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"Also of note was the successful debut of John Legend, which came out on the unusual streetdate of Dec. 28. That gamble seems to have paid off."
——Kevin Hawkins, Tower Records
EMINEM RINGS IN 2005
WITH A #1 ENCORE
Rapper Returns to #1, Green Day Explode at #2, John Legend Debuts #7
Talk about Moshing in the new year.

Eminem’s Encore is 2005’s first #1 album, consolidating its year-end gains into a chart-topping first week.

The Shady/Aftermath/Interscope album also finishes 2004 as the third biggest-selling disc of the year, with a total of 3.3 million, behind only LaFace/ZLG’s Usher and Blue Note’s Norah Jones.

Reprise’s Grammy-nominated punks Green Day ride the coattails of their hit single, "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" into a #2 finish, with just under 200k in sales. They are joined in the Top 5 by #3 WMG project Jay-Z/Linkin Park giving newly re-signed WB chief Tom Whalley two more reasons to smile.

In all, post-holiday business was off 50% from the week before, which is normal, but still didn’t bring much cheer to retailers hoping for a quick start to 2005.

The rest of the Top 10 includes TVT’s Lil’ Jon and the Eastside Boyz (#4) and Interscope’s 2Pac (#6), giving Jimmy Iovine’s label two of the Top Six. Columbia/Sony Urban’s John Legend, the week’s only newcomer and the first signing to Kanye West’s Getting Out Our Dreams imprint (#7), Usher (#8), Capitol’s Now 17 (#9) and Columbia/CRG’s Destiny Child (#10), with Messrs. Botwin and Walk nabbing two of the Top 10, round out the list.

Tower’s Kevin Hawkins preferred to look at the glass as half-full… of a bubbley Moet left over from New Year’s Eve. "The holidays were definitely kind to perennials like Eminem, U2, 2Pac and the Jay-Z/Linkin Park mashup. But the single largest winner of the season was Green Day with a huge fan reaction to their massive radio hit. Also of note was the successful debut of John Legend, which came out on the unusual streetdate of Dec. 28. That gamble seems to have paid off."


Geffen’s Snoop Dogg leads the best of the rest at #11, followed by RCA/RMG’s Kelly Clarkson (#12), Mercury Nashville’s Shania Twain (#13), Interscope’s Gwen Stefani (#14) and The Inc./IDJ’s Ashanti (#15).

Other notable showings include Island/IDJ’s Killers (#22), Reprise’s My Chemical Romance (#29), Motown/Universal’s Mannie Fresh (#37) and Sony Classical’s Phantom of the Opera soundtrack (#42).

Aftermath/G-Unit/Interscope rapper The Game’s debut, slated for release on Jan. 18, looks like it will be the first hit album of the new year.

ANOTHER BILLIE BANGER? (UPDATE)
Are you free Wednesday afternoon? (11/12a)
BIEBER BY CHRISTMAS?
How's that for a tease, Bieber Nation? (11/12a)
NEAR TRUTHS: MEET
THE NEW BOSSES
Not the same as the old bosses (11/12a)
CMA CENTERPIECE
CARRIE UNDERWOOD
This sure feels like her moment. (11/12a)
WHO'S GETTING ZERVAS?
It's down to two bidders. (11/12a)
THE GRAMMY NOMINATIONS
They'll soon be here, and then we can start obsessing about who'll win.
U.K. SPECIAL
Forget Brexit--it's our yearly survey of doings in Blighty. And if you still can't forget Brexit, try drinking.
ZERVAS STATION
Who's going to land the hottest unsigned property in music?
WEED!
That's what Hollywood smells like. Seriously. 24/7.
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