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Sales were up throughout the chart after a lively Mother's Day shopping weekend.

AN EPIPHANY AT THE TOP

Chrisette Michele Edges Hannah Montana, Ciara for #1, Ben Harper Bows Top 10
The top of the chart experiences an Epiphany this week.

Def Jam/IDJ soul diva Chrisette Michele debuts at #1 in one of the tightest three-way races in memory, with a mere 2,000 pieces separating her from the two runners-up.

Disney’s Hannah Montana: The Movie soundtrack remains ensconced at #2 with 81k, followed by LaFace/JLG Saturday Night Live performer Ciara’s Fantasy Ride, which bows at #3 with a little less than 81k.

Lyric Street’s Rascal Flatts (#4) and Big Machine’s Taylor Swift (#5), with an impressive, nearly 50% jump, round out the Top 5. Sales were up throughout the chart after a lively Mother's Day shopping weekend.

Virgin’s Ben Harper & the Relentless7 effort White Lies for Dark Times is the week’s other top debut, landing at #9, with last week’s chart-topper, Columbia legend Bob Dylan’s Together Through Life (#6), Interscope’s Lady Gaga (#7), Def Jam/IDJ’s Rick Ross (#8) and Chop Shop/Atlantic’s Twilight soundtrack (#10) completing the upper echelon.

Ferret Records Christian anti-materialist, metal-core band Devil Wears Prada (#13) top the remaining chart newcomers, which include Hickory RecordsElliott Yamin (#25), Columbia’s operatic Britain’s Got Talent alum Paul Potts (#32), UMe’s Yusuf Islam (the Artist Formerly Known as Cat Stevens) at #40 and Varese Sarabande’s Star Trek soundtrack (#50).

WB’s Seal (#24), 19/RCA/RMG’s David Cook (#44) and RCA/RMG’s Daughtry (#45) both re-enter, with the latter's American Idol performance and new single reigniting sales.

Swift led all the double-digit gainers, followed by Mercury Nashville’s Sugarland (#38-28, +35%), Verve’s Diana Krall (#26-17, +31%), RCA/RMG’s Kelly Clarkson (#24-15, +29%), Capitol Nashville’s Darius Rucker (#37-29, +29%), Capitol Nashville’s Lady Antebellum (#41-36, +24%), Arista Nashville’s Carrie Underwood (#30-27, +23%) and Atlantic’s Jason Mraz (#36-31, +21%).

Hitting retail today are Diplomat/Asylum’s Cam’ron and Swishahouse/Asylum’s Paul Wall. The other chart newcomer will be Victory RecordsAiden, whose lead singer William Control is currently in a dispute with Apple over their proposed iPhone app (a la Trent Reznor), which you can read about here, and are now #8 on Twitter Trends.  And, of course, this Friday (5/15) comes the long-awaited release of Green Day's 21st Century Breakdown on Reprise Records.

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