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WEEK IN PREVIEW: USHERING IN A NEW CHART-TOPPER

Could Usher’s New Album Hit the Million Mark?
Call it Confessions of an R&B mind, as Usher is the one to follow this week. Thanks to the monstrous single “Yeah,” featuring Ludacris and Lil’ Jon—which is getting spun more often than Condoleezza Rice’s 9/11 commission story—and second single “Burn, ” Usher’s Arista set could top one million in first-week sales.

That’s a lot of reasons to say “Yeah.”

Especially since no artist has sold a million records in a debut week in, like, forever. If it seems like about a month and a half ago that Norah Jones crossed the million mark, it was. So it’s fitting that Usher will take her spot at #1 on the Album Chart where she’s been since her debut week.

Also debuting big this week is the Now Vol. 15 (Capitol) which appears headed for 350k, the greatest hits of Guns n Roses (Geffen) at 175k, Bad Boy/Universal’s Carl Thomas looking like around 140k, and N.E.R.D. (Virgin) at around 110k.

In the 40-50k range will be The Vines (Capitol), Master P (Koch), Knocturnal (Elektra), Cypress Hill (Columbia) and Pastor Troy (Universal.) Keep checking the Building Album Charts every five minutes or so just to make sure. Something could have changed while you were on the phone, so check again.

But that’s not all kids, Janet Jackson, who was on the halftime show at the Super Bowl or something, hits the streets with her new record on Tuesday. She makes her return to CBS tonight on The Late Show with David Letterman, though she odds are she won’t flash Letterman the way Courtney Love did on her recent appearance.

In addition to Janet, hitting the racks Tuesday are new discs from J-Kwon (So So Def/ZLG), Aerosmith (Columbia), Eric Clapton (Reprise), and Michael Buble (143/Reprise). Hell yeah.

A STAR-SPANGLED
HITS LIST
It's now or never. (7/1a)
BST HYDE PARK: BIGGER THAN EVER
It's the U.K. equivalent of July 4 fireworks. (7/1a)
SADDLE UP:
BEYONCÉ UNVEILS RENAISSANCE ART
She's not horsing around. (7/1a)
SONG REVENUE: DRAKE TAKES
THE CAKE
The rich get richer. (7/1a)
UMG ACQUIRES ALL THINGS ZAPPA
Who's gonna "Freak Out" over this acquisition? (7/1a)
SUPERSTAR RELEASES
Who's next?
MUSIC BIZ SPECIAL
It's Comic-Con for numbers geeks.
THE BIG CHEESE
Theories of evolution from 30,000 feet.
THE NEXT GIANT DEAL
A&R in overdrive.
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