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While times remain difficult and overall sales continue to struggle, people are still making progress moving the ball down the field, although the progress is more like Ohio State’s old-fashioned three-yards-and-a-cloud of dust strategy than the USC approach of stretching the field and bombing.
I.B. BAD: 2005 NEW ARTISTS SCORE CARD AT THE HALF-YEAR MARK
IGA Leads The Game With Rookie of the Year, Dreamworks Rises Again & Other Emerging Stars

SO WHAT’S NEW IN ‘05? As we pass the halfway point of the year, this seems like the right time to take a look at what labels have accomplished thus far in the new and developing artist arena. While times remain difficult and overall sales continue to struggle, people are still making progress moving the ball down the field, although the progress is more like Ohio State’s old-fashioned three-yards-and-a-cloud of dust strategy than the USC approach of stretching the field and bombing... Here’s how things are shaping up, starting with the biggest breakthrough and using the approximate 200k sales level as a minimum: IGA has itself a budding superstar in The Game, the newest member of Interscope’s hip-hop A-team, who leads all rookies with sales of over 2 million units; on the rock side, DreamWorks’ diligence with Rise Against is beginning to pay dividends as the band reaches the 200k level. Speaking of emerging stars, ZLG has given us a major one indeed with the 2 million-selling Ciara, while Bowling for Soup hits gold. RMG has another big American Idol-spawned winner in Fantasia, who has moved 1.5 million, while Gavin DeGraw is now past gold in his long-term but progressive ascent. Columbia has the greatest number of rookies in play, starting with the amazing John Legend, with 1.3 million in sales and certain Grammy consideration in the offing, and followed by Crossfade at 800k, Il Divo at 700k, Amerie at 300k and the red-hot Anna Nalick at 250k; Epic, meanwhile, has delivered gold-plus for Howie Day and Omarion. The Universal/Motown labels are prolific as well, with Akon and Lindsay Lohan almost simultaneously hitting platinum, Daddy Yankee at 700k and Kem and Mars Volta heading for 400k. Hollywood is on the verge of platinum with both Breaking Benjamin and Jesse McCartney. WMG scores with the patient build of rockers My Chemical Romance at 800k, rapper Mike Jones at 700k out of the box and Pretty Ricky at 250k. IDJ has scored with newcomer Bobby Valentino, who’s nearing 500k, Fall Out Boy growing quickly at 300k and newcomers The Bravery at 200k. Capitol has parlayed Relient K’s Christian base into the pop world at over 300k and building rapidly. As for the indie sector, Victory has Hawthorne Heights at 400k, while Matador’s Interpol is nearing the same plateau. All in all, a solid scorecard... Names in the Rumor Mill: Rob Stevenson, Craig Aaronson, Lee Dennay and James Diener.

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