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Ashanti Hangs On to Number One

Princess of Hip-Hop and Soul edges out Celine

April 17, 2002 12:00 AM ET

Predictably, sales of Ashanti's self-titled debut album dropped by more than fifty percent this week -- from the strong debut figure of 502,000 last week to 246,000, according to SoundScan -- but that anemic figure was good enough to keep her at Number One for the second consecutive week. One step behind again is Celine Dion, whose New Day Has Come registered sales of 226,000 copies this week, a total down only slightly from last week's 260,000. The two divas maintained, however, a comfortable margin between themselves and the third spot, occupied this week, after Tweet's slip to fifth, by Now That's What I Call Music! 9, which scanned 140,000 copies.

The Goo Goo Dolls' Gutterflower, if it didn't exactly come out swinging, enjoyed solid sales of 101,000 copies in its debut week, enough to secure the fourth spot. Rock vets Neil Young and Bonnie Raitt showed they still have some chart power. Young's Are You Passionate?, with its 9/11-themed anthem "Let's Roll," broke into the Top Ten in its first week, scanning 56,000 copies, while Raitt's Silver Lining moved 54,000 to grab the Number Fifteen slot.

By leaps and bounds the week's biggest mover was Josh Gorban's self-titled debut, which sold 56,000 copies and jumped 109 spots in its eighteenth week on the charts, landing just behind Jay-Z and R. Kelly at Number 12. Groban, who sings a blend of classical and pop, can thank his segment on ABC's 20/20, which aired last Friday night. Critics' darling Norah Jones continued to build on her sales figures, moving up nine places this week to Number Forty-two.

O Brother, Where Art Thou?, impervious as ever to all the comings and goings, held down the sixth spot in this, it's sixty-eighth week on the charts.

Some intriguing records are due next week, including Wilco's long-awaited Yankee Hotel Foxtrot and releases from Elvis Costello and Cornershop, but none is likely to cost Ashanti or Celine much beauty sleep.

This week's Top Ten: Ashanti's Ashanti; Celine Dion's New Day Has Come; Now That's What I Call Music! 9; Tweet's Southern Hummingbird; Goo Goo Dolls' Gutterflower; O Brother, Where Art Thou?; Scorpion King Soundtrack; Shakira's Laundry Service; Pink's Missundaztood; and Neil Young's Are You Passionate?.

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Song Stories

“San Francisco Mabel Joy”

Mickey Newbury | 1969

A country-folk song of epic proportions, "San Francisco Mabel Joy" tells the tale of a poor Georgia farmboy who wound up in prison after a move to the Bay Area found love turning into tragedy. First released by Mickey Newbury in 1969, it might be more familiar through covers by Waylon Jennings, Joan Baez and Kenny Rogers. "It was a five-minute song written in a two-minute world," Newbury said. "I was told it would never be cut by any artist ... I was told you could not use the term 'redneck' in a song and get it recorded."

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