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ONE-DAY SALES:
FAITH, HOPE AND FITTY

50 Cent Has Repelled All Challengers, but This Week He's Dogged by a Pair of Strong Women
Five’ll get you six that 50 Cent continues his uninterrupted run at the top of the sales charts for the sixth consecutive week, so we’re putting our money on the Shady/Aftermath/Interscope hip-hop superstar. But that doesn’t mean Fitty couldn’t be challenged if his sales slip far enough, and the threat is coming from the other side of the gender divide.

Faith Evans had a more than solid first day in the stores Tuesday, as the former Mrs. Biggie Smalls continues to receive a ton of media attention. Consequently, we’re boosting our projection on her Capitol album to somewhere north of 130k units. Will she have a good first week? Yes. Will she challenge the king of the hill? The smart money says no.

Also strutting her stuff is another Capitol female artist, Lisa Marie Presley. Now, while we’re presently expecting sales in 60k-70k range for her album, her TV blitz, which started last and will continue through the course of this one, could cause her album to trend upward from that number...but not far enough to get in Fitty's face.

The week’s dark horse—make that light horse—is gospel artist Donnie McClurkin, whose Verity/ZLG release looks to be headed for a first-week total of around 40k, but the X factor (so to speak) is the passion of the Christian consumer, which could reveal itself in the Christian bookstore sector.

Actually, the business as a whole could use some divine intervention. For the week just passed, the industry was down 15.6%, or 1.9 million units, from Easter week. Even worse, business was off by 18.6% (that would be 2.4 million units) from the comparable week in ’04, when Usher sold 1.1 million in his debut week. Business for the year so far is just north of 145m units, an 8.1% drop-off from last year.

REPUBLIC UPS GOLDSTEIN, ROPPO TO CO-PRESIDENTS
Team Lipman doubles up. (11/26a)
CHART FINAL:
THE BIGGEST BOW
OF THE YEAR
Big numbers for "30." (11/29a)
COUNTRY GRAMMYS' ROOTS ARE SHOWING
Deck the Grammys with boughs of Holly. (11/24a)
THE BRITISH
ARE COMING
Rolling out our U.K. Special print issue (11/24a)
PUTTING THE POP
IN POPCORN
Putting the audio into audio-visual. (11/29a)
TURKEY
Basting.
STUFFING
Stuffing.
YAMS
Candying.
PUMPKIN PIE
Stuffing (in face).
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