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Next week, look for Columbia’s Neil Diamond to lead a group of new releases that includes RCA’s Clay Aiken, 143/Reprise’s Josh Groban with a live CD/DVD and Toby Keith’s 35 Biggest Hits on Show Dog/Mercury.
MADONNA’S CANDY CAN DO
Hall of Famer’s Final WB Album Debuts at #1, Lyfe Jennings, The Roots, Def Leppard, Portishead and Mudcrutch Also Bow in Top 10
For Madonna, it’s once more with feeling.

The Material Gal’s final studio recording for Warner Bros., Hard Candy, debuts at #1 on this week’s HITS Album Sales chart, with 282k for the critically-acclaimed disc.

That was enough to turn back last week’s diva, as Mariah Carey’s Island/IDJ album E=MC2 dips to #2 after a pair of weeks on top, with 87k.

J Records/Syco Music’s U.K. phenom Leona Lewis is #3, with 82k, remaining strong with just a 17% dropoff.

Columbia R&B star Lyfe JenningsLyfe Change leads a group of four Top 10 newcomers at #4, followed by The Roots’ Def Jam/IDJ album Rising Down (#5), Island/IDJ area rockers Def Leppard’s Songs From the Sparkle Lounge (#6) and Island/IDJ’s Portishead (#7).

That gives Island boss Antonio “L.A.” Reid, Steve Bartels and the gang four of the Top 7, an impressive showing for sure.

SBMG/Commercial Music Group’s Now 27 (#8) and Big Machine/Universal Republic’s Taylor Swift (#9) are next, with Reprise’s Mudcrutch, the reunion of Tom Petty’s original Gainesville, FL, precursor to the Heartbreakers, the other debut at #10.

Columbia rock Hall of Famer Steve Winwood’s Nine Lives (#13) is the another chart newcomer, along with Hear Music veteran singer-songwriter Carly Simon’s This Kind of Love (#15), Epic indie-rockers Augustana (#20), Jive/ZLG’s Lil’ Mama (#25), Lyric Street’s Phil Stacey (#31), Atlantic’s Estelle (#40) and Arista/RMG’s Sarah McLachlin Rarities, B-Sides… Vol. 2 compilation (#46).

Epic’s Natasha Bedingfield leads a group of returning chart entries, with Pocketful of Sunshine riding an American Idol appearance into a #22 finish. Also re-entering is Atlantic’s Gnarls Barkley (#45).

Next week, look for Columbia’s Neil Diamond to lead a group of new releases that includes RCA’s Clay Aiken, 143/Reprise’s Josh Groban with a live CD/DVD and Toby Keith’s 35 Biggest Hits on Show Dog/Mercury.

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