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CHART PREVIEW:
CELINE SINGS OPRAH
Diva’s Hour of Winfrey Power Keeps
Her Out Front
Celine Dion’s new release, Miracle (Epic), continues to be the front-runner among new releases as the sales reports continue to be tallied, reflecting a mighty boost from her appearance last Thursday on Oprah, during which host Oprah Winfrey gave her the whole hour to talk and perform.

Most artists would foam at the mouth just to get a single segment on the powerful media personality’s show, but getting the whole thing is clearly better, judging from projections for the first-week sales total for Miracle. They nearly doubled after the show, shooting up to almost 100k from initial estimates of 50k-60k. That gives Dion a shot at a Top Five debut.

Meanwhile, Mos Def’s New Danger (Geffen) continues to look like it will come in around the 75k-80k range, making it the likely second-highest chart debut for the week. Also hitting the chart will be Sum 41’s Chuck (Island/IDJ), expected to log 50k-60k, and Duran Duran’s Astronaut (Epic), which could hit 50k.

As for who’ll be #1 this week, it’s still on between George Strait’s 50 Number Ones (MCA Nashville) and Usher’s re-tooled Confessions (LaFace/ZLG). It’s still too close to call, but stay tuned for updates.

Albums hitting the street tomorrow include Rod Stewart’s Stardust...The Great American Songbook Volume III (J/RMG), Jimmy Eat World’s Futures (Geffen), John Mellencamp’s Words & Music hits collection (UTV/UME) and the Ray soundtrack (Rhino/WSM). Early guesses predict that Stewart will move around 200k in his first week, followed by Jimmy Eat World at around 150k, Mellencamp at 100k or so, and Ray at 40k-50k.
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