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"Ray Charles’s legend lives on. He has two records with some of the biggest sales of his career."
——George Deahl, Hastings
ANOTHER #1 NOW BOW
Capitol’s Latest Hits Collection Bows with 400k+, With A Perfect Circle #2, As Ray Charles Albums Continue to Sell
The hits and nothing but the hits.

Record buyers responded to the 17th edition of the popular Now series, this one on Capitol, to the tune of 409k+ in first-week sales, making it an easy winner on the HITS Top 50 album chart.

Virgin’s A Perfect Circle, with its politically inspired cover album eMOTIVe, bows at #2, giving EMI the week’s top two albums.

Thanks to the continued box office strength of the Ray Charles biopic, the late soul legend notches a pair of albums in the Top 10, including the Rhino/Atlantic/WMG Soundtracks album, which lands at #7, with an impressive 64% rise. Concord’s posthumous Charles duets album, Genius Loves Company, remains just behind at #8, going over the million mark in albums sold OTC.

Hastings' George Deahl was so impressed, he broke into an impromptu version of "Hit the Road, Jack" before uttering: "It’s an amazing thing to witness the power of such an enormous talent. Ray Charles’s legend lives on. He has two records with some of the biggest sales of his career, his last sessions on one, and his classic songs on the other. His fans want them both and our chart bears that out."

The rest of the Top 10 includes holdovers Fo’ Reel/Universal’s Nelly Suit album (#3), still rolling thanks to the Tim McGraw duet, "Over and Over"; LaFace/ZLG’s Usher (#4), thanks to the Alicia Keys duet, "My Boo"; J/RMG’s Rod Stewart (#5); MCA Nashville’s George Strait (#6); Atlantic/Atl. G’s Trick Daddy (#9), and Lava/Atl. G’s Simple Plan (#10).

TVT’s crunkmasters the Ying Yang Twins are the chart’s other top newcomers, debuting at #13. Capitol’s Relient K (#16) and John Lennon (#25) are next, followed by Virgin’s Rolling Stones live album (#47), Columbia’s Train live album (with lighting by Andrew Lack) and Radioactive’s Live best of (#50).

Double-digit gainers aside from the Ray soundtrack include Epic/Sony Nashville’s Gretchen Wilson (#22-18, +13%) and A&M/Interscope’s Black Eyed Peas (#38-29, +11%).

Next week, look for Aftermath/Interscope’s Eminem, coming out this Friday (11/12) to nail the #1 spot with anywhere between 600k and a million. Expect greatest hits collections from country stars Mercury Nashville’s Shania Twain and DreamWorks Nashville’s Toby Keith, with help from tonight’s nationally televised Country Music Association awards show, to battle it out with Jive/ZLG’s Britney Spears hits collection. And we wait to see if retail jumps the release date on Columbia’s Destiny’s Child (slated Monday, 11/15), Capitol’s Chingy and TVT’s Lil Jon and the Eastside Boyz releases (both scheduled for next Tuesday, 11/16) as to whether those albums also chart.

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