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B2K's Omarion Tops Chart

Former R&B boy-band singer seizes top spot with solo debut

January 1, 1998 12:00 AM ET

Omarion's solo debut, O, sold 182,000 copies in its first week to take the top spot, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Since the breakthrough of his multi-platinum R&B boy band B2K in 2002, the twenty-one-year-old has gained steam on his own through guest appearances on popular sitcoms, in the feature films You Got Served and Fat Albert, and through his new, MTV-published autobiography.

Meanwhile, the Grammy boost is still in effect for the late Ray Charles' Genius Loves Company, which dropped only one spot to Number Two (110,000). And rounding out the Top Five are the Game's debut, The Documentary, which drops one place to Four (105,000), and veteran singer-songwriter Tori Amos' eighth studio album, The Beekeeper, which sold 83,000 copies to open at Number Five. This is 20,000 fewer units than the opening-week total of her last full-length effort, 2002's Scarlet's Walk, although that debuted at Number Seven. The other big debut this week came from the seventh installment of the Kidz Bop series of children's sing-alongs, which tackles everything from Usher's "My Boo" to Modest Mouse's "Float On."

The big losers this week were Southern garage rockers Kings of Leon, whose much-hyped and critically well-received sophomore album, Aha Shake Heartbreak, sold a mere 20,000 copies to debut at Number Fifty-Five. And it seems the Grammy effect no longer applies for winners other than Charles: Maroon 5's Songs About Jane fell back down the chart, from its boost to Number Nine to Eighteen (49,000); and multiple Grammy-winner Alicia Keys' The Diary of Alicia Keys dropped from Eleven to Twenty-Eight (35,000).

Next week, expect 50 Cent's The Massacre to blow away all competition -- in spite of its mid-week release tomorrow.

This week's Top Ten: Omarion's O; Ray Charles' Genius Loves Company; Green Day's American Idiot; the Game's The Documentary; Tori Amos' The Beekeeper; John Legend's Get Lifted; Kidz Bop Kids' Kidz Bop 7; Eminem's Encore; 3 Doors Down's Seventeen Days; Kelly Clarkson's Breakaway.

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Song Stories

“Try a Little Tenderness”

Otis Redding | 1966

This pop standard had been previously recorded by dozens of artists, including by Bing Crosby 33 years before Otis Redding, who usually wrote his own songs, cut it. It was actually Sam Cooke’s 1964 take, which Redding’s manager played for Otis, that inspired the initially reluctant singer to take on the song. Isaac Hayes, then working as Stax Records’ in-house producer, handled the arrangement, and Booker T. and the MG’s were the backing band. Redding’s soulful version begins quite slowly and tenderly itself before mounting into a rousing, almost religious “You’ve gotta hold her, squeeze her …” climax. “I did that damn song you told me to do,” Redding told his manager. “It’s a brand new song now.”

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