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Next week, gangsta rapper DMX makes his Sony Urban/Columbia debut with The Year of the Dog Again, which looks like it could grab the #1 shot.

LETOYA’S A SOUL SURVIVOR

Ex-Destiny’s Child Member Debuts at #1, Pharrell Bows #2, Petty #4 and Jurassic 5 #14
The heat is on. Even if Mel Gibson’s father insists we’ve never existed.

Capitol Records R&B diva LeToya proves there’s life after Beyonce, as the former Destiny’s Child member scores a #1 album with her self-titled debut, thanks to the hit single, “Torn,” scoring 170k in sales.

Star Trak/Interscope producer/performer/songwriter extraordinaire Pharrell cops the second slot with his solo album, In My Mind, which moved 154k copies in its first week in stores.

Well, at least there’ll be something to talk about at NARM besides the weather and the silk shirt Mark Pearson wore on Solid Gold during his appearance with the Nielsen-Pearson Band.

Veteran Tom Petty is the other Top 10 newcomer, finishing #4, with his new American/WB solo effort Highway Companion selling 97k.

The holdovers include Sony Music Group’s Now 22, finishing #3, boasting a still-impressive total of 147k, along with Downtown/Atlantic’s Gnarls Barkley (#5), Lyric Street’s Rascal Flatts (#6), Disney’s High School Musical (#7), Def Jam/IDJ’s Rihanna (#8), A&M/Interscope’s Pussycat Dolls (#9) and Geffen’s Nelly Furtado (#10).

Other chart newcomers include Interscope’s L.A. conscious rappers Jurassic 5 (#14), Sony BMG Nashville’s Jake Owen (#31) and Elektra/WSM’s Sammy Hagar & the Wabos (#46).

Roadrunner/IDJ’s Nickelback is the big gainer of the week, moving #14-12 on a solid 18% increase, with WB’s Red Hot Chili Peppers (#16, +7%), Aftermath/Interscope’s Busta Rhymes (#27, +8%) and Island/IDJ’s Johnny Cash hits compilation (#48-40, +7%) also showing upward mobility.

MCA Nashville’s Josh Turner (#28), Geffen’s Mary J. Blige (#41), Virgin’s 30 Seconds to Mars (#44) and Jive/ZLG’s Three Days Grace (#48) all mark their returns to the Top 50.

Next week, gangsta rapper DMX makes his Sony Urban/Columbia debut with The Year of the Dog Again, which looks like it could grab the #1 shot. If he doesn’t get arrested between now and then. Or maybe even if he does.

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