Ray Charles Back on Top

Grammys boost Ray, Keys, Maroon 5 and others

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This week's charts are all about the Grammys. Ray Charles' posthumously released collection of duets, Genius Loves Company, shot up fourteen places to the top this week, selling 224,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan. This strong showing, six months after its debut, was no doubt due to the eight Grammy awards Genius received on February 13th, including Record of the Year (for "Here We Go Again," with Norah Jones) and Album of the Year.

Usher's mega-hit Confessions – which snagged three awards, including Best Contemporary R&B Album – also got a boost, jumping from Number Ten to Five (110,000). Maroon 5, who performed in the Grammy's flashy opening number and took home the award for Best New Artist, saw their breakthrough album, Songs About Jane, jump thirteen spots back into the Top Ten (Nine, 78,000). And R&B songstress Alicia Keys – whose The Diary of Alicia Keys received three Grammys, including Best R&B Album and Best R&B Song (for "You Don't Know My Name") – saw her Diary rocket thirty-six places to Number Eleven (74,000), more than a year after its debut.

Further down the chart, other Grammy-related artists enjoyed a boost. Much-hyped Vegas alt-rockers the Killers – who were nominated for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group for "Somebody Told Me," off their debut, Hot Fuss – saw their album climb fourteen spots to Number Thirteen (64,000). John Mayer, who performed a rousing rendition of his track "Daughters" on live TV and was rewarded with Song of the Year, saw his album, Heavier Things, jump from Number Forty-Two to Nineteen (60,000). Albums by winners U2, Los Lonely Boys and Kanye West also experienced a burst in sales – with West's The College Drop-Out, winner for Best Rap Album, taking the cake with a leap of sixty-six places to Thirty-Three (44,000), a year after its release.

Not too thrilled about the prize winners' resurgence are 3 Doors Down, whose third album, Seventeen Days, took Number One last week. This week, they didn't stand a chance: The Mississippi rockers fell five spots to Number Six (105,000). Rising West Coast rap star the Game was also blocked by Grammy talent: His debut, The Documentary, couldn't reclaim the top spot with Green Day and Ray in the way and was bumped down to Number Three (131,000).

But the real losers were four artists whose albums made a speedy exit from the Top Ten this week. Kenny Chesney's Be As You Are and Michael Buble's It's Time fell quickly in their second week – down eight spots to Sixteen (61,000) and ten spots to Seventeen (61,000), respectively. And Tina Turner's latest greatest-hits compilation, All the Best, and R&B crooner Brian McKnight's return, Gemini, fell even faster – eighteen places to Twenty-Seven (50,000) and twenty-seven places to Thirty-One (46,000), respectively.

Next week, expect Tori Amos' eighth studio album, The Beekeeper, to re-activate her incredibly loyal fan base. And Aha Shake Heartbreak, the critically acclaimed sophomore effort from Southern rockers Kings of Leon, just may be their commercial breakthrough.

This week's Top Ten: Ray Charles' Genius Loves Company; Green Day's American Idiot; the Game's The Documentary; 2005 Grammy Nominees; Usher's Confessions; 3 Doors Down's Seventeen Days; John Legend's Get Lifted; Eminem's Encore; Maroon 5's Songs About Jane; Kelly Clarkson's Breakaway.

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