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CHART PREVIEW: UNPLUGGED GIVES KEYS A JOLT

Semi-Acoustic Interlude Album Makes Change for Nickelback
As the retail ballot boxes continue to be emptied and counted at HITS election central this morning, it appears that, as predicted, Alicia Keys’ powerful Unplugged (J Records), the first disc to reintroduce the renowned MTV series, will carry the #1 spot on this week’s Album Chart.

As of last week, the Keys album was powering past 185k and looked as if it might hit the 200k mark before the week was out. That forecast gave it enough momentum to easily overtake last week’s #1 stunner, Nickelback’s All the Right Reasons (Roadrunner/IDJ), assuming the usual second-week settling of around 50%, which would put that album at around 160k on this week’s chart.

This week’s second-highest chart debut looks like it will come from Gary Allan’s Tough All Over (MCA Nashville), which is likely to finish just shy of 100k. Sure, that’s one Tough act to follow (someone had to say it), but follow it Ricky Martin will, as his latest effort, Life (Columbia), zeroes in on sales upwards of 75k, aided by strong numbers out of Puerto Rico.

Also debuting on this week’s chart are rockers Sevendust, whose Next (Winedark/Fontana) looks like it will end up in the 55k-65k range, and Story of the Year, whose In the Wake of Determination (Maverick) trailing with an anticipated first-week of 50k-55k.
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