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"The biggest trending record of the week had to be Celine Dion following her appearance on Oprah."
——Jerry Suarez, Virgin Entertainment Group
STRAIT TO THE TOP!
Strait and Usher Are 1-2, Dion, Mos Def, Sum 41 Bow Top 10 and Nelly’s Suit Takes Off
The country singer topped the soul crooner once again.

MCA Nashville superstar George Strait adds another #1 for his 50 Number Ones album, once more turning back the challenge from LaFace/ZLG’s repackaged Usher disc.

Debuts include Epic’s Celine Dion (#4), thanks to her hour-long Oprah appearance, Rawkus/Geffen’s Mos Def (#5) and Island/IDJ punk-rockers Sum 41 (#10), which crack the Top 10 in their first week.

The rest of the Top 10 holdovers include Fo’ Reel/Universal rap icon Nelly’s Suit (#3), Buena Vista/Hollywood starlet Hilary Duff (#6), Epic’s Good Charlotte (#7), Reprise’s Green Day (#8) and Curb’s Tim McGraw (#9).

Other Top 50 newcomers include Epic’s Duran Duran (#17) and BMG Heritage’s Alabama Ultimate 20 #1 Hits album (#46).

Virgin Entertainment Group's Jerry Suarez, while pondering his presidential vote for Pat Paulsen, was sanguine about the results: "A solid week of sales on quite a few new releases. Duran Duran and Mos Def topped our chart and Sum 41 had a good week. But the biggest trending record of the week had to be Celine Dion following her appearance on Oprah. Also Nelly’s Suit is seeing a huge surge behind the Tim McGraw duet."

The resurgent Nelly Suit album leads the gainers with a 21% boost, fueled by big airplay on the McGraw collab. Island/IDJ’s The Killers are next, moving #42-25 with a 14% climb, thanks to two separate cuts on the radio. RCA’s Velvet Revolver sees a 7% gain, rising #37-26, with a spate of live and TV appearances as well as a hit single, "Fall to Pieces."

Other positive digits come from McGraw (+5%), Vector/Flavor Unit/A&M’s Queen Latifah (#19, +4%), Geffen’s Guns N’ Roses (#46-40, +4%), Blackground/Universal’s JoJo (#48-43, +3%) and Geffen’s Ashlee Simpson (#18, +2%). Nelly’s Sweat (#12) and A&M/Interscope’s Black Eyed Peas (#40-32) are both up 1%.

Streeting this week and expected to debut at the top is the third edition of Rod Stewart’s Great American Songbook on J Records, with Interscope’s Jimmy Eat World also expected to be in the mix.

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