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while Foxx has a nationally televised NBC prime-time special scheduled for airing tonight featuring chart rival Mary J. Blige and Stevie Wonder, among others, sources say a 30% sales boost from his total last week of just under 100k is unlikely, even with the added exposure.

CAN POPERA SAVE THE MUSIC BIZ?

Desultory Start for Industry Enlivened by Il Divo, Who Could Grab #1 Spot from Jamie Foxx
Could two tenors, a baritone and a vox populi be the answer to the music industry’s doldrums?

Il Divo’s Ancora (Columbia), which just streeted yesterday, is on target to score 130k in first-week sales, making Idol maker Simon Cowell’s discovery an odds-on favorite to unseat Jamie Foxx’s resilient Unpredictable. And while Foxx has a nationally televised NBC prime-time special scheduled for airing tonight featuring chart rival Mary J. Blige and Stevie Wonder, among others, sources say a 30% sales boost from his total last week of just under 100k  is unlikely, even with the added exposure.

MCA Nashville’s Josh Turner comes out of nowhere, as country artists usually do, with sales of 100-110k or so for Your Man, the follow-up to his successful 2003 gospel country album debut, Long Black Train.

Capitol’s Yellowcard looks like a go for sales of over 80k with Lights and Sounds, their sophomore album after the platinum-plus success of Ocean Avenue.

UTV’s Now #1’s should trail slightly behind in the 70-80k range, with Atlantic Christian rap-rockers P.O.D.’s Testify in the 50k plus-or-minus, God willing, range. Sony BMG’s 2006 Grammy Nominees album, a strong collection, will be in the 45-50k area.

Unfortunately, even these debuts aren’t enough to put a salve on the ailing music biz, which tries to right itself with a Q1 release schedule seemingly devoid of anything capable of firing up the marketplace.

Year-to-date sales are up, but pretty negligible at 1.6% over 2005, which is a scant 468k more albums sold than last year at this time. Sales on the week just ended were up a piddly 88k units compared to last week, and down a mere 77k compared to last year, despite the fact that in ’05, The Game debuted at #1 with 586k, which is nearly as much as the entire Top 10 did for the same week this year (as Roger Friedman chillingly pointed out in his Fox News column today). Total sales for the week were 9.4 million, bringing the less-than-grand total for the year to 30.3 million.

Is there any end to the drought in sight? Hey, it’s not over until the skinny, good-looking metrosexuals sing.

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Adele; Adele Adele?
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A... dele?
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Adele Adele; Adele.
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(Adele.)
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