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"Our chart saw some big debuts from Ludacris and Lindsey Lohan, but also the perennials like Eminem, U2 and Shania are seeing huge gains from holiday traffic."
——George Deahl, Hastings
MERRY LUDACRISMAS!!
UMG Grabs Five of Top Six, with Eminem, U2, debuting Lindsay Lohan and Shania Twain
Yo yo yo… Merry XXXmas.

Def Jam South/IDJ rapper Ludacris rides the polar express to the top of the chart this week, as his new album The Red Light District debuts at #1, selling 328k.

Shady/Aftermath/Interscope hip-hop icon Eminem is right behind at #2, with Interscope’s U2 (#3) and debuting Lindsay Lohan’s Casablanca/Universal Speak (#4) giving UMG the top four albums. Mercury Nashville’s Shania Twain landed at #6, enabling the House Doug and Jimmy Built to nab five out of the top six. Capitol’s Now 17 (#5) is the only entry to break the UMG hegemony.

HastingsGeorge Deahl stopped hitting on Kobe Bryant’s wife long enough to boast: "Our chart saw some big debuts from Ludacris and Lindsey Lohan, but also the perennials like Eminem, U2 and Shania are seeing huge gains from holiday traffic."

Columbia/CRG’s Destiny’s Child (#7), WB’s Jay-Z/Linkin Park (#8), DreamWorks Nashville’s Toby Keith (#9) and RCA/RMG’s Clay Aiken (#10) round out the Top 10.

Aside from Lohan, the chart newcomers include J Records/RMG’s Mario (#12) and Roc-A-Fella/IDJ’s Cam’ron (#20).

Several titles experience more than 45% in week-to-week sales gains, topped by Reprise punk vets Green Day, marking a 85% rise and going #23-14 thanks to the hot single, "Boulevard of Broken Dreams."

Added Deahl: "The Grammy nominations also spiked a number of titles, but none more than Green Day whose sales doubled putting them right back in our Top 10. And to celebrate, I’m going to dye my hair green and orange."

Others experiencing sales surges include 143/Reprise’s Josh Groban (#48-40, +74%), Geffen’s Ashlee Simpson (#41-32, +48%, thanks to her live concert on AOL Music), Capitol’s Now 17 (#8-5, +46%), MCA Nashville’s George Strait (#16, +46%) and Buena Vista/Hollywood’s Hilary Duff (#21, +45%).

In all, there are 24 titles that sold more than 100k, and 34 albums showed positive sales gains.

Next week’s chart newcomers should include Amaru/Interrscope’s 2 Pac, Def Jam/IDJ’s Ashanti and Columbia/Sony Urban’s Xzibit.

And just think… there are only 375 shopping days until Christmas 2005.

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