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Jack Johnson Tops Chart With Kids' Tunes

Surfer/folkie takes the lead with fresh spin on "Curious George"

February 15, 2006 1:05 PM ET

Jack Johnson's Sing-A-Longs and Lullabies, the soundtrack to the children's movie Curious George, topped the chart this week, with 163,000 copies sold, according to Nielsen SoundScan. The CD features a combination of kids' songs and Johnson's signature, laidback relationship tunes, ranging from the theme "Upside Down" to the G. Love-penned and performed "Jungle Gym" and a cover of the White Stripes' "We're Going to Be Friends." Johnson used his voice and the cavaquinho, a Brazilian ukelele, to do the talking for the popular -- but speechless -- animated monkey.

And at Number Two for a second week is R&B diva Mary J. Blige's former chart-topper, her massively successful The Breakthrough, which moved another 152,000 CDs. This officially means that, after weeks of musical chairs for the Number One spot, Blige has beaten out Jamie Foxx's Unpredictable: The crossover star's hit album fell six spots to Number Ten (81,000). And at Number Three (142,000) is last week's Number One, adult contemporary crooner Barry Manilow's American classics collection, The Greatest Songs of the Fifties. This is Manilow's eighth Top Ten album on the pop chart, and his second Number One in a thirty-year career.

Joining Manilow in another week of smooth-singing success are opera tenor Andrea Bocelli and classically trained boy band Il Divo. Bocelli's latest accessible release, Amore, sold another 117,000 CDs to drop one spot to Number Four, while Il Divo's recent chart-topper, Ancora, held steady at Number Six (96,000).

The other big debut this week came from hip-hoppers Dem Franchize Boyz. Their second release, On Top of Our Game, sold 106,000 copies to bow at Number Five -- on the strength of their hot singles "I Think They Like Me" and "Lean Wit It, Rock Wit It." This marks a crossover moment for the Atlanta crew, whose self-titled 2004 debut peaked at a way less impressive One-Hundred-Six.

The rest of this week's chart belongs to the Grammy bump, that happy lift in sales experienced in the days immediately following the super-hyped televised ceremony. While Mariah Carey was shut out of the major Grammy categories, the comeback diva's The Emancipation of Mimi did take home three statuettes, and the album sold nearly 40,000 more copies to jump seven places to Number Seven (90,000). Kelly Clarkson's Breakaway took home two Grammys, making the pop star the first American Idol to go legit. The CD also experienced an energy surge, selling about 40,000 more to leap from Twenty-Four to Eight.

But John Legend's debut, Get Lifted -- which earned the R&B piano man major prizes, including Best New Artist -- made the biggest jump of all: from One-Hundred-Eighty-Seven to Eighteen (52,000). Of course, appearing on Oprah twice in one week doesn't hurt your sales either.

With no major new releases, expect the competition to narrow down to Blige and Manilow next week.

This week's Top Ten: Jack Johnson and Friends' Sing-A-Longs and Lullabies for the Film "Curious George"; Mary J. Blige's The Breakthrough; Barry Manilow's The Greatest Songs of the Fifties; Andrea Bocelli's Amore; Dem Franchize Boyz' On Top of Our Game; Il Divo's Ancora; Mariah Carey's The Emancipation of Mimi; Kelly Clarkson's Breakaway; Eminem's Curtain Call; Jamie Foxx's Unpredictable.

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