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Nelly Tops Chart?Twice

Hip-hop star dual releases snag Number One and Number Two

September 22, 2004 12:00 AM ET
In a rare feat, St. Louis rapper Nelly took over both the top spots this week with his double-release of Suit and Sweat -- currently at Numbers One (396,000) and Two (342,000) respectively -- with sales that broke away from the competition. Nelly's previous album, 2002's Nellyville, also debuted at Number One, on the strength of the runaway party hit "Hot in Herre."

Meanwhile, the country battle continues, as powerhouse Alan Jackson's reign has proved brief: his What I Do fell six spots from last week's appearance on top to Number Seven (71,200), well below Tim McGraw's Live Like You Were Dying (Number Three, 122,000). Ray Charles' posthumous release Genius Loves Company once again falls one spot, to Number Four (113,000), while the unstoppable compilation Now That's What I Call Music! 16 and Ashlee Simpson's Autobiography both hold firm at Number Five (101,000) and Number Six (75,000) respectively. Rockers Maroon 5 broke through the ranks, jumping three spots to Number Eight (64,000), and superstar of the moment Usher reversed his momentum -- perhaps helped by his big wins at the World Music Awards and the announcement of his American Music Award nominations this week -- to return Confessions to the Number Ten spot (61,400).

Losing big this week was Jill Scott's Beautifully Human, which fell a whopping six places to Number Thirteen (55,400). Young Buck's Straight Outta Cashville also fell a solid four spots down to Number Fourteen (55,000). R. Kelly's Happy People/U Saved Me dropped from Nine to Number Eleven (59,000), and soul singer Anita Baker is barely holding on, with My Everything down five places to Number Nine (63,400).

With no fierce new releases on the way, expect next week to be more of Nelly versus Nelly.

This week's Top Ten: Nelly's Suit; Nelly's Sweat; Tim McGraw's Live Like You Were Dying; Ray Charles' Genius Loves Company; Now That's What I Call Music! 16; Ashlee Simpson's Autobiography; Alan Jackson's What I Do; Maroon 5's Songs About Jane; Anita Baker's My Everything; Usher's Confessions

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Song Stories

“Bird on a Wire”

Leonard Cohen | 1969

While living on the Greek island of Hydra, Cohen was battling a lingering depression when his girlfriend handed him a guitar and suggested he play something. After spotting a bird on a telephone wire, Cohen wrote this prayer-like song of guilt. First recorded by Judy Collins, it would be performed numerous times by artists incuding Johnny Cash, Joe Cocker and Rita Coolidge. "I'm always knocked out when I hear my songs covered or used in some situation," Cohen told Rolling Stone. "I've never gotten over the fact that people out there like my music."

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