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Usher Back on Top

Avril slips to Number Two

June 9, 2004 12:00 AM ET
Since its release eleven weeks ago, Usher's Confessions has spent only two weeks away from Number One. Twice high-profile albums -- D12's D12 World and Avril Lavigne's Under My Skin -- have knocked Confessions from its perch, and twice the album has come back and reclaimed its spot.

Confessons rebounded from last week's Number Two showing by selling 194,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan, and trading places with Skin, which sold 170,000 at Number Two. For Confessions, the tally puts it at 3.9 million copies sold to date, with the coming week's sales certain to push it past 4 million.

Though Lavigne couldn't repeat at Number One, Under My Skin sold enough to top 500,000 copies in two weeks of sale. Country newcomer Gretchen Wilson continues to do well with Here for the Party, which moved up a slot to Number Four with sales of 111,000. And Prince's Musicology continues to hold class: The album slipped out of the Top Ten two weeks ago, but has gradually fought back, landing at Number Four after a month of sale, enjoying a 25,000 copy sales pike to 96,000. Slipknot's Vol. 3: Subliminal Verses rounds out the Top Five with sales of 85,000.

The two highest debuts belong to crooners of different stripes. The late lounge lizard Dean Martin sold 32,000 copies of The Essential Dean Martin at Number Twenty-eight, while bearded smooth country legend Kenny Rogers moved 29,000 copies of 42 Ultimate Hits at Number Thirty-nine.

Next week is anybody's guess, as supergroup Velvet Revolver's Contraband looks to be the best shot for a six-figure debut, but if Confessions continues to be impervious to sales dips, Usher could find himself on top again.

This week's Top Ten: Usher's Confessions; Avril Lavigne's Under My Skin; Gretchen Wilson's Here for the Party; Prince's Musicology; Slipknot's Vol. 3: Subliminal Verses; Hoobastank's The Reason; D12's D12 World; Shrek 2 soundtrack; Now That's What I Call Music! 15; and Method Man's Tical 0: The Prequel.

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Song Stories

“Santa Monica”

Everclear | 1996

After his brother and girlfriend both died of drug overdoses, Art Alexakis -- depressed and hooked on drugs himself -- jumped off the Santa Monica Pier in California, determined to die. "It was really stupid," said the Everclear frontman, who would further explore his personal emotional journey in the song "Father of Mine." "I went under the water. Then I said, 'I don't wanna die.'" The song, declaring "Let's swim out past the breakers/and watch the world die," was intended as a manifesto for change, Alexakis said. "Let the world do what it's gonna do and just live on our own."

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