That would put the Moonwalker in a vigorous three-horse race with Sony stable mate Susan Boyle’s still-reigning The Gift and Big Machine frisky colt Taylor Swift’s Speak Now for #1 on next week’s HITS Top 50 sales chart.

NEW JACKSON MAKES IT SONY IN DECEMBER

Sony Music Will Have Five of Top Six, with Jackson, Boyle, Glee, Evancho and R. Kelly

You know it’s that time of year when Michael Jackson rises again.

Epic’s MICHAEL, the late superstar’s second official posthumous release (after last year’s This Is It soundtrack), hit retail Tuesday, and first-week sales estimates are now between 225-250k for the album.

That would put the Moonwalker in a vigorous three-horse race with Sony stable mate Susan Boyle’s still-reigning The Gift and Big Machine frisky colt Taylor Swift’s Speak Now for #1 on next week’s HITS Top 50 sales chart.


Those totals are based on one-day sales reports from those hardy music retailers who haven’t abandoned their stores to set up Christmas tree lots.

Two of the next three positions are Team Stringer/ Barnett acts, too, with Columbia’s Glee Cast Christmas and Jackie Evancho going up against yet another Sony artist, Jive/JLG’s debuting R. Kelly. Estimates for Kelly's typically salacious Love Letter are in the 150-160k range, which would beat most industry forecasts, as the veteran R&B superstar tends to do. That would give Sony five of the top six albums on next week’s chart.

Next highest debut comes from Bad Boy/Interscope’s Diddy Dirty Money, the latest project from P. Diddy, which would seem to be in the 60-65k range after an appearance several weeks ago on Saturday Night Live.

American Idol alumnus Crystal Bowersox’s 19/Jive/JLG debut is on target for 45-50k, with Atlantic’s Tank aiming for 40-45k and Jive/JLG’s Ciara between 35-40k.

Last 2010 release date is Tuesday, with Geffen’s Keyshia Cole, J/RMG’s Jamie Foxx and Interscope’s Keri Hilson the remaining big names on the schedule.

The market was up 11% vs. last week, down 15% vs. same week last year and still down 13% year to date.

Now please excuse us while we get rotten, stinking drunk at the office holiday party and completely embarrass ourselves by throwing up all over the copy machine.

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