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“It’s great to finally be seeing so many releases hitting the streets."
—-George Deahl, Hastings

T.I. IS KING OF THE WORLD

Atlanta Rapper Registers First 500k+ Sales Week of Year, McGraw #2, Ghostface, Zombie, Atreyu Also Bow in Top 10
His King is chart royalty.

Atlanta rapper T.I. proves the fourth time’s the charm, as his new Grand Hustle/ Atlantic album, King, debuts at #1 on the HITS chart with the highest first-week total of the year, 531k. His WB movie ATL bowed at #3 at the box office over the weekend, making it a double-barreled display for the hip-hop vet.

Tim McGraw’s Greatest Hits Vol. 2 (Curb) lands at #2, with 232k in sales, giving WMG the first two spots on the album chart, topping Walt Disney Records’ still-surging High School Musical soundtrack, which came in at #3 with 164k in sales.

Def Jam/IDJ’s Ghostface Killah (#4) and Geffen’s Rob Zombie (#5) finish in the Top 5 with six-figure sales weeks the first time out, followed by Epic’s Shakira. Her re-released Oral Fixation Vol. 2 album is back up to #6, thanks to the inclusion of the smash single “Hips Don’t Lie,” featuring Wyclef Jean, which they performed together on last week’s American Idol.

Custard/Atlantic’s James Blunt (#7) and Universal’s Prince (#8) are holdovers from last week’s Top 10, while Victory’s Atreyu, bowing at #9, gives outspoken label chief Tony Brummel two albums in the Top 50 with Hawthorne Heights at #43.

Interscope’s Yeah Yeah Yeahs notches the week’s other top debut at #12, with a larger-than-expected 54k in sales. Other chart newcomers include Universal Republic kraut-rockers Rammstein (#40) and Epic’s jamming The Fray (#45).

HastingsGeorge Deahl awakened from a slumber that began in 1999 to emote: “It’s great to finally be seeing so many releases hitting the streets. A huge debut at #1 for us with T.I., but also joining him in our Top 10 were Tim McGraw, Rob Zombie, Atreyu and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Just call this the no-spin zone.”

Aside from High School Musical, which is up 7%, other strong sales increases are registered by ACR/Arista Nashville’s Alan Jackson (#10, +10%), RCA/RMG’s Kelly Clarkson (#27-21, +9%), Fueled by Ramen’s Panic! at the Disco (#30-24, +9%) and Reprise’s Michael Buble (#38-34, +13%).

Lyric Street’s Rascal Flatts tops the list of albums that hit the streets on Tuesday and, at presstime, the country-pop band is eyeing a year’s best 700k in first-week sales, followed by UTV’s Now  21, La Face/ZLG’s P!nk and Virgin’s Bubba Sparxxx, all looking to bow in the Top 10.

Added Deahl: “This week promises another truckload of promising new releases, especially Rascal Flatts, which looks like it’s going to be a monster.”

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