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"There seems to be no end in sight for Usher’s dominance, with three multi-format singles powering his record."
——Kevin Hawkins, Tower Records
USHER RUSHES BACK IN
D12 Drops Back to Second, while Mother’s Day Boosts Sales for Norah Jones, Josh Groban, Diana Krall and Patti LaBelle
The fall of the house of Usher lasted just one week.

The LaFace/ZLG soul superstar climbed back into the top spot after a one-week absence as Shady/Interscope’s D12 dropped to #2. Previously, Usher had spent five straight weeks at #1.

Tower’s Kevin Hawkins formed a naked pyramid to announce: "There seems to be no end in sight for Usher’s dominance, with three multi-format singles powering his record."

Jive/ZLG’s Petey Pablo was the week’s biggest newcomer, slamming into the #3 spot with 119k in sales for his sophomore effort, Still Writing in My Diary…

Mother’s Day sales were responsible for the biggest sales boosts, as Blue Note chanteuse Norah Jones climbed back to #4 with a 77% uptick, while 143/Reprise’s Josh Groban soared 18-7, thanks to a whopping 105% rise and 81k sales for Closer. Verve’s Diana Krall (#8), BNA’s Kenny Chesney (#13, +36%) and a debuting Patti LaBelle (#16) on Def Soul/IDJ also experienced a Mother’s love.

Added Hawkins: "Petey Pablo had a sweet first week of sales, but the real story was the Mother’s Day boost that records like Norah Jones and Josh Groban received. That reminds me. I forgot to call my moms…"

The rest of the Top 10 included Island/IDJ’s still-growing Hoobastank (#5, +15%), Bad Boy/Universal’s Mario Winans (#6), Capitol’s Now 15 (#9) and NPG/Columbia’s Prince (#10, even without the "non-traditional" sales from venue giveaways included).

Other chart newcomers included Curb’s American Idol finalist Kimberly Locke (#14), BMGE’s Totally Hits 2004 (#17), BMG Heritage’s Carly Simon collection (#24), MCA Nashville’s Lee Ann Womack greatest hits (#27), Republic/Universal’s Flaw (#28), Island/IDJ’s Lionel Richie (#43) and Epic’s Los Lonely Boys (#48).

Major sales increases of more than 20% were also registered by J/RMG’s Alicia Keys (#20, +28%), Capitol’s Keith Urban (#31, +40%), Arista Nashville’s Alan Jackson (#32, +52%), DreamWorks Nashville’s Toby Keith (#41, +22%) and Blue Note’s Norah Jones’ debut (#42, +40%).

Next week, look for Epic/Sony Nashville’s Gretchen Wilson to be the biggest debut, along with Bad Boy/Universal’s 8Ball & MJG and DreamWorksShrek 2 soundtrack.

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