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Not that it should surprise anyone, considering the group’s last album, Feels Like Today, remains on the charts this week at #32 after nearly 18 months of release, with cumulative sales over 4 million.

FLATTS GANG UP ON THE CHART

Now 21 Is Runner-Up, Pink, Bubba Sparxx Also Bow in Top 10
 The Gang’s all here.

Lyric Street pop-country giants Rascal Flatts check in with the largest first-week sales total of the year, totaling 714k, good enough for #1 on this week’s HITS Top 50 for Me and My Gang.

Not that it should surprise anyone, considering the group’s last album, Feels Like Today, remains on the charts this week at #32 after nearly 18 months of release, with cumulative sales over 4 million. That should buy Lyric Street’s veteran Nashville cat Randy Goodman several thousand 10-gallon hats, or a fleet of horses, if he so desires.

UTV’s Now 21 keeps its cottage industry alive with sales upwards of 325k, good for #2.

Last week’s chart-topper, Grand Hustle/Atlantic’s T.I. checks in with 177k, landing at #3, while Walt Disney RecordsHigh School Musical continues to sing and dance at #4, up 5% to 172k. Yeah, and we’re going to Disneyland.

LaFace/ZLG’s Pink experiences life after Dead by debuting at #5, selling 127k. Curb’s Tim McGraw lands at #6, with 120k, followed by a large drop-off to Custard/Atlantic’s James Blunt at #7, moving some 64k. Epic’s Shakira is steady as she goes, with Oral remaining a Fixation at #8, proving “Hips Don’t Lie” indeed. Purple Ribbon/Virgin’s Bubba Sparxxx is the week’s other Top 10 newcomer at #9, with ACR/Arista Nashville’s Alan Jackson rounding out the top sellers at #10.

Other chart newcomers include Rhino/WEA’s Queensryche (#11), Warner Bros.Flaming Lips (#13), Capitol’s Poison best-of (#19), Century Media rockers Lacuna Coil (#24), Walt Disney Records’ Disneymania 4 (#25), Universal’s Blue October (#29) and Attack/Sanctuary’s Morrissey (#40).

Double-digit increases are registered by Decca/Universal ClassicsAndrea Bocelli (#18, +17%), Capitol Nashville’s Keith Urban (#38-21, +47%, fueled by CMT award action) and Lyric Street’s other Flatts album (#37-32, +14%).

Next week, look for Show Dog Nashville/Universal’s Toby Keith to come out of the box strong in the 300k+ range, with Warner Bros.Daniel Powter, Def Jam’s LL Cool J, the Capitol Beatles box set and Asylum/Atlantic’s Cam’ron also in stores.

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