Jay-Z Makes It Three

Rapper's "The Blueprint" continues to be tops

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Jay-Z's The Blueprint continued its run at the top, selling 173,663 copies according to SoundScan, to spend its third consecutive week at Number One. The album edged the persistent Alicia Keys debut, Songs in A Minor, which still shows steady sales as it strides towards 3 million copies sold.

Elsewhere the charts weren't particularly inspiring this week. After welcoming ten new albums into the Top Ten over the past two weeks, only one debut made it this week, Totally Hits 2001, a compilation cut from the Now That's What I Call Music cloth, that includes hits by the likes of Missy Elliott, Alicia Keys, Uncle Kracker and others.

Other debuts were fairly hard to find. The gospel pop rock of Steven Curtis Chapman's Declaration sold nearly 70,000 units to bow in at Number Fourteen, while Tenacious D's Tenacious D (Number Thirty-four), Jim Brickman's Simple Things (Number Fifty-five) and Ryan Adams' Gold (Number Sixty) also made respectable showings.

Though sales were down almost exclusively across the board, a few acts managed to fight the tide. Adults seem to have finally found their way to the record stores to pick up Enya's latest, Day Without Rain. After fluttering all over the Top 100, the album has gradually worked its way up to Number Four, with strong six-figure sales. And the September 11th terrorist attacks have had a profound influence on Lee Greenwood's American Patriot, which has skipped along from Number 163 to Number Fifty-seven to Number Twenty-five in a mere three weeks.

A number of albums hit sales milestones this week. Sum 41's debut, All Killer No Filler, Jagged Edge's Jagged Little Thrill and Weezer's self-titled third album all reached the 1 million sales mark, while Lee Ann Womack's I Hope You Dance topped 2 million sales.

Next week's forecast promises additional showers of new material. New albums by Elton John, Garbage, and supergroup side-project Oysterhead (featuring Phish's Trey Anastasio, the Police's Stewart Copeland and Primus' Les Claypool) all look promising for high debuts, while Ja Rule's latest, Pain Is Love arrives with a good shot at Number One. Ja released his Rule 3:36 nearly one year ago, and the album topped the charts with sales of 275,000. The first week tally for the singles-driven smash should be handily outdone next week.

This week's Top Ten: Jay-Z's The Blueprint (173,663 copies sold); Alicia Keys' Songs in A Minor (139,680); Totally Hits 2001 (138,837); Enya's Day Without Rain (114,269); Nickelback's Silver Side Up (110,615); P.O.D.'s Satellite (93,152); Linkin Park's Hybrid Theory (89,020); Staind's Break the Cycle (85,993); Usher's 8701 (80,774); and Now That's What I Call Music! 7 (80,716).

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