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Next week, look for a pair of American Idol winners in Arista/RMG's Taylor Hicks and J Records' Fantasia, Def Jam's red-hot rapper Young Jeezy, a Geffen greatest hits from Mary J. Blige and J's Tyrese to hit retail as shopping days dwindle down until X-day.
CIARA ON TOP, EMINEM, STEFANI 2-3
LaFace/ZLG Diva Heads Over 300k, Trailed by Em, Gwen
As we head full-on into the teeth of the holiday retail season, LaFace/ZLG soul diva Ciara’s The Evolution, featuring duets with 50 Cent, Lil Jon and Chamillionaire, appears poised to top the HITS album chart next Tuesday.

According to reports from those retailers who haven’t lost our phone number, the total could go as high as 325k, or even higher. The album features producers will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas and the NeptunesPharrell. The Atlanta-based singer’s previous album, Goodies, came out in Sept. ’04, selling 125k its first week on the way to 2.6 million in the U.S.

Eminem returns to the scene with Presents the Re-Ups, a mix album on Shady/ Aftermath/Interscope with pals 50 Cent, Obie Trice, Lloyd Banks, Cashis and the late rapper Proof, who was gunned down earlier this year in Detroit. Based on one-day sales reports, the album should be just shy of 300k, with 290k, give or take.

The Sweet Escape, Gwen Stefani’s eagerly awaited Interscope follow-up to Love.Music.Angel.Baby, her multi-platinum smash, includes the yodeling single, “Wind It Up” and “Early Winter,” a collaboration with Brit-popsters Keane. It looks on target to approach 235-255k. Her Nov. ’04 solo debut bowed with 309k in first-week sales on its way to a total of 3.8m.

Sony Urban/Columbia’s Dreamgirls soundtrack, featuring the film’s stars Beyonce and highly touted newcomer Jennifer Hudson, appears headed for between 100-125k, which will undoubtedly get higher with the film’s limited release in N.Y., L.A. and S.F. next week (Dec. 15) and national roll-out on Christmas Day.

Rapper Lil Scrappy’s Bred 2 Die, Born 2 Live for BME/Reprise, appears to be around 80k, while WB’s veteran soul man Brian McKnight’s Ten, his label debut, could do as much as 50-55k.

Next week, look for a pair of American Idol winners in Arista/RMG's Taylor Hicks and J Records' Fantasia, Def Jam's red-hot rapper Young Jeezy, a Geffen greatest hits from Mary J. Blige and J's Tyrese to hit retail as shopping days dwindle down until X-day.

Overall, the market was down a little over 13% vs. last week, down 5% vs. same week last year and now down between 4-5% year-to-date.

NEAR TRUTHS:
THE CAKE AND
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Marketshare machers. (10/27a)
KDOTTED LINE
A pending deal fro Kendrick. (10/26a)
YTD MARKETSHARE: AND THE WINNER IS...
It's a lock. (10/27a)
CHART STORY: TAY
MAKES IT EIGHT
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ONCE IN A LIFETIME
Vote. Do it now. (10/26a)
RAINMAKERS 2020
Bring your umbrella.
GRAMMY OUTLIERS
Mulling possible surprises.
HALLOWEEN IN QUARANTINE
Why not wear a mask indoors?
ELECTION 2020
What drugs will help us get there?
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