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"The buzz surrounding the new Jay-Z/Linkin Park mash-up release has been strong and the first-week sales did not disappoint."
——George Deahl, Hastings
JAY-Z/LINKIN PARK TAKE A COLLISION COURSE TO #1
Mash-Up Album Beats Out U2, as Clarkson, Nas, T.I. Bow In Top 10
This Mash is a monster.

Jay-Z and Linkin Park give the old heave-ho to U2 this week, as their Warner Bros. by way of MTV Collision Course debuts at #1 this week, with almost 364k in first-week sales.

U2 is off by almost two-thirds, while Shady/Aftermath/Interscope rap provocateur Eminem hangs in the #3 slot.

The week’s other big newcomer is RCA/RMG American Idol winner Kelly Clarkson, whose sophomore album bowed at #4, ahead of debuts from Columbia/Sony Urban’s Nas (#5) and Atlantic/Atl G rapper T.I. (#6).

Hastings' George Deahl denied taking steroids before proclaiming: "The buzz surrounding the new Jay-Z/Linkin Park mash-up release has been strong and the first-week sales did not disappoint. We can only hope that the future records coming from the new MTV brand will be half as strong. The American Idol brand also just keeps on delivering with another strong Kelly Clarkson release. And as expected, Nas and T.I . show some real muscle as well. And none of them have taken steroids, either, as far as I know."

The rest of the Top 10 is rounded out by Mercury Nashville’s Shania Twain (#7), Capitol’s Now Vol. 17 (#8), Columbia/CRG’s Destiny’s Child (#9) and TVT crunkmeisters Lil’ Jon & the Eastside Boyz (#10).

You have to go down to #25 for the week’s other newcomer in Reprise’s Josh Groban live album, followed by Atlantic/Atl G’s Gerald Levert (#29) and American Gramaphone’s perennial stocking stuffer Mannheim Steamroller (#37).

Another year-end standard, Lava/Atl G’s Trans-Siberian Orchestra is the week’s biggest gainer, posting a +19% rise in sales, followed by Epic/Sony Nashville’s multi-Grammy nominee Gretchen Wilson (#24, +12%).

In all, 17 albums score better than 100k in sales this week.

Next week, look for Def Jam South/IDJ rapper Ludacris to move into the #1 slot, with Casablanca/Universal’s Lindsay Lohan, Roc-A-Fella/IDJ’s Cam’ron and J Records’ Mario in the mix for Top 10 debuts. Also expect sales boosts for Grammy nominees such as Kanye West, Usher, Alicia Keys, Ray Charles, Green Day and Norah Jones, among others.

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