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“Let’s not overlook some big stories on records that are continuing to sell, like the Killers,
Jack Johnson and Green Day.”
——George Deahl, Hastings

50 CENT'S MARCH SALES MADNESS

Now 18 Hits a Long 2, Jack Johnson Makes Waves, the Killers Are Comers
Look who’s on top of the HITS Top 50 Albums chart again this week If the chart was a tournament, 50 Cent would be the #1 seed and the favorite to win it all. So far in 2005, the Shady/Aftermath/Interscope rapper is way ahead in total sales, as he racks up another 365k and change this week for a three-week total of 2.3 million-plus. In another down year, he’s one artist who can get people off their computers and into the stores.

Revealingly, 50 Cent’s closest rival is his protégé, labelmate and sometime rival The Game—he’s #5 on the week—which makes it pretty obvious that Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre know what they’re doing.

Fitty’s so dominant that it takes a dozen and a half artists to come close to him. They’re gathered on Epic’s Now 18, which becomes the week’s highest debut after selling 337k. The other Top 10 bow was made by Baby Bash (Universal), whose 51k total was good enough for #9. Yup, there was a precipitous drop-off after the two top sellers.

Said HastingsGeorge Deahl, jingling the change in his cargo-pants pocket, “As expected, 50 Cent delivered another week of impressive numbers.  The Now 18 compilation proved once again what a sturdy brand they’ve created, with a solid debut.  But let’s not overlook some big stories on records that are already out and continuing to sell, like the Killers, Jack Johnson and Green Day.”

Right you are, George. Brushfire/Universal’s Johnson is making the biggest early splash of his career, as his three-week-old album hangs 10 at #3, thanks to another 102k sales. And ’bout them durn Killers (57.5k, #8)? The Vegas rockers’ Island debut made it into the Top 10 last week, a full nine months into release, and it looks like it’ll be lodged there for some time to come, as second single “Mr. Brightside” gains strength. And Reprise’s Green Day (#4, 73k) is taking on evergreen status.  

Yes, there were 10 records in the Top 10 this week. Here are the others: RCA/RMG’s Kelly Clarkson (#5), Epic cover girl Jennifer Lopez (#7) and G.O.O.D./Columbia/Sony Urban’s John Legend (#10). Bowing in the Top 20 were #17 Miranda Lambert (Epic Nashville) and #19 Brooke Valentine (Virgin).

Coming next week, Queens of the Stone Age, Frankie J, Tweet and Trace Adkins.

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