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Mary J. Blige Back on Top

Queen of Hip-Hop Soul unseats Foxx with her latest 'Breakthrough'

January 18, 2006 12:00 AM ET

Mary J. Blige, the Queen of Hip-Hop Soul, returned to a familiar spot this week: the top of the charts. Blige overtook actor turned singer — and major chart competition — Jamie Foxx, selling another 118,000 copies of her album The Breakthrough, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Since its release, consumers have bought almost 1.2 million copies of The Breakthrough.

Of course, Foxx, whose Unpredictable sits at Number Two, isn't in such a bad position: His sophomore record sold another 103,000 copies this week, and like Blige's, has moved more than a million copies.

American Idol winner Carrie Underwood's country album, Some Hearts sashayed two spots up the chart landing at Number Three (selling 77,000 copies), while last week's Number Three, Eminem's Curtain Call, the rapper's greatest-hits collection, slid to Number Four (76,000). Another steady seller, Mariah Carey, hung tough at Number Six (50,000) with The Emancipation of Mimi.

Up several spots, and rounding out the Top Ten, the Notorious B.I.G's posthumously released Duets: The Final Chapter — which sports beyond-the-grave collaborations with rappers like Jay-Z, Eminem and Snoop Dogg — is up two spots, from Number Seven to this week's Number Five, selling 52,000 copies. Hard rockers' Nickelback's All the Right Reasons bounced from Number Ten to Number Seven (48,000), while R&B newcomer Chris Brown's eponymous album moved from Number Twelve to Number Eight (47,000) this week.

In dramatic chart moves, the Strokes' third album, First Impressions of Earth fell from last week's Number Four to Number Eighteen this week, selling 31,000 copies in its second week on the charts. And Kelly Clarkson's Breakaway fell out of the Top Ten — perhaps there's only room for one American Idol diva there — from Number Eight to Number Twelve this week (38,000).

Following a quiet batch for new releases, next week's chart should be another battle of Mary vs. Jamie.

This week's Top Ten: Mary J. Blige's The Breakthrough; Jamie Foxx's Unpredictable; Carrie Underwood's Some Hearts; Eminem's Curtain Call; the Notorious B.I.G.'s Duets: The Final Chapter; Mariah Carey's The Emancipation of Mimi; Nickelback's All the Right Reasons; Chris Brown's Chris Brown; Black Eyed Peas' Monkey Business; and Johnny Cash's Legend of Johnny Cash.

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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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