’t refuse, hitting #3, with 134k. Toni Braxton (Blackground/Universal) scores #4, with 114k, and Lil’ Kim (Atlantic/Atl G) begins her prison term at #5, with 109k.

Roc-A-Fella/IDJ’s Kanye West drops three slots (yet another Karl Rove trick?) to #6, with 107k, while VP/Atlantic’s Sean Paul is this week’s sixth Top 10 debut, at #7, with 102k. The bottom of the Top 10 is rounded out by: Reprise’s Disturbed, who still aren’t calling themselves Well Adjusted despite selling 92k; Island/IDJ’s Bon Jovi following up being Oprah-fied at #9, with 87k, and A&M/Interscope’s Black Eyed Peas at #10, with 77k.

Other notable debuts: Reprise’s Neil Young just missing the Top 10 at #11, with 61k; Geffen’s Bloodhound Gang at #21, with 38k; Curb’s Wynonna at #25, with 36k; Sire’s Him at #28, with 32k (no word yet on how his friend Her did), and Lost Highway/IDJ’s Ryan Adams hitting #36 by selling 28k copies of the 50th or 51st album he’s released this year.

“It’s nice to see so many titles hitting,” says HastingsGeorge Deahl. “The fourth quarter is off and running. Gretchen, Sheryl, Three 6 Mafia, Sean Paul, Neil Young, Lil Kim, Toni Braxton, Him and Bloodhound Gang all had solid first-week sales. And Nickelback and a slew of other heavies are hitting the street this coming week.”

Watch next week for debuts from the aforementioned Nickelback, Franz Ferdinand, Kirk Franklin, Sara Evans, Shinedown, Twista, Fiona Apple and Melissa Etheridge.

NEAR TRUTHS:
DEVELOPING STORIES
The kids are almighty. (8/3a)
LEADING OFF:
RON’S BIG RUN
Not your father's Columbia (8/3a)
ON THE COVER
Happier days are here again. (8/3a)
AN AUGUST HITS LIST
Look at the guns on these giants. (8/3a)
GRAMMY CHEW: SEEING BIEBER
It's high time for Justice in the Academy. (8/3a)
NEW & DEVELOPING ARTISTS
From tender shoots to mighty oaks.
MARKETSHARE MANIA
Let's do the numbers.
DELTA VARIANT
It is not the name of a Henry Miller novel.
IS IT TIME FOR ANOTHER ROCK STORY?
Could be. Dunno.
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