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"It seems like ‘So Sick’ appeals to a very broad base and has been huge for a while. And it certainly didn’t hurt that they decided not to release the single to iTunes in front of the release of the record.”
—-Violet Brown, Wherehouse/Trans World, on Ne-Yo

NE-YO ON THE GO-GO!

Def Jam/IDJ Songwriter Sees His Artist Debut Bow at #1, Hawthorne hits Heights at #3, while Oscars, DVDs Fuel Cash Projects
He’s written a chart-topping hit for Mario and now he has one of his own. Sick, ain’t it?

Def Jam/IDJ songwriter-turned-performer Ne-Yo scales the charts this week as In My Own Words proves the year’s top debut, with more than 305k in first-week sales, fueled by huge multi-format airplay on the single, “So Sick.”

Wherehouse/Trans World’s legendary Violet Brown had a reason to take our calls for the first time in months: “I haven’t felt a record this strong since the week of Christmas when Jamie Foxx and Mary J. Blige were released. It seems like ‘So Sick’ appeals to a very broad base and has been huge for a while. And it certainly didn’t hurt that they decided not to release the single to iTunes in front of the release of the record.”

That was more than enough to beat the second-place finisher, Walt Disney RecordsHigh School Musical, which landed at #2 with 121k in sales, a 14% boost over the previous week.

Victory’s Hawthorne Heights are anything but Lonely at #3, debuting with a more-than-respectable first-week total of 111k, with the single getting ready to cross to CHR. ACR/Arista Nashville country superstar Alan Jackson’s gospel album, Precious Memories, bowed with 100k at #4.

Oscar buzz and DVD sales spikes helped Island/IDJ’s I Walk the Line: The Legend of Johnny Cash to a #5 finish and a 100% boost to 81k. Meanwhile, Wind-up’s Walk the Line original motion picture soundtrack saw a 168% boost to 57k and a #11 berth.

The rest of the Top 10 includes Geffen’s Mary J. Blige (#6), Brushfire/Universal’s Jack Johnson & Friends Curious George soundtrack (#7), Arista/RMG’s Carrie Underwood (#8), Custard/Atlantic’s James Blunt (#9) and Decca/Universal ClassicsAndrea Bocelli (#10).

Atlantic’s Kid Rock debuts on the chart at #12 with his Live Trucker album, the only other newcomer to the Top 50.

Aside from High School Musical and Carrie Underwood (+17%), other double-digit gains are registered by A&M/Interscope’s Pussycat Dolls (#25-19, +21%) and Motown/Universal’s Madea’s Family Reunion soundtrack (#26-21, +15%).

Next week, look for Atlantic’s New Orleans rapper Juvenile, Or Music/Epic’s Matisyahu, with his major-label studio debut Youth, and Columbia’s David Gilmour of Pink Floyd fame, to crack the upper regions of the chart.

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